A couple of weeks ago I got a BabyCenter email with an idea for an egg carton caterpillar craft and Tinkerbell happened to be within computer-viewing distance and her hawk eyes immediately caught it. So after days of patiently waiting for the eggs in our refrigerator to disappear (ok- sometimes not so patiently), she pounced on the empty egg carton this Saturday morning after B.R. made breakfast for the fam. I thought I'd try to make it more of a "lesson" and we pulled out Eric Carle's classic "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" to read as inspiration before we started.
No step by step photos but here is what we did.
-Cardboard egg carton
-Paint & paint brushes (today I used normal acryllic paint and added some dish soap to it but only because I was out of Crayola's washable kids paint, which I love!)
-mini pom pom balls
About ten minutes into painting, Tinkerbell decided that we should not only make caterpillars, but we probably needed to make a butterfly and a cocoon as well.
Additional butterfly materials:
-Toilet paper rolls
-thick paper or thin cardboard (I dug a shoebox out of the recycling bin)
-Sequins, glitter, stickers, etc
I put Tinkerbell to work with painting her caterpillars (one "6 eggs long" and two "3 eggs long") then after the butterfly request, I got to work prepping that. I found an empty toilet paper roll and used it to figure out what size wings to make with the shoebox. Cut the wings out, then "sawed" two slits in the toilet paper roll with a serrated knife (for some reason this was easier than scissors...) for the wings to eventually stick in. After the caterpillars were painted, next up were the butterfly wings. She suddenly exclaimed that we needed to make a cocoon for the caterpillar (and that is what the attractive brown egg carton lid in the picture is supposed to be...) While Tinkerbell painted that, I decided I could easily make a little lady bug and since Tinkerbell is game for anything that involves paint, it seemed like a good way to extend the fun. I just cut one small paper plate in half for the wings and had her paint those red with black spots, and she painted another plate black for the body.
We took a snack break while the paint dried and read The Hungry Caterpillar one more time. Then we got to work on getting the details on our creatures. Tinkerbell was in charge of the butterfly and I was in charge of the other bugs, and even B.R. came in and worked on the yellow caterpillar (and Tinkerbell got a huge kick out of the fact that her daddy couldn't get the eyes to stay attached without my help.)
We had lots of fun with this craft- Tinkerbell loves anything that involves paint- and I felt like I earned my mom points for the day with the pre-project book research :) Later this afternoon I was browsing through some "Mom Blogs" and learned that coincidentally today is in fact the 41st anniversary of The Very Hungry Caterpillar (enter Twilight Zone music!) How weird is that??
Thanks Allie at No Time for Flashcards for Eric Carle info. And a side note: there are SO many good ideas on Allie's blog- it is busting at the seams with good stuff- definitely worth checking out if you are a mom of little ones (Kandinsky-inspired preschool art, anyone??) It is amazing how quickly one can feel inadequate as a mom when clicking link after link to Mom Blogs from around the world.......ahhhhh, I have so much to aspire to. Apparently there are higher standards than reading a few library books to your kids and toasting yourself for a good day......but nevermind......where's the wine??