Springtime Themes

by Jan & Julia

 April Showers bring May Flowers

 Butterflies and Caterpillars

 Easter Themes

 More Spring & Easter Themes

Theme: April showers bring May flowers

Materials: paper plates, cotton balls, blue construction paper, thread and glue.

Cut the edge of the paper plates to look like a cloud. The children will spread glue all over the inside of the plate and place cotton balls that they have torn apart (to make fluffy)on the glue. Cut raindrops out of the blue construction paper and attach 3 or 4 to the cloud using the thread or string (to make like a mobile).

Rainbow Necklaces

Supply the children with fruitloops and yarn to make a wonderful necklace they can eat!

 

Evaporation

Give each child a jar or glass and have them fill with water. Mark a line at the water level. Place the jars near a window and check each day. The disappearance of the water is called evaporation.

 

Rainy Day Clothing

Add various articles of clothing for rainy day wear, rain coats, boots, hats and mittens to the dramatic play area.

 

Eyedropper Painting

Color water with food coloring. Place the water in shallow containers. Have the children use eyedroppers to drop the colored water onto their white construction paper or onto coffee filters.

Rainbow Yarn Collage

Using rainbow shaped paper and rainbow colored yarn, the children can make rainbow yarn collages.

 

Rain Painting

On a rainy day give each child a paper plate. Sprinkle a few drops of food coloring or shake a little powdered tempera onto the plates. Have the children wear their rain clothes and walk outside, holding their plates in the rain for a minute or so. Go inside and look at the pretty designs created by the rain.

 

Puddle Jumping

Place several carpet squares around the room. Have the children pretend that the squares are puddles. Let them practice jumping into and over the puddles. You can also use blue construction paper cut into large puddle shapes.
 

Rainbow Streamer Dance

Attach streamers in rainbow colors to paper plates - one for each child. Play the music "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" from the Wizard of Oz. Have the children dance and move their rainbow paper plates to the beat of the music.

Here is a rainbow song the kids can sing with their rainbows:

 

Rainbow Song
(sung to I'm a Little Teapot)

I’m a little rainbow (point to self)
Way up high (point to ceiling)
After it rains (wiggle fingers to simulate rain falling)
Look in the sky (shade eyes with hand and look up)
You will see my colors (point to eye)
Oh so bright!
From end to end (use arms to make an arch over head)
I’m a lovely sight!

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Theme: Butterflies & Caterpillars

Butterfly Ink Blot:

Cut out a butterfly shape on white paper, the shape should be symmetrical. Fold the paper in half, and ask the child to paint on half of the butterfly. When the child is finished, ask him/her to press the paper halves together, so that both sides will look the same. Have the child rub the folded paper. Open the paper, and you have a butterfly with matching wings.

 

Clothespin Butterfly:

Obtain the old fashion style one piece clothespins (wooden) Allow the children to paint the clothespins with bright colors. When dry, ask the child to pick a piece of tissue paper for the wings. Fold the paper in half, and then scrunch the tissue into the opening in the clothespin. Then have the child pick out a pipe cleaner, and tie the pipe cleaner around the knob of the clothespin for antennae.

 

Feet Butterfly:

Have children take off shoes and socks, paint the bottom of their feet with non-toxic tempera paint. Have the child step onto a piece of paper with their feet and heels together. When dry, add antenna with markers or crayons or yarn.

Circle Caterpillar:

Pre cut six different colors of circles or circles of red and black. Have the children overlap and glue to a piece of white construction paper. With a marker they can draw antennae, legs and faces. Great activity for color review or patterning.

 

Egg Carton Caterpillar:

Cut off the top of an egg carton. Cut bottom in half lengthwise. Turn over and have children paint with color of their choice. Poke pipe cleaners in top of antennae, attach wiggly eyes and draw mouth

 

Culinary Caterpillar:

Attach six small paper or styrofoam cups using paper fasteners or tape. Have the children draw a face on the first cup and attach a pipe cleaner for antennae. Provide a supply of fruit and snack for each cup. Read the "Very Hungry Caterpillar" story.

Butterfly Puppet:

Materials needed -- two paper plates. Cut one paper plate in half and trim ½ inch from each cut edge. Take the other paper plate and fold in half. Unfold and draw a large butterfly shape on the top. Take the two ½ paper plates and place on each side of the fold, matching edges, and staple around outside edge in a few places. Place hand inside and make butterfly fly!

 

Coffee Filter Butterfly:

Materials needed -- Two coffee filters, markers, spray bottle with water. Have the children color their coffee filters with water based markers. Mist lightly with the spray bottle and watch the colors run together to make an interesting design. Fold coffee filters in half and overlap having one slightly lower than the other. Bunch them up in the center and secure with a chenille stem. Bend ends of chenille stem for antennae.

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SONGS / FINGERPLAYS

Flitter, Flutter, Butterfly
(tune: Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star)

Flitter, flutter ,butterfly,
Flying in the big blue sky.
Flutter high and flutter low.
Flutter fast and flutter slow.
Flitter, flutter butterfly,
Flying in the big blue sky.
 

The Fuzzy Caterpillar
(tune: Eensy, Weensy Spider)

The fuzzy caterpillar
Curled up on a leaf.
Spun her little Chrysalis
And then fell fast asleep.
While she was sleeping,
She dreamed that she could fly,
And later when she woke up
She was a butterfly!
 

Fly, fly butterfly!
(tune: Skip To My Lou)

Fly, fly, butterfly,
Fly, fly, butterfly,
Fly, fly, butterfly,
Fly up in the sky so high.

Flitter, flutter, butterfly,
Flitter, flutter, butterfly,
Flitter, flutter, butterfly,
Flitter and fly up in the sky.

Oh my, butterfly,
Oh my, butterfly,
Oh my, butterfly,
Do you always fly so high?
 

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Easter Themes

Pattern Eggs

Out of tagboard, cut several LARGE egg shapes. Glue a different piece of fabric, wrapping paper or wallpaper to each egg. Cut the eggs in half using a zig zag shape. Have the children match the eggs. Great for toddlers.

 

Lacing Eggs for Easter

Cut large eggs from colored posterboard. Use a hole punch to make holes around the outside of each egg. Cut a long length of yarn and tie one end of yarn in a knot through one of the holes. Tape the other end to create a "needle" to lace around the egg.

Egg Shape Rubbings

Cut egg shapes from paper doilies or sandpaper. Tape these eggs to the table. Have the children place a piece of thin white paper over the eggs and rub a crayon over the egg.

 

Carrot Printing

You will need large carrots cut in half (not lengthwise), large pieces of paper and assorted colors of paint in shallow dishes. Help the children dip their carrot into the paint and make carrot prints on the paper.

 

Basket Guessing

Do reach-and-feel using a covered basket. Place an egg, a chick, a rabbit, a doll's hat, some Easter grass, etc., in a large Easter basket. Let the children take turns placing their hand inside and describe the objects they are feeling.

Milk Carton Easter Baskets

Cut off the bottom four to five inches of a half gallon milk carton. Have children cover with torn construction, tissue or wallpaper pieces. Cut a strip from remaining milk carton to make a handle and staple to carton.

 

Bunny Ears

Have children cut out large bunny ear shapes. They can color them or glue pulled apart cotton balls to the inside of the ears. Attach ears to a 2 inch wide strip of paper that is cut to fit around child's head.

Paper Plate Rabbits

You will need three paper plates, one for the body, one for the head and one you will cut two ears from. Glue together overlapping slightly. Use pipe cleaners for whiskers, wiggly eyes, draw on mouth, attach ears. Set out colored bits of material and glue and let children decorate their bunny.

 

Bunny Trail

Set up a bunny trail by placing tape on the floor and have the children hop over the trail. Practice balance by having them walk on top of the tape.

Bunny Hop-Along

Let one child begin by rolling a large die and calling out the number that comes up (an adult may have to tell him/her the number). Then have all the children hop the number of times on the die. Continue playing until everyone has had a turn.

 

Sticky Egg

Cut out a large egg shape out of tagboard. Cut out the inside leaving a one inch rim (border). Cut a piece of clear contact paper to fit the inside of the egg and attach to the rim. Give the children tissue paper, cotton balls, bits of fabric, rick rack, etc. to place on the sticky side of the contact paper. Hang in a window - they are so pretty!

 

Barefoot Chick

Supplies:Yellow Paint, construction paper, markers, cornmeal
Paint (giggling allowed!) the bottom of the child's foot with yellow washable liquid paint. Have him press his foot onto a sheet of construction paper. After the paint is dry, have him use markers to add an eye, beak, and legs to his chick. You can have him spread glue along the bottom of the paper, then sprinkle the glue with cornmeal, or add kernal of popcorn for feed for the chick.

Egg String Painting

Materials needed: Precut egg shape out of contruction paper, yarn cut intosections, paint, paper plate. Put paint on paper plate. Have the children use a string and dip into paint and make designs on their egg with the string.

 

I'm A Little Bunny
(Sung to "I'm A Little Teapot")

I'm a little bunny with a cottontail,
See me hop down the bunny trail. (Hop down a pretend lane.)
When I spy a carrot, my ears they shake, (Put hands up behind head and shake them.)
Then, of course, a bite I take. "Crunch!" (Pretend to bite carrot.)

Cotton Ball Lambs

Supplies:
Black construction Paper ,Cotton Balls , White Chalk
Have the child trace their hands on the black paper. Cut these out, placing the hands upside down so that the four fingers are the legs and the thumb is the head. Have the kids glue cotton balls to the body. Use chalk, construction paper or markers to make the eyes.

 

Sand or Rice Eggs

Precut/trace a large egg shape on tagboard. Then have children draw a design on egg with glue. Using colored sand or colored rice sprinkle over glue.

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More Spring & Easter Themes

Egg Carton Easter Bunny Container: 

Materials: egg carton bottom, Easter grass, cotton ball, paper, scissors, stapler. Optional items: 3 pompoms, wiggly eyes, pipe cleaner. 

Directions: Draw a Easter bunny head out of any color of construction paper. Cut head out. Glue wiggly eyes and pom poms, nose/muzzle on head. Cut out two small white paper teeth and glue them on as well. Pull apart a cotton ball and glue it as the center of the ears. Staple the head to the front of egg carton. It tilts forward a bit, but that's ok. Poke a small hole on either side of the egg carton in about the center. Thread the pipecleaner through and around these holes, twisting to secure handle. Fill with Easter grass and ad Yummy jelly beans. 

Egg Basket: 

Materials: 2 different colored pipe cleaners, plastic berry basket, masking tape, scissors, lots of colors of tissue paper, ruler, an unsharpened pencil with an eraser. 

Directions: Twist together the pipe cleaners to make a handle. Fasten it to the side of the basket. Wind a length of tape, sticky outside, along the outside top edge of the basket. Cut many small pieces of tissue paper, each about 5mm(2inches) sqaure. Poke the eraser end of the pencil into the center of the square of the tissue paper. Scruch the tissue around the pencil andpress firmly onto the taped part of the basket. Keep going until tape is covered. Add more tape and tissue if you wish. Fill basket with Easter grass and goodies.

Hand Print Bunnies: 

Paint child's hand excluding thumb with white paint. Help the children separate his/her fingers into a V shape, then press his hand onto a sheet of construction paper. When the paint is dry glue on wiggly eyes and a pom pom for a nose. Then use markers to add the whiskers and mouth. Add pink paint to bunny's ears. 

Baby Food Jar Bunny: 

Materials: Baby food jar, glue, cotton ball,wiggly eyes, two pom poms(one big ine, one small one) pipe cleaner9pink or white) 

Directions:Glue on cotton balls on baby food jar. Attach wiggly eyes, small pom pom for the nose and the big one for the tail. On the lid glue onthe pipe cleaner after shaping it into bunny ears. Use a piece of cotton and glue in the middle of the ears to be sure it will stay. 

Easter Chick: 

Materials: 2 cotton balls, orange and black construction paper, dry yellow tempra paint, glue, empty ehh shells. 

Directions: Put some paint in a ziploc bagand add the 2 cotton balls. Close and shake well until they are all yellow. Feet, eyes, and beaks can be cut from orange and black construction paper and glued on. Then you can glue the chick into half of the egg shell.  

Spring Chick:  

Materials: glue, scissors, crayons, yellow, blue and orange construction paper.  

Directions:  Cut out an oval body shape out of yellow construction paper, then have the children trace their hands on another piece of yellow paper. Have them glue their hands at the top of the body on the back. Give each child an orange beak, and orange feet and have them glue that on the body. Than have them glue on blue eyes on the body. After they are done have them write a special Spring or Easter message on the body.  

Egg Collage: 

Materials: egg shells, glue, paper, water color paint.  

Directions: Save the dyed shells from the Easter egg or just from breakfast. Glue them on a piece of paper. When the glue is dried paint over it with water colors for a Neat Effect! 

Tissue Paper Eggs: 

Materials: White poster board, liquid starch, scissors, sponge brush, tissue paper. 

Directions: Each child gets a large white poster board egg shape. They use liquid starch and sponge brushes to paint the egg. Then use pastel colors of tissue paper to cover the egg shape.  

Easter Games 

Bunny Buzz: 

To play: All players sit in a circle. Players take turns counting off numbers in turn: 1,2, 3 etc.... Whhen the number 7 is reache, that player must say "I Love the Easter Bunny" instead of seven. When the child fails to do so and says "seven" the child is out of the game. Continue until one child is left to declare the winner.  

Egg's Out Game:

Simular to Hot Potato. Use a Plastic Easter egg for this game. have children sit in a circle and have them pass the egg around to music. Once the music stops, the child holding the egg is out of the game. Continue until one child is left.  

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More Easter Songs / Fingerplays: 

Bunny Poky:
(sung to “Hokey Poky”) 

You put your bunny ears in(place hands on head to make ears)
You put your bunny ears out
You put your bunny ears in
And you shake them all about
You do the Bunny Poky
And hop yourself around
That's what it's all about.

* Use additional verses such as "You put your bunny nose in", "you put your bunny tail in", "you put your bunny paws in" etc.....  

Funny Bunny Hop 

Funny, little bunny goes hop, hop, hop!
Funny, little bunny please stop, stop, stop!
Wiggle your ears and crinkle your nose.
Then wiggle, wiggle, wiggle, right down to your toes. 

5 Little Eggs: 

5 little Easter egg,
Lovely colors wore,
Mother ate the blue one
Then there were four
4 little Easter eggs
Two and two you see
Daddy ate the red one
Then there were three
3 little easter eggs
Before I knew,
Sister ate the yellow one
Then there were two
2 little Easter eggs
Oh, What fun!
Brother ate the purple one
Then there was one
1 little Easter egg
See me run!!
I ate the last one
And then there was none. 

I'm a Little Chick
(sung to "I'm a Little Teapot") 

I'm a little chick inside an egg.
I'm always sleeping- snoring away
Soon you'll a pecking, pecking sound
The egg will crack and out I'll pop 
 

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Easter Snacks: 

Jelly Bean Stew

Sort jelly beans into small snack size bags, each having the same color. Give a bag to each child. Recite the following poem and let the children add their color jelly beans to the "stew" Then stir! Yum! 

Jelly- bean stew
Red and yellow
And purple too!
Orange and pink
And black and green
It's the prettiest Stew I've ever seen!

 Bunny Ice-Cream: 

Arrange 3 balls of vanilla ice cream on a plate to form a bunny. Use medium for head, large on for body, tiny one for tail. Cover with shredded coconut. Place carrot shavings(large) for ears, jelly beans for eyes, and nose, and licorice strings for whiskers.  

Easter Chick Snack: 

Take a nutter butter cookie. Ice it with yellow. Use candy corn for the beak. Use chocolate chips for eyes. Peep, Peep! Eat up...... Yummy! 

Spring Crafts: 

Confetti- Fly  Submitted by Cassie. D 

These butter flies look stunning when they are placed in a window. To make one butterfly, fold a piece of black construction paper in half length wise. Using white crayon or chalk, trace a butterfly pattern on the paper. Cut out the butterfly shape and the centers of it's wings. Put the unfolded shape on a piece of clear contact paper. Sprinkle confetti onto the wings before pressing a second piece of contact onto the butterfly. Trim around the shape. Punch a hole in the top of the butterfly and twist on a pipe cleaner for antennas.  

Hand Print Lillies  Submitted by Cassie D. 

To make a liily, trtace child's hand onto white construction paper and cut it out. Cut out a stem and leaves from green construction paper. wrap the hand cut out into a cone shape and add stem and leave to it. Staple everything together. Bend down the fingers to resemble petals of a lilly. Add yellow pipe cleaner bent in the shape of butterfly antennas to the center of the lilly. Twist a green pipe cleaner around the stem of the flower. You can stopthere or make several to makebouquet wrapped in tissue paper. 

Tulip on a Roll Submitted by Cassie D. 

To make a tulip, paint a toilet paper roll green. For each tulip color, mix three teaspoons of water and one half teaspoon of liquid dishwashing detergent into a cup of tempra paint. Cut out one section of a styrofoam egg carton to resemble a tulip, then paint it. When  the paint is dry, glue paper leaves onto the side of the cardboard roll, glue tulip onto the top of the roll and glue a colored cotton ball into the center of the tulip. 

A Very Hairy Caterpillar: 

Thissoddy creature makes a fun first time gardening group project while bringing a little bit of spring into your home.

To make one, combine 4 cups of potting soil and 4 tablespoons of quick- sprouting grass seed in a large bowl. Cut the bottom from a small container for a funnel, then slide a knee- high stocking over it. Pour 3/4 to 1 cup of the soil mixture into the stocking then slide a colorful ponytail holder over the end of the stocking to section off the pocket of soil. Repeat this process to make 5 soil- filled segments. Tie a knot inthe top of the stocking and trim away any excess nylon.

Submerge the caterpillar in water for 10 minutes, then place it in a plastic bag and let it sit overnight. Remove the bag and a loop a semi-straightenedbobby pin through the front of the stocking. Then glue a goggly eye onto each end of pin. For antennas, cut a pipe cleaner in half, glue a small pom pom onto one end of each half and stick them in place. Set your caterpillar on a plate by a sunny window and water the entire thing every  other day. Your critter should sprout hair in about 4 or 5 days.

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If you have some Crafts you would like to share...please send your craft & curriculum ideas to Laura! We are always adding ideas & we’d love to share yours.

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