Spring has arrived and it was my turn again to host the play group for some of the 3 year olds in the neighborhood. What better theme than butterflies? We started off with the butterfly craft first- which everyone really could have done for the entire two hours. They loved it that much.
I know this is a pretty common craft, but it's always new to someone. I gave each child one coffee filter to begin and let them color them with regular markers or my favorite bingo dot markers. I placed a paper towel beneath each child's workspace since it was going to get a little wet and messy. Then I let them spray a little water onto their artwork and watch the magic happen. It was fun for them to see the colors blend together, but even more fun to be spraying that water.
This is how a few of them looked after letting the colors bleed and blend together. I let them dry for about 20 minutes.
While the kids were having a snack, I was able to assemble the butterflies. I pinched the coffee filter right down the center and clamped it inside of a clothes pin. Then I took half a strand of a pipe cleaner and attached some antennas onto the head.
In the end we had quite a few since most of the kids wanted to make several. I just love the tie-dye effect.
We did a couple other activities as well between the art drying and free play. I attempted to read a story or two to the group. I have mentioned before what a calm group of kids this is, but...well let's just say we all have our days. Sometimes it seems that less structure is better. You definitely have to be flexible with such a young group. We were able to make it through Waiting for Wings by Lois Ehlert, which tells about the life cycle of a butterfly in a fun and interactive way. Then the kids were off and running again.
Eventually the kids were interested in playing this butterfly matching game. Each child was able to have a few turns taking half a butterfly out of a bowl and matching it to the other side I had attached to the wall. It was a nice calm moment, then they went back to their play.