by Kazue Koyanagi
A famous cat from Dr. Seuss' "Cat in the Hat" once said, "I know it is wet, and the sun is not sunny. But we can have lots of good fun that is funny!"
Spring time is that in-between time when it's usually too cold or rainy to go outside and play.
Don't fret, just like a certain cat we know, we also have a few ideas in our "hat" to get you and your child's imagination blooming!
With a few simple and easy to get supplies, you'll have wee ones giggling with delight!
Create Baby Masterpieces
Water Colors for Wee Ones
If your baby can hold a rattle, they can create art. You could say that if your baby is too tiny, creating baby art could be a challenge. However, you can and are encouraged to "help" with this project.
Supplies for Your Baby Picasso
✓ Plain paper
✓ Permanent markers
✓ Food-safe dye
✓ Plastic wrap
✓ Popsicle sticks
Ready, Set, Make Art!
- With a permanent marker, draw outlines of whatever you think will intrigue your baby. You could create large flowers or a butterfly on a plain piece of paper.
- Add a few drops of food-safe dye to water in an ice cube tray or another shallow, divided container. You can make as many colors as you'd like but we suggest sticking to three or four colors. Cover the tray with plastic wrap.
- Take the popsicle sticks and gently push it through the plastic wrap and into each color.
- Voila! With a little help, your baby can "paint" by holding onto the stick and moving it around on the paper.
Terrific Toddler 'Ta da!' Time
Springtime Flower Collage
This craft encourages ripping paper and playing with sticky stuff. What toddler wouldn't step up to the job? Parents, you'll want to keep the paper or cloth towels nearby.
Supplies to Grow the Garden
✓ Green paper scraps
✓ Heavy-weight plain paper
✓ Kid-friendly glue
✓ Brightly colored flower shapes
✓ Pompoms or other toddler-safe project bling
- Tear various shades and textures of green paper into small pieces. Your toddler will definitely want to help out. Place the pieces of paper in a shallow dish.
- You or your child can leaf shapes out of glue on the lower half of the heavy-weight paper. The idea is to not make perfect leaves, but how your child sees leaves. If possible, let your toddler do this part too. Don't get upset if the glue lines aren't perfect.
- Show your child how to place the torn paper pieces on the glue. We suggest only doing a few so they can really get the full experience. When finished placing all the bits and pieces, shake off the extras.
- Using the same steps as above, create flower shapes out of glue above the leaves and glue those pieces into place. You'll shake the extras off and keep for another rainy day.
See how your garden grows! Display prominently around the house and imagine tranquility (a parent can dream, right?).
"Planting" Petunias with Preschoolers
Bouquets of Egg Carton Flowers
Rather than wait for all those buds to push through the dirt and bloom, let's make our own instead!
Supplies to Create a Flowery Finish
✓ Cardboard egg cartons (not plastic - paint won't stick)
✓ Kid-friendly paints and brushes
✓ Green and yellow pipe cleaners
✓ Beads or pompoms (or other fun craft bling)
✓ Kid-friendly glue
✓ Toilet paper tubes
✓ Small rocks
Prepare to Prune!
- Get ready by cutting a cup from an egg carton. Trim the sides of the cup to form four petals. The ends can be rounded or pointed. Leave the choice up to your preschooler
- Create a painting area with newspaper or a plastic place mat. You don't want the mess all over your house. Have your child choose a color and slather the paint on the flower. A small foam brush works well. Allow the flowers to dry.
- Punch a small hole in the bottom of the cup. Stick a green pipe cleaner or drinking straw through it. Hold in place with a plastic bead or folded yellow pipe cleaner. For variety, hot glue a medium sized pom pom to the inside of a flower.
- Take some of the green pipe cleaners and have your preschooler form leaves. To attach the leaves, bend the leaves around the stem. Perfecto! You have one bright spring flower!
Since we're pretty positive your preschooler will want to make more than one, this is where the toilet paper tube comes in handy.
- Turn your creative painter loose on the toilet paper tube. This tube has become an ornate vase.
- Parents you can help with this next part: Hot glue a 1 3/4" circle on the bottom. Arrange the flowers and fill the "vase" with rocks for stability.
We hope you hear lots of giggling while creating these precious mementos. Do you have a favorite spring craft you make with your kids? Tell us about it!
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