Saturday, April 5, 2014

April Crafts: Spring Window

There's something really special about springtime. It might be the world thawing, the blooms on the trees or the fact that we get to actually see the sun. It could be the reappearance of much of the wild life or the fact that every time my daughter sees a flower in someone's garden she shouts, "A spring flower!" I think the best part is that it means the weather is warm enough that we can really get out and play! All of these reasons make spring my most favorite season and after a very long, hard winter I couldn't be more ready for it. Unfortunately, we are still getting quite a few cold days at this point but this did give us an opportunity to make a spring scene to display in our front window.

 What you need for this project:

 - white card stock (several pieces)
- paint (crayola washable is recommended)
- paint brushes
- cookie cutters (butterfly and 2 flower shapes or your choice)
- scissors
- different objects of your choice to create unique butterflies (more on that in a moment)

Step 1: Trace the spring shaped cookie cutters on white card stock.
               Step 2: I make dash lines and then have my pre-schooler cut the shapes out. 
We really take our time when doing crafts so the tracing and cutting is all we did the first day. 
 Step 3: Each spring shape was cut and the edges left on (much less messier this way). We used orange, pink and yellow paint for the flowers and butterflies. I actually added some white paint to the orange and pink to make them more pastel and spring-like. We painted the front and back of each shape (so they will be seen when hung in the window whether you're inside or outside). There were no trace marks on the back of the paper so the girls just "free painted" that side. I cut out the edges once the paint was dry.

Step 4: We decided to make each butterfly unique. [This step is not absolutely necessary and if running low on time could easily be skipped.] To make out butterflies we used:

- drinking straws
- Q-tips
- plastic fork
- tooth picks
- handle of the paint brush
- wine cork

I'm sure there are lots of other house hold items that could be used to create different shapes and textures for each butterfly wing. 

Examples of some of our butterflies

Step 5: Paint the entire front and back of a piece of white card stock green for flower stems and leaves. And paint the entire front and back of a piece of white card stock yellow for the sun. 

My 18 month old was able to paint some of the flowers and butterflies but her big sister did most of them. She was, however, able to take the brush (and her fingers) and paint the whole piece of paper quite happily.

Step 6: I cut straight strips of the painted green paper to make the stems (with my paper cutter from my scrap booking days) and free-handed the leaves. We also took the wine cork (that we used for the butterflies) to make the center of some of the flowers. 

Autumn used her glue stick to glue each stem to the flower as well as the leaves to the stems. She was very much in a, "I want to do it all by myself" mood during this activity. She glued away while I cut out  leaves and stems.

 Step 7: To make the sun I just cut the corner out and then cut the remaining part of the sun to make rays. Autumn glued each sun ray.

Step 8: Tape everything to your window! 

Inside View

 It's pretty difficult to take a good picture of something in a window so this is about the best I could get. 

Outside View

We also added the girls hand painted interpretation of "spring" that we made last month. You can check out the details in March Crafts.

One thing to keep in mind is that this craft took us several days to complete. My children can really only hold their attention on an activity like this for about 20 - 30 minutes or so at a time and then they need to go run or do something more active. Here's our timeline:

- painted word spring: 2 days
- trace and cut out flowers and butterflies: 1 day
- paint flowers and butterflies: 2 days
- paint sun and stems and assemble: 1 day


Happy Spring!!!

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