A few weeks ago the little kids and I went to play at the Imaginarium, our local children's museum. They have a pretty large area devoted to toddlers that the kids like. And it only has one not-too-large entrance so I can keep track of all of them easily. The play area has a good selection of books, including The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle, which I read aloud while we were there. (must add: they really need to keep the play area updated and take care of the toys and books, too much broken and missing parts)
At about the same time we found a caterpillar on the lanai. As I moved him outside we took a good look at his camouflage (he had face markings on his back end and his coloring matched the grass perfectly) and talked about his future. The little kids were impressed by his fuzziness and movements and the 3 year old was awed by the life cycle of the caterpillar. Even now, weeks later, she asks about him - is he still outside, is he a butterfly, what does he look like now, etc.
And then yesterday I saw this post on facebook. It was a must.
Yesterday afternoon we got out the aprons and paint and made some adorable hand print caterpillars. Even River made one, and he does not like having dirty hands.
Look how cute:
This art project really is as easy as the directions make it sound. Paint some paint on their hands - we did the heads first and didn't paint the fingers for that one, and place the hands on the paper, remembering that it's all going to be upside while in progress.
After we were finished the kids wanted to paint with the paintbrushes. Seemed like a good idea, the brushes had paint on them already and it was washable paint.
Well, I think this was our fourth handprint project and the little ones have been paying attention. The two one year olds painted their hands, not their paper. River, not liking dirty hands, then wiped his paint hands all over his clothes and high chair ... and as I hurried over to remedy the situation he did it again. So yeah, it wasn't the best idea in the world ... but they were having fun laughing at me as I ran around crazily trying to clean them up and move them on to a new project. :)