Yesterday the girls and I were enjoying a cozy snow day at home. Yes, you read that right, a snow day the end of March... the beginning of Spring break...a week before Easter. As an Edmontonian, I am looking on the bright side. At least this epic snow came at the end of March and not April.... or May!
This early Spring snow day seemed like the perfect opportunity to do some crafting with the girls. I have been so busy with preparations for the Spring recital at my studio, I just haven't had much time to do any sort of organized crafting with the girls. They still have been enjoying dough play, painting, crafting from kits that arrive monthly from the Girls Craft Club (a gift to Bria from her Grandma), and producing enough drawings to wall paper my house.
Our crafting time together is becoming less about nurturing their creativity, as they are both at an age where they love to explore art materials independently. Arts and crafts time is now really a chance to spend quality time together. We create, we talk, we listen to music or audio books, we connect.
We spent over 3 hours creating Easter themed crafts yesterday, which I think may be a record for us. I hadn't planned on doing all 3 activities in one sitting but the girls kept asking what we were going to make next so I just went with it. Don't feel pressured to complete all 3 projects with kiddos at once. My experience is most preschoolers have about a 30 min limit for crafts, some a bit more, some a bit less. The good news is for a child to complete one of each of these projects only takes about 30 minutes. The best thing about all these projects? No glue and limited mess!
What You Need:
- Clear Contact Paper (available at most house ware stores)
- Tissue Paper
- Googlie eyes (for Easter Bunnies)
- Small red or pink jewel or pom pom (for Easter Bunnies)
- What paper (for stained glass eggs)
- Multi-colored Sharpies (for Window Stickers)
Stained Glass Easter Eggs
This is the easiest and fastest project and is suitable for children 18 months and up. For younger children working with tissue paper supports their fine motor development and hand-eye coordination. With older children you can also discuss possible colour mixing combinations when layering tissue paper.
To start, trace an egg shape with your Sharpie on the Contact Paper backing. Cut out egg shape.
Next, place egg shape on your white paper and trace a frame about 1 inch larger around the egg. This will be the eggs frame, or shell as my girls liked to call it. Cut out frame shape.
To create the opening in the frame, gently fold the paper in half (try not to leave a crease) and snip a small slit. Then begin to cut out the frame opening. Make sure the opening is about 1/2 an inch smaller than your contact paper egg. Erase all pencil markings. Older children may be able to do this part with some assistance.
Press the frame around the outside of the contact paper egg. You should have a sticky centre. This is where the tissue paper will be placed.
Press tissue paper pieces on the sticky side of the contact paper. Be sure to cover all sticky sections. This is what it will look like from the back:
If you want a perfect finished product you could trim off any overlapping tissue paper. We weren't too concerned about that since this is the back side. Here is what the Egg looks like form the front:
And here is what it looks like in the window (these look much better in person, my window photography skills are lacking):
Beautiful! If you did all the cutting before hand this would be a great activity for a playgroup, preschool, or Easter Party.
Rosebud Tissue Easter Bunnies and Eggs
This next project uses the same materials as the Stained Glass Easter Eggs minus the white paper. However, it does take much longer to create so if your little one has a shorter attention you may want to break up this project over a few sittings or do the stained glass Easter eggs and save this project until they are a bit older. This project is suitable for ages 3 and up. This project requires slightly more advanced fine motor control.
To start, trace an egg or bunny shape with your Sharpie on the Contact Paper backing. I just drew mine free hand but you can find lots of bunny and egg tracing templates online if you prefer. Cut out your shapes.
Gently remove the contact paper backing and place the shape sticky side up on your work surface.
If you are creating the Bunny, stick down the googlie eye and jewel/pom pom nose before your begin sticking down the tissue paper. Bria came up with a great idea for he pink inside the bunnies' ears. Cut out thin strips of light pink tissue paper to place in the middle. I was going to have the girls make light pink tissue rosebuds for the middle of the ears, but as Brai pointed out, the inside of a bunny's ear is not fluffy, it is smooth! I love how she is really thinking about the textures she is using in her craft projects!
Next, begin applying white (or whatever color your Easter bunny is going to be) rosebud tissue pieces on all remaining sticky surfaces. To create your rosebuds, crinkle your tissue pieces into small balls. Press these firmly on the contact paper.
Voila! A fluffy Easter Bunny for your Window!
The process for the Easter Eggs is basically identical just substitute your white tissue for multi-colored pieces.
Malia is interested in patterns right now so her and I created rainbow eggs, repeating the order of the colors we used. Bria decided to create a cross in the middle of her egg to include Easter symbolism and color blocked her sections.
The inclusion of the cross on Bria's egg brought up some interesting conversations about Easter, God, and a whole bunch of other topics I hadn't planned on. This is why no matter how old and independent my girls get spending time creating with them has so many benefits.
DIY Window Stickers
Our last project of the afternoon was to create our own Easter window stickers. For this project all you need is contact paper, multi-colored Sharpies, and scissors. This project is suitable for ages 3 and up.
Using a black Sharpie draw an outline on the shinny side for the contact paper. We stuck with simple shapes (Easter eggs, chicks, flowers), as these look the best when placed in the window. Small detail may get washed out in the sun.
Let your outline dry for a few minutes so you don't smear your outline. Once your outline is dry color it in using your colored Sharpies. Be careful when coloring next to the black outline as your colors will end up mucky looking if they touch the black. If this happens simple scribble with your Sharpie on a scarp piece of paper until the black has come off.
Once you have finished coloring in your picture leave it to dry again for a few minutes.
Next, cut out around your picture, peel off the backing and stick it to your window! The girls and I were very impressed with how great these turned out!
The girls had lots of fun drawing their own stickers. It allows you to customize the sticker anyway you'd like! Malia also asked me to draw her some shapes she could color in herself. I was super impressed with her very neat coloring.
Don't be concerned about sticking these to your window. The great thing about contact paper is that is doesn't leave behind any sticky residue! It is sticky but not too sticky. I have a feeling the girls will be requesting to costumize their windows with these stickers on a regular basis. And with how simple and mess free this activity is I am sure to let them!
I love how Spring-y the girls' window looks now! There may be a mountain of snow outside but in their room it sure looks like Spring is already here!
I'd love to hear your comments on these projects! Please let me know if you do them with your kiddos!