Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Arts and Crafts

When I was little, my brother, sister, and I would go to my Aunt Marian's and Uncle Dave's house around the holidays and paint Christmas ornaments. We'd help Aunt Marian make a huge batch of Rice Krispie treats and spend the day painting ceramic ornaments. We got to choose our own colors and paint our names on the back, which I thought was really cool. I remember coming home with those ornaments and proudly showing my mom who immediately hung them up on the Christmas tree. Those ornaments are still on my mom's tree today, and every time I visit over the holidays I remember the days we spent with Aunt Marian painting, eating snacks, and chatting. I am by no means an artist, but I still love arts and crafts. Today, I scrapbook and make homemade soaps and make my own Christmas ornaments out of beads. Even though my stuff is probably not the prettiest, most well-crafted stuff out there, I get great enjoyment out of creating something from nothing. It's also a great stress relief. While my daughter is too little right now, I hope to create memories with her and spend time doing arts and crafts.

When I was a teacher, I always had some sort of art project when we were studying a book. I was always amazed at the ways some of my students expressed themselves through art. It never every class, my most disruptive students always created beautiful art projects. They just needed some other outlet to express themselves. That's why I'm such a firm believer in giving kids different ways and methods to learn.

Here are some fun Very Hungry Caterpillar arts and craft projects.

Egg Carton Caterpillars: A very inexpensive project, you'll need a cardboard egg carton halved, pipe cleaners, wiggly eyes, and paint. Let your child paint the egg carton to create the body of the caterpillar. Let him/her choose the colors. Some kids will stick with green to look like the caterpillar in the book. Others may want a purple or red caterpillar. Punch holes in the egg carton and place pipe cleaners through them to make antenna and legs. Again, let your kids choose the colors. I've seen caterpillars with all black legs, all yellow legs, and multi-colored legs. Finally, glue the wiggly eyes on the caterpillar. They can also paint a mouth on the caterpillar.

Caterpillar Books: Staple some blank paper (plain or construction paper) together to make a book. Have your child create his/her own caterpillar book. It can be as simple or as elaborate as they want to make it. I always got huge pieces of different colored felt at the craft store and let students cut out their own shapes to include in their books.

Butterflies: You'll need construction paper, beads, sequins, glue, scissors, Popsicle sticks, and markers/crayons/colored pencils, etc. I like the different colored Popsicle sticks in the craft store. Find a butterfly pattern and trace it on a piece of construction paper. If your child is little, cut out the pattern yourself. If he/she is bigger, let him/her cut it out. Have them color the butterfly and glue beads or sequins on the wings. When the work of art is complete, glue the bottom to a Popsicle stick. They can hold the stick and make the butterfly fly. Another tip is to find different sized patterns and have your child create multiple butterflies if he/she is having lots of fun. They can even tape the butterflies on their walls to decorate their rooms.

Check out this butterfly finger corsage. The post includes a butterfly template.

Do you have any ideas?

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