Honeycombs and Bees Craft

I can’t take credit for the craft. It was a project that Riley brought home from daycare, but it was too cute not to share! Her class spent the last week learning all about different insects, highlighting one each day. This day they learned about bees and nurtured the experience with a honeycomb craft using honeycomb cereal. Clever!




What you’ll need:honey comb craft

Construction paper; whatever color you’d like. I suggest not using black or yellow since the bees would then blend into the background.

Black and yellow markers. If you don’t think you can draw an adequate bee (which is the case for me) then try stickers.

One box of Honeycomb cereal

Glue

Directions:

1) Glue Honeycomb cereal pieces in the center of the paper to create one large honeycomb.

2) Draw bees (or stick bee stickers) around the honeycomb.

Nurture the experience:

Let’s learn about bees! It’s summertime, so there is no doubt we’ll be seeing a lot of bees flying around. What are the differences between the types of bees that your little one will be seeing? Why are some bees large and fluffy and the others are small and skinny? What is a hive, and what is the hive’s purpose? Start talking with your child about the differences while using the proper words to describe them. Spend some time on Google exploring different videos about bees to help put it in context for your child. Some good videos include:

Flight of the Honey Bee

A Bee Video Book

Or, if you prefer to read, these fiction and nonfiction books are great at getting the conversation started.

Time For Kids: Bees! (Time for Kids Science Scoops)

Time for Kids Bees

This book is targeted for beginning readers with simple words and sentences. This is a nonfiction piece with large, vibrant pictures. It will help your little ones get an up-close look at bees without the danger of the stinger!

 

 

 

 

What If There Were No Bees?: A Book About the Grassland Ecosystem (Food Chain Reactions)

What if there were no beesAfter your child’s first bee sting, it is likely that she will not be as fond of these little insects as she once was, but what if there were no bees? This book takes the journey of what would happen to the ecosystem if there were no more bees. While also making a connection to science, you can also make this an empathy lesson. We may not always like certain animals or individuals, but each has its place and purpose.

Painted Shapes Canvas

painted shapes canvasThis simple craft has very few guidelines. Perfect for toddlers or small kids but engaging enough for older siblings to paint along. Holiday coming up? Use a holiday-themed shape! A ghost for Halloween, a pot of gold for St. Patrick’s Day. We’d love to see your creations!

What You’ll Need:Painted Hand

Acrylic paint

Paint brush

Canvas

Masking or Painter’s Tape

Directions:

1) Cut strips of tape, both large and small. You will need the smaller pieces to make rounded edges.

2) Place tape on the canvas in the shape of your choosing.

3) Paint!

4) Let the painting completely dry and remove tape. That’s it!




Nurture the experience:

This is a great opportunity to weave in a lesson on shapes. Begin on a scrap piece of paper and draw, or have your child draw, a series of shapes. Heart, circle, triangle, square, rectangle, etc. Take the time to point out important characteristics of each. For example, you could say “The triangle has three sides, one, two, three. How many sides does this square have?” Use their answers to build on the differences between each shape. The square has four sides and so does the rectangle. What makes them different?

After some time discussing similarities and differences between the shapes, draw the image that you will be putting on the canvas. Ask your child what shapes she sees that make up this image. This type of questioning can help your child begin to use shape recognition skills.


Paper Plate Fans

It’s getting hot out there! This weekend, it was just cool enough that I couldn’t justify turning on the air conditioning but hot enough that we needed a little reprieve. So, we got out our crayons and paper plates and started working on our personalized fans! They did just the trick.

What you’ll need:Paper plate fans

Paper plates

Crayons or markers

Popsicle sticks

Scissors

Glue

Paper clip


 

1) Cut paper plate in half. These are personal fans, so we want to keep them small. The smaller size also helps it stick together.

2) Color and decorate the plate any way that you want! That’s the beauty of it! Be sure to color the back side as well since both will show when you fold it.

3) Fold the paper plate accordion style.

4) Put a large drop of glue in each fold at the bottom. Place Popsicle stick in the approximate middle fold. Add a little more glue to the fold with the Popsicle stick.

5) Fold it back up and paper clip the bottom closed until it drys! Be careful not to get any glue on the paper clip so it does not rip it when you take it off.

Nurture the experience: 

This is a great opportunity to teach your kids about symmetry. Practice drawing shapes on a separate piece of paper. Talk to your kids about what it might look like when it is folded in half. Will it line up perfectly, or will there be edges that don’t line up? Explain to your child that when the edges do line up, that it is called symmetrical. When it doesn’t, it is asymmetrical. Take a break from the project and take a look in the mirror with your child. Talk about the human face and whether or not it is symmetrical. You’ll probably get some pretty funny responses but it allows your child to transfer what she is learning about the shapes to other real-life examples.

Recommended Reading: 

Take some time to learn about the Japanese culture and their beautiful fans! Here are some sites for some quick facts.

PBS Learning

Buzzle

Talk to your child about what you’ve learned and make it relevant to her with these books.

The Magic Fan

The magic fanA great story about realizing your gifts! This tale is about a Japanese builder who is very creative and will build just about anything. While struggling to find inspiration, he comes across a magic fan that gives him all the creativity he needs. His village mocks his new creations until the village is saved from a tidal wave by a bridge he built. When his fan is swept out to sea by the tidal wave, he learns that it was his imagination all along, not the fan.

 

Tikki Tikki Tembo

Tikki Tikki TemboOkay, Tikki Tikki Tembo is set in China, and it is not about fans at all, but I had to include it. This was definitely at the top of my to-go list as a child. So take the opportunity to talk about another Asian country and pick it up! If you read these sequentially, I would suggest noting the differences between Japan and China. This story is about a pair of Chinese brothers who were playing around a well. The folktale in this story states that the firstborn son would receive a long name to honor him and the second born would receive a short, simple name. The eldest son’s name is Tikki Tikki Tembo-no Sa Rembo-chari Bari Ruchi-pip Peri Pembo, and the youngest is Chang. The youngest son falls down the well first, and Tikki Tikki Tembo is able to get help for him very quickly. However, when Tikki Tikki Tempo no Sa Rembo chari Bari Ruchi pip Peri Pembo falls down the well, Chang is not able to communicate it clearly. While it is not an accurate portrayal of Chinese history (what folktales are?) it is a fun book to share with your kids.

Post-it Note Spelling

One morning, I turned around from my cleaning to discover yet another mess had been made behind my back. Sound familiar? Sadly, this wasn’t a surprise as it happens pretty much any time I think I might actually be making headway on the cleaning. Sigh. This time, Riley had found the Post-it notes. Oh boy. I couldn’t bear to throw out three packs of perfectly good, although slightly crumpled, Post-it notes, so we created a game–/””””'[‘/l..a game in Riley’s mind, a learning experience in mine. Here’s what we did:

I wrote out the alphabet, one letter on each note. We started by spelling Riley’s name since she already knew how to spell that. I asked, “What’s the first letter?” When she responded with the correct letter, I stuck it to the table. We continued until we had spelled her name. Then we started on some easy, short words–for example, can and run. We spelled one word.

Post It note spelling can

Then, we replaced the first letter to spell a new word.

Post It note spelling ran

I’m proud to say that Riley can now spell her name and can recognize letters in different settings. Not all because of this game, of course, but it definitely helped to reinforce what she has been learning in school. Not only does this help with spelling and letter recognition, but it is also teaching rhyming word recognition.

Spring!

Spring is just around the corner! With that comes up and down temperatures with usually a fair amount of rain in the forecast. Need something to do on those rainy spring days? These crafts will help you get ready for spring festivities and curb the rainy day blues.

Cotton Ball Sheep

I love artwork that incorporates little footprints, and my daughters love dipping their feet in paint. It’s a win-win.

What you’ll need:Cotton Ball Lamb

  • Construction paper or cardstock
  • Paint
  • Cotton balls
  • Glue
  • Googly eyes
  • Popsicle sticks, cut in half

Directions:

  1. Cover your work surface with a cover to keep paint off the floor. Painting tarp, cardboard, or old newspaper works nicely. Pour paint in a container big enough for a foot. Dip child’s foot in paint and then press on paper. Make sure footprint is on the side of the paper to allow for the body of the sheep. If you have enough space (and trust your children), let them stamp their painted feet over the floor covering. Fun!
  2. Let child glue cotton balls on the paper in shape of a sheep.
  3. Glue googly eyes to sheep’s head and Popsicle sticks to sheep’s body.
  4. Draw a tail and let creation dry.
Riley's Cotton Ball Sheep

Riley’s Cotton Ball Sheep

Nurture the Experience:

This project is so much fun it will make you want to sing! Okay, that may be a little dramatic but adding song while you create adds another level of engagement to this craft. Singing is an essential piece of early literacy and aids in language development. The rhythm of the song helps children hear the different sounds incorporated in each word and makes the syllables clearer. Have a child struggling with language development? Clap along with the song to emphasize the syllables. This breaks the word down for the child and allows him or her more time to process the sounds.

Singing as a group is also proven to lower stress, relieve anxiety, and create a positive feeling. Check out this Times article.

 Mary Had a Little Lamb

Mary had a little lamb,
little lamb, little lamb.
Mary had a little lamb,
its fleece was white as snow.

And everywhere that Mary went,
Mary went, Mary went,
and everywhere that Mary went,
the lamb was sure to go.

It followed her to school one day,
school one day, school one day.
It followed her to school one day,
which was against the rules.

It made the children laugh and play,
laugh and play, laugh and play.
It made the children laugh and play,
to see a lamb at school.

And so the teacher turned it out,
turned it out, turned it out.
And so the teacher turned it out,
but still it lingered near.

And waited patiently about,
patiently about, patiently about.
And waited patiently about,
till Mary did appear.

“Why does the lamb love Mary so?”
Love Mary so? Love Mary so?
“Why does the lamb love Mary so,”
the eager children cry.

“Why, Mary loves the lamb, you know.”
The lamb, you know, the lamb, you know,
“Why, Mary loves the lamb, you know,”
the teacher did reply.

 

Glass Jar Ducks

These little guys can be a fun centerpiece for your spring table or a spring decoration for your child’s room.

What You’ll Need:

Jelly Bean DucksGlass jars (I used baby food jars)

Paint

Paint brush

Felt

Mod Podge

Googly eyes

Hot-glue gun

Scissors

Directions:

1) Paint jars desired color. You don’t have to make ducks. They could be white chicks, bunnies, etc. Set aside and let dry.

2) Cut beak and feet from felt.

3) When jars are completely dry, add a coat of Mod Podge to act as a sealant. Note: You may need to apply more than one coat of paint. Have an impatient toddler? Try using a hair dryer to speed up the drying process.

4) Use the hot-glue gun to attach feet to the bottom of the jar and beak to the center of the jar.

5) Attach googly eyes.