I love all of the Easter activities that we have been doing, but I’m excited for the rest of spring… caterpillars, butterflies, seeds, changing weather and landscapes, flowers, budding trees… there are so many fun things to do and see, plus life just gets better when we can get outside and consistently play! This week starts off some of my favorite activities!
Egg Carton Caterpillar
This requires hanging onto an Egg carton and using the individual compartments for the body of the caterpillar. To get started cut apart 4-6 of those compartments. Now, your child can start to create their caterpillar by painting each of the “body parts.” They can use fingers, brushes, sponges anything they find fun to get their caterpillar bodies painted, and in any color they pick. Let the body parts dry.
Once they are dry, have your child pick a head part (just pick one of the segments to be the head). They can add eyes to the front and antennae to the top to be bent or curled however your child prefers (just poke 2 holes in the top about a ¼ in. apart to stick one of the pipe cleaners through in a v-shape). Next, your child can add legs to the sides of each of the body parts. Poke holes on either side, and push the pipe cleaner in and bend down. Finally, attach all of the pieces together by poking holes in the front and back of each body part. Thread the yarn (or pipe cleaner) through the holes from front to back, tying a knot on each end to keep it from coming apart. Cut off excess yarn. The finished product should be a cute moveable caterpillar, fun to play with or just to enjoy the work your child put into it!
Stuff to Have
4-6 individual egg carton compartments
Craft eyes, or eyes made from construction paper
Pipe cleaners, (1”-2” pieces for antennae and legs)
Various paint colors
Color recognition, fine motor, art
Lay out buttons and pipe cleaners. Demonstrate to children how the pipe cleaner can go through the button-holes. Let your child try to put pipe cleaners through the button-holes and make a button “flower.” If it starts to get frustrating for your child help them out. The point is to have fun and try something new. If you do help, try to find the balance between letting them experiment, and assisting them.
Stuff to Have
Buttons- various shapes, sizes, and colors
Fine motor, colors
Early Science & Math
We’ve been doing this activity for a while and I’ve been encouraging more of a fine motor focus by introducing tongs, tweezers, spoons, etc. to use different small muscles. This will still be a fine motor activity, but I thought we could transition to focusing now on sorting. Sorting by color, shape, size etc. is an early math concept. It is something that younger kids might not grasp yet, but just talk about what the activity is, talk about the differences and similarities in the seeds, demonstrate for them, and let them try. Don’t expect perfection, but let them experiment, mess up and occasionally get some right! I start my kids out by putting one of each seeds in an ice tray or muffin tin compartment, and then I let them try. With younger kids like I mentioned earlier describe what you see, help them notice differences and demonstrate what to do. With older kids, you can start the same, and then let them give it a try. Keep talking about colors, shapes, and any other characteristics you notice as your child goes through this. What are these seeds for? What do they look like? Are they big or little? Smooth or bumpy?
Cooking & Baking
The week after a holiday I always need a little break from being in the kitchen. So, if you’re the same way take this time to go outside and play, color together, read some extra books or do one of your favorite things together with your child.
Or if you aren’t tired of cooking and cleaning up, make one of your favorite spring treats together!
On top of all this fun, make sure you are getting in lot’s of large motor, reading, and music! All things I need to do better at next week!
Large Motor: Run, jump, leap frog, have a dance party, ride a trike, climb a slide, jump on a trampoline…
Reading: One book, two books, red book, blue book; books that are high, books that are low, books from here to here to there, books that are everywhere… Ok, I’m no Dr. Seuss but you get my drift! Reading is so important! And you know what, you don’t even have to read the words. Talk about the pictures, point out colors, relate the book to your child’s life. Talking, conversing, hearing new words being tied to familiar things… that is how your child is making new connections.
And finally music and rhymes! Another great way for kids to hear the sounds in words! These are skills that will come back to them when they are learning to read later on. Do an internet search for Spring songs for kids. You will find a lot of great little rhymes and songs to add throughout the day. You don’t need to have a set “music time” that you sit down and sing, just sing them as you go about the day!