Put dots of various colors of paint all over the open coffee filter. Let children use wet sponges to dab and squish all over the wings. Colors will bleed together to form new colors and create a watercolor looking butterfly. Let the coffee filter dry. Once it is dry, twist the pipe cleaner around the middle so that it creates two equal size “wings” on either side. Trim the pipe cleaner so that the two ends form the antennae. This will go so fast you and your child might even want to make a couple butterfly friends!
This is a nice follow-up activity to last weeks egg carton caterpillar! It will be a lot of fun for your child to get messy and experiment with this new method of sponge painting and to see all of the new colors that come about.
Stuff to Have
1 Coffee filter
Various paint colors
Damp sponges (just wet enough that the water will help the paint bleed together)
Colors, fine motor, color recognition and mixing
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
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
Cooking and baking activities don’t have to be complicated or too messy, but they can definitely be great fine motor activities and even artistic! When you stick two mini pretzels together they take on the look of a butterfly. Set out a bowl of pretzels, a bowl of M&M’s, and a scoop of peanut butter, along with a plate to build on and a plastic knife to spread peanut butter. Demonstrate how the peanut butter makes the pretzels stick together and how you can make a butterfly with all of the ingredients. Then, let your child take over and experiment with everything. It’s ok if it doesn’t end up looking like a butterfly, let them try, get a little messy, and learn a bunch through it all!
Stuff to Have
Mini pretzels (the classic pretzel shape)
Chocolate M&M candies
Fine motor, problem solving, follow through, sensory
On top of all this fun, make sure you are getting in lot’s of large motor, reading, and music!
Large Motor: Run, jump, leap frog, go for a walk or a bike ride, jump around… do what is fun for you and your child to get those big muscle groups working. It isn’t just good for their bodies, it is building their brains!
Reading: 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 language 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!