Spring Activities

Posts Tagged ‘Spring Activities’

Four Caterpillar Crafts and Activities for Kids

Spring is a great time to teach preschoolers about the life cycles of caterpillars. From reading The Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle to actually watching a caterpillar create a cocoon and turn into a butterfly, there are many fun activities you can do with kids to teach them about caterpillars and butterflies. Here are just a few ideas to get you started.

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Live Butterfly Garden

To teach children about the life cycle of a caterpillar, what is better than watching a real caterpillar turn into a butterfly? InsectLore.com offers live butterfly gardens where you can place actual cocoons. Your child gets to watch as the caterpillar creates a cocoon and eventually turns into a beautiful monarch butterfly. At your local library you can also find many books about monarch butterflies that you can use along with the live lesson, tailoring the information according to the age of your child.

Caterpillar Kabobs

For a little fun in the kitchen, let your child create a “grape kabob” that looks like a caterpillar. Your child will love making this edible creature.

For this activity you will need wooden skewers, approximately twelve green grapes for each kabob, mini chocolate chips, and white frosting.

Help your child place twelve grapes on each kabob. This will be the caterpillar’s body. For the caterpillar’s face place two tiny dots of white frosting on the first grape, and then place a mini chocolate chip in the center of each dap of frosting.

Serve, and enjoy!

Counting Caterpillar

This activity combines a craft with a lesson in counting. You will need:

  • Five paper plates
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Craft paints
  • Sponges
  • Marker
  • Hole punch
  • Google eyes
  • Glue
  • Scissors

First have your child use the sponge and craft paints to paint each of the paper plates a different color. Set the plates aside to dry.

counting caterpillar

Use the marker to write the numbers 1 to 5, one number on each plate.

Next use the hole punch to place holes each edge (left and right) of each plate. Have your child put the plates in numerical order, one through five.

Use small pieces of pipe cleaner to attach the plates side by side by placing them through the punched holes (the plates should now form the shape of a caterpillar).

Help your child use the marker to draw a face on the first plate. Glue on the google eyes. You can use the pipe cleaners to create antennae. Punch holes at the top of the first plate to attach the antennae.

Your child will really enjoy painting and putting together this caterpillar. It is also a great opportunity to work on important counting skills.

Thumbprint Caterpillar

This is a quick fun craft for preschoolers. All you need are some white paper and craft paints in a variety of colors.

Place some green paint on a paper plate and have your child use his or her thumbprints to create the body of a caterpillar. Use more paints or a marker to draw the caterpillar’s face and legs.

There are many caterpillar crafts and activities you can have fun doing with kids. These are just a few to get you started. With a little creativity and imagination, you can incorporate arts and crafts, science, and reading all at one time, providing a valuable learning experience for your preschool aged child.

Kathy Davis is a professional blogger who provides parents and guardians with information and reviews for after school care programs and day cares. She writes for The Learning Experience, a leading after school program in Brooklyn, NY.

Three Outdoor Scavenger Hunts for Spring

by Sera Filson

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Spring has sprung, and many of us still have cabin fever…or as we call it up north: “shack happy” and “rammy”. Although the freezing winter weather may be gone, and it’s still not picnic or beach weather yet, it’s still good to get outside, and soak in some fresh air and sunshine–not to mention exercise.

Sometimes we hang out indoors so much during the winter, it’s hard to get back into the swing of going outside. Having a reason to go out, even on a chilly day, can make everyone more excited about getting out of the house. And once you get moving, you’ll be warm in no time, and may even need to peel off a few sweaters and jackets as you exercise and get the blood pumping, and as the sun warms the earth.

Here are a few ideas of things you can do on your next outing with the kids, whether it’s to the park, or a nice stroll through the neighborhood.

1. Play “I-Spy” for Spring

Have everyone on the outing take turns calling out sights that they don’t normally see during the winter, such as:

  • A bud or small leaves on a tree or bush
  • A plant emerging from the ground
  • A spring flower in bloom
  • Spring fruit
  • Open windows
  • People sitting outside
  • Open coats
  • Someone skateboarding
  • People using bicycles
  • Bathing suits in a shop window

2. Play “I-Hear” for Spring

Take turns letting everyone identify different sounds that you don’t hear when you’re indoors, such as:

  • A clap of thunder
  • A woodpecker
  • Music from an open car window
  • A bird singing
  • Music from an ice cream truck
  • Kids playing in the playground
  • A lawn mower
  • Frogs or toads

3. Collect Rubbings for a Spring Collage Art Project

This activity calls for indoor and outdoor time, which will help everyone acclimate to the spring weather in small doses. You can get a little fresh air and exercise, and then if the weather changes, go inside before you freeze. Just put a few supplies in your bag, and go outside and look for interesting textures that you can rub onto paper.

When you get back inside, cut out the rubbings and glue them into a collage. This activity not only has everyone using their eyes, but their creativity as well.

Supplies Needed:

  • Paper: any color will do
  • Drawing media: crayons and colored pencils for toddlers, and maybe charcoal and pastels for elementary school age children
  • A bag or tote to carry the art supplies: a big bag is best so it’s easy to reach in and get things out of it, like a large shopping bag or beach tote
  • Large, thick poster paper: one for each child, and one for yourself, too, mom and dad!
  • Glue: glue stick for toddlers, Elmer’s glue for older kids
  • Scissors: blunt for toddlers, sharp is okay for older kids

Instructions:

Part 1: Hunt for Texture

a. Go for a walk to some place you haven’t been in a while…that is, where you haven’t really taken the time to slowly stroll and enjoy the scenery. Whether it’s your neighborhood, a local park, or a downtown shopping area, keep an eyes open for interesting surfaces as you stroll along. Anything with texture will do, such as tree bark, a wooden park bench, a cobblestone walkway, or signs with raised letters and graphics.

b. Place your paper on top of the textured surface and rub over it with your crayon, colored pencil, or pastels. Rub until the the image starts to form–not too lightly and not too hard. You’ll get the feel for it after a rubbing or two. And don’t restrain yourself–make as many rubbings on as many textures as you can during the trip. A wider variety will make the collage assembly more interesting and more fun!

Part 2: Collage Assembly

a. When you get home, make sure everyone has a large work space so they can spread their work out and admire their collections. Have them choose their favorite or the most interesting ones, and cut around them with the scissors.

b.Then they can glue their rubbing shapes to their poster board. You can either direct the kids to follow your instructions and tell them how to arrange their rubbings on the collage, which can make comparing each others’ artwork at the end of the project quite fun; or you can just let them assemble their collage however they want, maybe giving them suggestions, or let them think of their own method.

Some ideas for assembly order might be to:

  • arrange them in the order in which they were collected, to show the time line of the outing
  • make a shape–like a flower, tree, or a person
  • arrange them randomly, for an artistic and unique abstract effect

Have you been in the house all winter, and forgot what your neighborhood looks and sounds like? Why not reacquaint yourself by trying one, if not all, of the above activities. And have fun hunting–there are treasures all around you!

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