Preschool Egg Carton Craft Fun With The Very Hungry Caterpillar

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Want a fun and easy craft that is educational too?  To make a caterpillar like the one you see above, just follow this easy tutorial which will walk you through all the supplies and steps to create a look-alike of “The Very Hungry Caterpillar.”

One of our favorite books to read with our three-year-old is “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle.  The book is perfect for introducing foods, colors, and counting to your preschooler. Our super easy craft starts with an egg carton and some washable paint.

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Supplies List:

  • Construction Paper
  • Ultimate Fuzzy Kit
  • Wiggly Eyes
  • Double Sided Sticky Tape
  • Scissors
  • Elmer’s Glue
  • Washable Tempura Paints
  • Paint brushes and/or painting sponge

I purchased all of these supplies at Walmart.

You can use either the styrofoam egg cartons or the cardboard cartons.  In this case we used both.  The styrofoam carton makes perfect disposable paint wells for our colors and the cardboard egg carton is perfect for creating the caterpillar body.

Step 1: Cut your Cardboard Egg Carton

Make sure to trim so both sides are even.

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Step 2: Assemble your Painting Supplies

I like to line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil to keep clean up easy.

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Step 3: Teach your child how to paint with the tools provided.

You can take a trash bag and use it as a smock or if you own a smock be sure to put your child in their painting apparel before they start painting. Painting from his booster chair means better coordination for my preschooler.

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Step 4: Allow the paint to dry and add the face and eyes.

I cut the eyes and nose from construction paper and then glued on “wiggly” eyes.  To add the antenna, I poked a hole in the top of the head and threaded a purple pipe cleaner through it.

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Step 5: Add the legs.

I used a pipe cleaner and cut it in-half to create the legs.  I curled up the ends and attached the pipe cleaner to the underside of the egg carton using double-sided sticky tape.

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If you are not familiar with the story, the Caterpillar eats a ton of food before building a cocoon and turning into a butterfly.  In the book he starts out by eating one apple, and then two of the next fruit and so on.

To help make this crafting exercise educational, you can download the free “Fruit” printables below.  Your preschooler can color these with paint, crayons, markers, or whatever you’d like to use.

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Read the story to your little one and teach them about the fruits, their colors, and introduce them to counting. Depending upon your child’s age and development, he or she may be able to use the fruit to practice counting on their own.

You can use these free printables as coloring sheets; or you can print them onto colored card stock or construction paper and cut them out.

If you don’t own the book “the Very Hungry Caterpillar,” just pretend the caterpillar is eating the fruit and explain that a caterpillar eats to grow and will eventually build a small house called a cocoon around himself.  After a few days the caterpillar will nibble his way out of the cocoon and turn into a beautiful butterfly.

Here is a picture of our caterpillar eating some of the apples, pears and oranges my son painted.  Feel free to use your imagination and you can make learning fun for your preschooler with this easy craft from an egg carton.

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Autumn Family Craft Idea Links

We are barely into the fall season and the trees are turning beautiful, vibrant colors. The brisk mornings and the smell of the leaves reminds me of some great family craft idea’s to bring this season in full force.

Here are some great families crafting links that I wanted to share:

Halloween Crafts:

For Halloween, you can light up your porch to show the little goblins the way with these adorable Splat O’ Lanterns from Cassi at The Crafty Crow. Cassi has done a great job making sure that the supply list is complete with easy to follow instructions. The best part of this project is how Cassi turns everyday vases into a family heirloom.

While on the subject of lantern’s, it is easy teaching children about the change of season’s and how to be creative with leaves while making these Leaf Lantern’s from Imagine Childhood. Visit Imagine Childhood’s blog to find even more creative family ideas to craft with.

Helping younger children not to be so freighted by those ghost and goblins can be an enormous task. Nichole Etolen shares this fantastic list  with Our Family World readers to help encourage making Halloween a fun holiday.

Autumn Crafts:

Card making is a fun craft to help teach children the importance of keeping in touch with friends and family. Pinterest has beautiful pictures of cards that will help you with ideas. This would be a fun, family browsing project. Pick which cards your family enjoys and have a family night making them.

Wreaths are always a great family decorating project. Here is a great pumpkin wreath from Erin at Fleur De Lis and Football. This project looks easy and is simply beautiful.  You can even use this idea to make game day wreaths just by changing the colors to match your favorite team.

Kids love helping make a dinner centerpiece for your table. Evette Rios, from www.Evetterios.com shows you how to take fresh fall foliage and turn it into a beautiful show piece for your home. Your family will take pride in sharing the memories they created while gathering fresh foliage for your dinner centerpiece.

What are some of your favorite web sites for fall family crafting ideas?


Why You Want To Make Crafting With Your Kids a Priority

Somewhere within all of us is a creative streak and when we have kids, it is important to help encourage them to bring their creativity out.  Creating family crafting times have many benefits for the entire family.  Here are some benefits:

Build resourcefulness: Children’s minds require a creative channel. Crafting helps to provide the chance for kids to use their imaginations. It allows them the opportunity to gain knowledge with problem solving; it also opens the door for a creative interest in art which could last a lifetime. As parents, getting creative gives us a tool to step outside of our everyday busy life and help reduce stress.

The importance of directions: Following directions is a necessary, basic skill that even adults have to follow.  Crafting helps to reinforce just why following directions is so important.  It is also a perfect time to show by example why doing things properly the first time saves them time and frustration.

Reinforce skills: Crafts help promote motor skills such as eye and hand coordination.  Kids learn the importance of using tools properly such as scissors. It also helps them to understand why and how math and reading is important and how it is used throughout their life.

Building a communication outlet: It seems that with our everyday busy lives, we know less about our kids than our previous generations did. Activities such as watching TV, video games, and computers do nothing to encourage meaningful conversations. When you are crafting together as a family, communication is automatic. This gives you the chance to discuss with your child, their interests and concerns, how they are doing in school as well as information about their friends that you may not know.

Positive self esteem: Those of us parents that do crafts understand the feeling of success when a craft project is complete. This feeling is tenfold for a child.  Accomplishments for children help to build their self esteem.

Teamwork: Crafting helps children develop skills needed to be a team player.  It also helps them understand the importance of resolving disputes peacefully, effectively, and together.

Building Memories: Displaying the completed project will help your child remember the fun you had while creating the project together.

Family crafting times helps to build outstanding ways to build a relationship with your children and communicate. This is also a precious time for building a stronger family bond.


Easy Kid Craft: End of Year Teacher Gift is “Buttoned Up”!

If you’ve been stressed about what to give your child’s teacher for an end of year gift, this craft is  for you! It uses only a few items that most of us have on hand.  If not, they are very inexpensive and can be picked up at a nearby thrift store, Dollar Tree or craft store.

Button Bouquet

Materials Needed

  • flat buttons of various sizes and colors
  • pipe cleaners
  • any clean jar (optional)
  • approx. 12 in. ribbon, lace or yarn (also optional)

I keep all of my buttons in a jar.  Some of them have been handed down from my mom and grandma, some I have purchased over the years and others are extras and strays from old clothing.   If you don’t have a stash of your own buttons, they can often be found at thrift stores and craft stores.

You will want to choose 3 to 4 buttons in varying size and color.

 

You will need one pipe cleaner for each flower.

Starting with the largest button – push the pipe cleaner through one hole.

Next push the pipe cleaner through a hole on the medium sized button.

Finally – push the pipe cleaner through a hole of the smallest button.

Push all three buttons together on the pipe cleaner.

Push them down together a few inches on the pipe cleaner

Push the short end of the pipe cleaner back down through another hole in the smallest button.

Push the pipe cleaner back through all three buttons and then twist the end around itself  underneath the buttons.

Your child can make a bunch of them and give a bouquet of buttons to their teacher as an end of year appreciation gift.  If you like you can put them into an old vase or clean jar and tie a ribbon, lace or yarn around it into a bow and present them for an everlasting and cute gift sure to please any teacher!


Upcycle Your Mother’s Day Flowers

Have you ever thought to use the flowers you receive for Mother’s Day in a fun and creative way other than merely displaying them in your favorite vase.

This year why not incorporate those beautiful flowers into a fun craft you can do with your child? You can create a sweet flower wreath to display on a wall or hang on your front door.  You will need to assist young children, as we will be using a hot glue gun when assembling the
wreath.

This is an easy craft using things easily found around your home.

Materials Needed:

  • Flowers
  • Cardboard – I used a recycled cereal box. 
  • Pencil or crayon to trace with.
  • Scissors
  • Any round household items you can use to trace circles.  You will need two different sizes to draw inner and outer circles for wreath.
  • Glue – I used a hot glue gun for quick results.

 

 

 

Cut off flower stems.

 Trace a wreath shape onto your cardboard using two different sized round objects. I used a small plate and a cereal bowl.

 Use scissors to cut out your wreath base.

Apply  glue to your base in small sections and attach flowers. You can also add any extra adornments, like bits of lace or broken costume jewelry to jazz it up.

Once glue has dried use ribbon, twine or yarn to tie a loop onto your wreath.   Hang up your beautiful creation and enjoy! 

Here are some other ideas for using your Mother’s Day flowers in a craft sure to please mothers and children alike!

Fresh Flowers:

  1. Make a lei, bracelets or crown of flowers in the traditional method of a flower chain.  You could also use those left over trash bag twisties or pipe cleaners to attach flowers together.
  2. Glue a flower onto a piece of felt and attach to a pin or barrette.

Pressed Flowers:

Press flowers by carefully layering them between two pieces of paper or wax paper.  You may insert the layered flowers and paper into the pages of a book and then stack several  heavy books on top of the flowers or just lay them on a flat surface and stack the heavy books on top of the paper.  I have always used our encyclopedias because they are large and heavy, but of course you may use any books.  Just be sure there is plenty of weight to get the best results.  Leave undisturbed for a couple weeks.  Once the flowers have been pressed, you may use them in any of the following projects:

  1. Create a flower journal using pretty paper and bits of ribbon or lace.
  2. Attach to homemade cards
  3. Use glue or Modge Podge to attach to jewelry boxes, candles, etc.

Dried flowers:

An easy way to dry flowers it to tie a string around the stems of the flowers or bouquet of flowers you wish to dry.  Hang them upside down in a warm, dry area for several weeks.  A closet is a good place to hang them so they are out of the way and remain undisturbed.  Here are a couple of  fun projects you can create using your dried flowers,

  1. Create your own potpourri adding spices like cinnamon sticks or cloves and other botanicals such as seeds, bark or leaves.
  2. Gather and arrange your dried flowers into a pretty bouquet and tie with a ribbon or lace.  Display in a pretty vase or on a shelf or bookcase.

Creating something new from your Mother’s Day Flowers is an opportunity to create not only a longer lasting gift, but everlasting memories.


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