Having a good collection of materials that reflects common interests of young children means I can quickly gather items to be used to expand the creative play of the young children here.
As part of our kitchen gear, I have small plastic spice jars with lids that snap open/close or twist off. The twist is a bit too hard for the motor skills just yet and the snap open/close while a challenge is interesting for the children. Yesterday afternoon found the jars being played with as normal – open/close, open/close. Then there was a change……
…….”my butterfly flied away.”
I watched to see where this would lead wondering how I might encourage an expansion of the play. Another child asked where the butterfly was and an answer was provided. I asked what color it was. “Blue”. I then asked if they could see any other butterflies fluttering around the room? Immediately started to look around and jump up to catch them with the jars. The play keep building. I thought of the butterfly nets I have in storage (usually used in the summer – fall). I got them out and some interesting butterflies managed to be caught….. fork, wrench, stuffed turtle, book……. Parents began to pick-up, so play ended. I left the nets on the shelf wondering if might get used another day…….
Morning play found the nets in use, so I decided to expand the learning some more – What supplies were readily at hand?
Water color paints, coffee filters = circle, primary color and color blending to secondary colors,
divided bead storage containers and pipettes = fine motor and some science, counting, language
pipe cleaners and jumbo craft sticks = Butterfly Stick Puppets
We have reached an age where developing skills and interest is allowing for some fun creative projects, so I asked if they wanted to make butterflies this morning. “YES!!!”
Aprons on, materials ready, demonstration of pipette done, so it’s time to explore………
Two coffee filters wasn’t enough for “B”, so some scrap paper to use up the rest of the paint. All about the mixing colors now.
Off to play while drying. Once dried comes the harder part, definitely needing more adult hands-on.
- Gather (“smash”) the coffee filter so it makes a long, not ball shape.
- “Kiss” the 2 ends of a pipe cleaner and “smash” together so you bend it in half.
- Place the gathered coffee filter into the folded pipe cleaner. Twist it about halfway up.
- Now open up the filter – “It makes wings!” (I did not show a finished product, so here was the first true view of their butterfly.)
- Bend ends of pipe cleaners for the antenna. You’re done. Or not………
I thought the children would have more fun if the butterflies were made into stick puppets. (Also thought they might last a bit longer.)
Hot glue on one end of the craft stick, turn it over and push it down onto the pipe cleaner = a butterfly puppet.