It’s craft time again at Mommy & Me class, and this week we’re getting pretty cute…I may have chosen these crafts with myself in mind, more than the kiddos just because these birdhouses are so adorable!! I couldn’t resist the picture I saw on Pinterest from this precious blog. So, I built a bird theme for this week just so we could do the toilet paper roll birdhouse craft!
One of the lasting contributions of a founding developmental psychologist, Jean Piaget, is his theory about stages of cognitive development. Personally, I think the most fun stage (to talk about) is the Preoperational Stage, typically ocurring between 2 and 7 years of age, when kids are still trying to really figure things out. For instance, they have a hard time with scales of size, so my little girl tries to fit her life-size baby doll (or herself!) into a dollhouse-size bed…repeatedly. They also make the “conservation error” which means they think a glass of milk that is skinny, so the milk comes up higher in the cup, holds more liquid than a fat glass, in which the milk comes up lower in the cup, even if they watch you pour the milk from one cup to the other. Kids at this stage are also quite “egocentric,” meaning that they understand the world only from their own point of view. For example, they understand where things are in space based on how far or what direction they are from their own body. Also, Piaget believed they only played independently, just side-by-side with other kids, for the most part. We’ve all experienced this in kid conversations – they may be talking “with” you or another kid, but what they say doesn’t actually have anything to do with what their conversation “partner” is saying. Despite some truth to the general ideas of this stage theory, subsequent research has also shown that these limitations are not always the case, and every rule has an exception. Nevertheless, these can help steer some activities for this age group. Some of the following activities and books can give kids practice at understanding different scales of size, what’s real and what’s pretend, and just have fun!
This is a sweet activity for cute toes from Sweet and Simple Things.
Turn footprints into art. My daughter loves the feel of me painting her hands and feet with a paintbrush, so she mostly enjoyed this craft. I spread an old shower curtain on the floor as a paint shield. We started off with her in a craft smock, but it started bothering her, so I stripped her down to a diaper. I also had baby wipes very handy to wipe off paint as soon as done with each print. Once they had dried, I added the bird extras with crayons and sharpee.
CRAFT/ACTIVITY #2: Toilet paper roll Birdhouse
Truth be told, this was more for me than for her, but she did love playing with the cute little birds I got at a craft store’s floral section. (4 for 5 bucks) The painting and cutting was all done ahead of time, but for older kids, it could all be done with them. If I’d been more in the mood for a mess (we’re both sharing a cold this week), I would have let her finger paint on top of my initial coat of craft paint…but I opted for letting her pick out some stickers instead. Here’s a breakdown of my steps:
1. Paint a coat on the toilet paper roll that’s been freed of any paper remnants.
2. Use utility knife to cut a vertical slit in the middle of roll.
3. Use scissors to cut the doors of the window from the initial slit, however wide you want it to open.
4. Trace a small plate onto cutesie paper (mine is scrapbook paper from craft store).
5. Cut your circle in half.
(The rest of the steps I did with my little one present, although I actually made two, and one of them I did completely without her…)
6. Use hot glue gun to attach bird to bottom of window/door. I put a little dab on bottom of bird, then pressed it down firmly and also added another dab at bird’s base on outside of birdhouse.
7. Loosely fold paper crescent in half and pinch at corner – this is just to make it easier/straighter when folding into cone.
8. Use hot glue gun (or craft glue if you have the time) to glue edges of paper into cone shape.
9. Put some hot glue dots on top of toilet paper roll and stick on roof!
Two Little Blackbirds (sitting on a hill) is so much fun and even my 1.5-year-old loves to sing and do the motions. I was reminded of this song at a local library’s storyhour, and this youtube video shows you how.
These two books lend themselves to talking about sizes and scales, like how a caterpillar eats just a little hole through a strawberry, and can a pigeon really drive a bus? Could he reach the pedals?
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle & Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems