With Easter just a few days away, I decided to create activities that focused around eggs and birds (mainly chickens and robins because that’s what my oldest bug, M, is familiar with).
We started off by taking a trip to our public library, where we chose expository and narrative picture books about chickens, robins, and Easter themed stories. M particularly enjoyed the book, Tillie Lays An Egg, by Terry Golson.
M wanted me to read Tillie Lays An Egg over and over again, until he had heard it enough times to try reading it himself. In the book, Tilly, the unconventional hen, lays an egg in different places all around the farm, except for in the nesting box. I like that this story had interesting pictures of REAL chickens, and that the featured hens actually belong to the author of the book. M had fun spotting the egg on each page and ‘reading’ the repetitive line throughout the book, “where has Tillie laid her egg?”
Counting and Sorting
After reading the story, it only seemed fitting to have an egg hunt of our own. I told M to look around the living room for all the places Tillie had laid her eggs, and I encouraged him to count each egg as he placed them in his basket for additional counting practise.
When he was done collecting all of the eggs, M sorted them by matching the colour of the eggs to the coloured bowls. He doesn’t quite have all the colour names down yet, so I had him say the colour of each egg before he placed it in the matching bowl (I just used paper bowls and mixed paint in the bottom of them).
In the link provided above, for Tillie Lays an Egg, Golson has a live-streaming hen-cam where you can observe her hens throughout the day, which M thought was really cool! I also showed M a video on YouTube of chicks hatching. I explained to him how all birds had once hatched from an egg. M is familiar with the lovely, plump robins that occasionally hop around our yard in search of juicy worms, so I thought I would also show him a video of a baby robin hatching.
Decorating Eggs with Natural Dyes
I got this idea from Better Homes and Gardens. Not only was it a lot of fun to do, but I can actually feel good about my family eating the eggs after dying them!
We started by gathering our ingredients (I just used what I already had on hand in the fridge and freezer).
I used yellow onion skins to make orange, red onion skins to make jade, spinach to make a pale yellowish-green, pickled beet juice to make pink, and frozen blueberries to make a pretty bluish-grey colour. For each one I added about a cup of water and simmered it on the stove for approximately 15min. Then I strained the dyes and added 2tsp of vinegar before placing the eggs in the cups.I was unsure as to whether M would be into this or not, but he ended up being quite interested in the whole process of using food to dye eggs.
These are the end result colours:
The next day, cousins A & O came to play! I thought it might be fun to make some bird’s nests, but I figured we should probably build some background knowledge first. I started by asking the boys if they knew what a robin’s home was called, and thankfully they all responded with ‘nest’. Yeah! We were off to a good start! We then talked about how mother birds build a nest so they can lay their eggs in a safe and cosy place. We found this great video on YouTube which shows a robin building a nest in a crab tree. Then we found this 17 min. video, shot by Dave Herbert, which shows everything from the mother robin building her nest to her baby birds hatching and taking flight for the first time (we only watched the first few minutes of the nest building and egg laying, and saved the rest of the video to watch for after we finished building our nests). After discussing what a robin uses to build her nest, we got to work building our own EDIBLE versions. YUM!
All-in-all it was a fun, delicious, and even slightly educational activity that the boys enjoyed 🙂
Shaving Foam Marbling- Easter Egg Cards
With Easter coming up so soon, I thought it would be nice if M made some cards from him and B to give to his grandparents and aunties and uncles.We started off by putting a generous amount of shaving foam into a pan and adding a few drops of food colouring:
M isn’t one for getting his hands dirty, but even HE couldn’t resist!
I helped him squeegee off the foam… and voila!
We folded the masterpieces in half and cut them into egg shapes. Then M added the finishing touches to complete his personalised Easter cards.
Being that we already had the plastic eggs out, I wanted to try incorporating them in an art activity, so we squirted a few colours of paint onto a paper plate, cracked one of our plastic eggs in half and did some egg printing!
M had a lot of fun stamping the egg onto the paper. He even accidentally discovered that by mixing the blue and red paint together you make purple.
The finished piece:
Chick and Bunny Candy Holders
Okay, so M didn’t actually help much with this craft, but I couldn’t resist sharing them because they are just so darn cute (well, at least I think they are)! I wanted to make something to give to my sweet nieces and nephews for a special Easter treat, and this is what I ended up with:
All you need are some pieces of foam (yellow and orange for the chick, and white and pink for the bunny), googly eyes, craft glue or a hot glue-gun, a pink pom-pom for the bunny’s nose, a feather for the chick, small canning/ jelly jars and, of course, CANDY!
And that’s how I kept my bugs busy these past couple of weeks 🙂