Floral Sun Catchers

We are still playing with collected flowers from our daily exercise (and also from the garden). Arlo loves the colours and the smell and is starting to recognise specific flowers and learn their names.

For this activity you will need:

  • Laminator
  • Laminated flowers
  • Scissors
  • Collected flowers
  • Hole punch
  • Scissors
  • Circular template

We collected flowers for this in our own garden one evening – grandad has a huge variety of pansies in full bloom.

Arlo chose the colours carefully using his scavenger hunt egg box and I let him hold the scissors to get a clean cut on the stems.

We sat down to look at all the flowers we had collected and I demonstrated to Arlo the activity with one run through and he immediately understood and began to place flowers on the laminating sheet.

Then it’s simple enough to load a laminating sheet – take care to not overload the machine thickness wise and to leave plenty of space to trim.

We used a tin lid as a circular template. Next time we try this out I will have more variety of shapes to hand to add in another aspect of learning.

I trimmed the shapes carefully – Arlo is a bit too little to follow the exact shape carefully but he did have fun trying. Older children can take responsibility for this aspect of the craft.

Then it came to hole punching and for some reason this is Arlo’s favourite thing to do – I think he thinks it’s some sort of big robot.

We raided the ribbon jar together to find some scraps of thread and coloured ribbon for a bow before gifting these to nanny and grandad for immediate display in the garden.

I love the way these are perfectly imperfect – the colours catch the light beautifully and brighten up a little corner of our garden – but they would look beautiful in any space.

Glueing and sticking

You will need:

  • Tissue paper
  • Safety scissors
  • PVA glue
  • Printable colouring sheets (from twinkl)
  • Glue spreaders
(Our plastic bowls and plates are from Ikea, all other items available in home bargains)

First of all – a huge thank you to Twinkl because they have provided free access to a wealth of resources for parents.

For this activity Arlo was around when I was setting up and so of course he wanted to join in with the cutting of the tissue paper. I’m quite happy to let him get on with this because he is very careful and it helps develop manual dexterity.

We spoke about the colours and shapes he was cutting and then he chose his egg from a selection I had printed.

He was more than happy to continue with his cutting rather than do any actual sticking himself. He simply sat and gave me orders about which colours I could use and where exactly to stick them.

You can scrunch your little pieces to get more of a 3D effect.

This was intended to be an Easter themed activity however Arlo was very insistent that these were in fact dinosaur eggs. This activity can be done with any simple colouring sheets. I’ve saved up our tissue scraps and other materials – foil wrappers are excellent for space, fish and robot themes.

The finished results were proudly pinned to our notice board which is becoming a bit of an art gallery.

Mum tip – print on to A4 card rather than paper for sticking activities to avoid getting in a crumpled mess.

Beautiful Butterflies

We are working on crafts inspired by the classic Eric Carle book “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” whilst also watching our insect lore caterpillars grow, so craft projects such as this help to reinforce the life cycle of a butterfly learnings and help with other important eyfs skills.

You will need:

  • A4 Card stock (not paper).
  • Paints
  • Brushes
  • Scissors

This is a super simple activity and requires minimal prep. Fold a piece of A4 cardstock in half and then cut out the shape of a butterflies wings.

I did this for Arlo because his scissor skills aren’t quite there yet, but you could draw or an outline for older children to follow.

Once you’ve cut the wings you should be able to open the card and have the basic butterfly shape.

Mum tip: if you aren’t confident with getting the shape then google and print out a template to follow.

Then let the kids go wild with paints on one half of the inside of the butterfly. This is one situation where more is more with the amount of paint.

I always make at least 2/3 templates for craft activities and sit alongside Arlo so that he can copy me because he tends to have his own “expressive” ideas as soon as he sees paint, but loves to copy me step by step and then tell me his is bigger or better.

Once you have enough paint splodged on then you need to fold the butterfly wings together, and press all over the outside…. smoothing and smudging helps the paint to spread and create a great effect.

Then carefully peel apart the wings whilst the paint is still wet to reveal the colourful patterns.

You can make a small hole and use pipe cleaners to make antennae. Just like on the egg box caterpillars

Egg Box Caterpillar

You will need:

Egg boxes (the long ones which hold a dozen eggs)

Red, green and yellow Paint

A purple Pipe cleaner

In keeping with our Very Hungry Caterpillar theme because we are watching out insect Lore Caterpillars grow bigger – we tried some more craft activities today.

I’m hoping that Arlo is learning to understand the life cycle of a butterfly with all of these activities and they each present the opportunity to practice dexterity skills and inspire a love of literature too.

This is really simple – all you need to do is cut the egg boxes in to a long piece and then let them loose with a tray of green paint.

We used two shades of green and the yellow at first to try and imitate the beautiful illustrations from the book.

Add in red for the head towards the end to avoid the inevitable brown splodge effect and save some yellow to dab along the back too.

The antenna are made from one twisted pipe cleaner poked through a hole in the top of the head.

For the eyes I painted a piece of white card yellow and cut these out to stick on later.

It’s as simple as that. We chose to sit at the kitchen table with our pet caterpillars and the book, right next to the fruit bowl and we were talking about the book, and all the colours as we painted.

I was planning to save the butterfly craft activities for when ours emerge from their cocoons but Arlo decided he absolutely needed to make butterflies too and so we did a quick activity straight after this with our paints too.

Wood Painting

We love doing this because the finished items are small and beautiful, we’re running out of display space for our masterpieces on paper but can always find space for little wooden shapes which have play value too.

You will need:

  • Newspaper
  • Paint palette (a plate will do)
  • Brushes
  • Wooden blanks
  • Paints

Mum Tip – To avoid the inevitable toddler brown splodges only provide colours from the same section of the colour wheel:

Red, yellow and orange

Yellow, blue and green

Blue, red and purple

If you mix opposite colours then you will get brown (red/green, blue/orange, yellow/purple)

Our flower paint pallet is from home bargains and the wooden rabbits are from HobbyCraft

Friendship bracelets

This is a super simple activity

You will need:

  • Pipe cleaners (Poundland)
  • Beads (eBay)
  • There’s lots of difference facets to this seemingly simple activity. First of all there’s colour sorting and counting. Arlo was very selective about which colours he wanted to use.
  • Then there’s the developing dexterity and making patterns. You can use pens and paper to plan your bracelet pattern ahead.
  • Then the best bit is the gifting of the finished bracelets. Arlo was extremely proud of his finished creations.
  • Then there’s the friendship part…. Arlo is too little to write his own letters but we packed up a little set of beads and pipe cleaners and sent them to our friends in the post last week.
  • Mum tip – I always make sure I supervise Arlo with beads, and count exactly how many we have before setting up and after an activity like this.