Button Snakes

button-pipe cleaner snakes

The site that I got this from used this as a craft, but we used it just as an activity.  I had a big jar of buttons that I had left over from a craft that I did years ago (really cute button leg Santa decorations),  so when I saw this activity on Pinterest, I knew I already had everything we needed.  My two year old couldn’t do this yet, but it has kept my 4 year old occupied for quite a while.  There’s really not much in the way of instructions.  I just looped around the end of the pipe cleaner to keep the first button from sliding off.  Then I jut let him string on as many buttons as he wanted.  A fun fine motor skills activity that easy to set up and easy to put away!

Pipe Cleaner Kaleidoscope

This is a fun and easy little toy for the preschool set (okay, I played with it for quite a while the evening that I made it).  If your kids like kaleidoscopes, they are sure to enjoy this toy.  I didn’t have any plastic containers lying around, so I’ve used a glass one, but next time I have an empty peanut butter jar I’ll switch this over.  My kids are old enough not to break this one, but I think the magnet will be stronger through thin plastic vice thick glass.Pipe cleaner magnet jar

All I did was cut up twenty piece of pipe cleaner into fairly small pieces (3/4″-2″) and put them in a jar.  I gave my kids the jar and a strong magnet that I pulled of the fridge.  Voilà, hours of fun!  I got the idea from Pre-school Play on Blogspot.

When my 4 year old tried it out he almost immediately asked if we could try it with pom-poms, so that was the perfect segue into a very basic discussion about magnets and what they will/will not attract.

This was a real hit with both my 4 year old and my 2 year old 🙂

pipe cleaner kaleidoscope

Egg Carton Insects

I remember as a kid making caterpillars out of egg cartons, so last year I decided to do a little twist and make some ants.  They turned out well, but I did most of the work.  I think Danny painted his, but he got me to do the face legs and antennae.  This year I thought little lady bugs might be cute, so I set up the stuff and got ready to make some lady bugs.  The thing is, as Danny gets older he has more ideas of his own, so when I presented the idea of making egg carton insects, he immediately suggested making butterflies.  I wasn’t prepared for that, but decided to go with the flow.  Anna on the other hand wanted to make a caterpillar, which actually worked out well because she only wanted to do the painting part.  She was able to occupy herself longer with a 6 egg caterpillar than she would have with a one egg lady bug.   So, I didn’t have any enlightened ideas in the heat of the moment for the butterfly wings, so we just cut some out of construction paper and glued the is to the egg carton butterfly body.  Danny had a great idea though to decorate his wings.  He used the left over “spike” that gets cut out from between the egg holders, dipped it in paint and used it as a stamp.  I’ve displayed the part on the bottom right corner of this photo, although you can’t really tell what it is.  It just made a cute square stamp that added a little extra fun to the decorating process.  We used pipe cleaner for the antennae, which Danny then painted to make them extra special.

This was a fun and easy craft that didn’t require anything that we didn’t already have in our craft box.