By Jill Simeone -
Living in Brooklyn, we walk a lot. My kids tend to complain about walking ...even a little...so I always try to keep a running discussion going about what we observe on our trips around town, certainly to edify, but also to distract them from the 12 block walk home.
And these last few days, what we've been talking about is SPRING!
No matter how mild the winter (and this one was mild for us), nothing is more joyous than the sight of pink blooms on the magnolia tree...the first trumpet of spring!
I am a terrible gardener, but somehow over the years I've acquired in my head the names of all of those little flowers that pop up in March and April...grape hyacinths and forsythia and narcissus... and the kids and I have a treasure hunt to see what is in bloom in each neighbor's front garden.
After returning home from one of these great spring walks, my daughter commented that it was probably time to take the snowflakes and hearts down from our windows and work on some spring art projects.
A quick survey of the internet revealed a bunch of really beautiful flower crafts...none of which were executable by little kids. Several of them would have been a stretch for me. Since the goal was having fun around the theme of spring, I opted for a simple project that both a 3 and a 5 year old could enjoy ...and we could hang in the window to admire and share.
So this is what we came up with...spring paper flowers painted on 2 sides. And a great springtime story. What are you doing to celebrate spring this year?
Spring Flower Craft Project:
Construction paper in spring colors
Watercolor paints & water
Newspaper (for the floor)
In advance of the project, I sketched a bunch of 5 petal flowers free-hand on construction paper. They should be about the size of your hand, and all a bit different in shape and size.
I also sketched some circles (small and large) that will be used for the center of the flowers. You'll need 2 circles for each flower.
Depending on the level of your child's fine motor skills, invite him to participate in cutting out the flowers and circles.
My younger child was frustrated after one flower, my older child enjoyed the challenging scissor work a bit longer. On the side, I cut out a bunch of the flower shapes and circles, so the cutting wouldn't impede the fun of the main event.
Next, we all sat on the floor and painted brighly colored circles on the petals. Once the flowers dried, I flipped them over and we painted circles on the other side, too. Finally, we glued paper circles in the middle of the flowers (both sides). The whole project took less than a half hour.
These look great in the window from both inside and out! The painted parts of the petals have taken on an almost-translucent quality, and they look really pretty in the sun!
Spring Story Time
What better way to wrap up a spring walk and craft activity....than a snuggle with a spring story book?
Here is our favorite spring story book this week:
And Then It's Spring, by Julie Fogliano, Erin Stead - Illustrator
"A first-time author and the Caldecott Award-winning illustrator of A Sick Day for Amos McGee (2011) team up in this beautiful ode to a patient gardener." --Booklist, Starred