Animals

Cardboard Fuzzy Bear Craft

I love when I can reuse something materials that I have on hand, like cardboard boxes! My preschooler and I turned a piece of a cardboard box into something new — a carboard fuzzy bear craft! Not only did my son have fun, but this project is great way to incorporate different textures into his activities and help him develop fine motor skills!

cardboard fuzz bear craft

Supplies Needed:

  • cardboard
  • brown yarn (or whatever color yarn you like)
  • pompom
  • googly eyes (we used size 1 inch)
  • scissors
  • pen
  • ribbon/cord for hanging
  • white glue
  • tape

How To:

1. Using a pen, I drew a basic bear head shape on part of a cardboard box and cut it out. It is a little more than 4 inches tall.

2. Next, I took some fuzzy brown yarn and cut off a piece that was about 36 inches long. I taped one end of the yarn to the back of the bear and my 3 year-old wound the yarn around the bear to give it “fur.” When he was finished wrapping, I taped the other end of the yarn to back of the bear’s head too.

3. My preschooler picked out yellow googly eyes and a yellow pompom for a nose. The googly eyes were stickers so they were easy to attach. We used white glue to stick on the pompom nose.

4. After the glue was dry, I used my pen to punch a hole in the top of the bear. My son picked out a blue cord and I tied it on so he could hang up his cute, fuzzy bear craft.

My son really wanted to give his bear to his grandfather, so his cardboard fuzzy bear craft ended up being a cute present.

Check out my Crafts Page for more things to make your child!

Animals

Preschool Penguin Theme

Penguins are so cute! Preschoolers are fascinated with these awesome birds so I rounded up books, crafts, a song, and some free worksheets so you can add a penguin theme to your preschool activities!

Preschool Penguin Theme

Everything You Need for Creating a Penguin Theme:

Books

Penguins — 10 books about these adorable birds! My son loves penguins and we have read so many penguin books together. We’ve gathered up a list of our favorites to share with you!

Crafts

Basic Shapes Penguin: print off the free template, color your pieces, and glue them together to form a penguin!

Toilet Paper Roll Penguin: turn an empty toilet paper roll into a cute penguin with paint, construction paper, and googly eyes. My son really liked this craft and we have a couple cute little toilet paper roll penguins around our house now!

Egg Carton Penguins: turn an egg carton into a bunch of roly-poly penguins!

Online

-Watch the Monterey Bay Aquarium penguins on their live Penguin Cam! https://www.montereybayaquarium.org/animals/live-cams/penguin-cam

-Learn about the Gentoo Penguin from this short video by Nat Geo Kids: https://youtu.be/xnu5htZpruE

Song

"Did You Ever See a Penguins?" song

To get the second and third verse and list of the actions, check out my post: https://imaginationsrunningwild.com/2022/11/27/penguin-action-rhyme/

Worksheets

Penguin Counting: count how many pictures are in each box and then circle the number.

-Fill in the missing letters in this penguin alphabet worksheet: PENGUIN ALPHABET MAZE

P is Penguin: trace the letters in the word PENGUIN and color the picture.

Christmas

Paper Chain Reindeer Craft

Paper Chain Reindeer Craft

This paper chain reindeer craft was easy to make and turned out adorable! It is perfect for preschoolers who want to make Christmas decorations because it doesn’t make much of a mess (outside of glue) and it can be assembled pretty quickly so they don’t lose interest in the activity. For more Christmas crafts, check out my crafts page: https://imaginationsrunningwild.com/preschool-winter-crafts/

Supplies Needed:

Paper chain reindeer craft supplies
  • 1 piece of brown construction paper
  • scissors
  • glue ( we used both a glue stick and white glue)
  • ribbon/yarn
  • goggly eyes
  • small pompom
  • brown or black marker

How To:

Cut your construction paper into 6 equal-sized strips. Mine are 2″ wide x 9″ tall.

reindeer face

Begin by choosing one strip of paper to turn into your reindeer’s face. Make the face first so that the pompom nose can be drying while you assemble the chain. Using your brown or black marker, draw 2 antlers. Then attach your googly eyes. My son really wanted his reindeer to be Rudolph, so he chose a red pompom (size 1.2 cm) for the nose. We used white glue to attach our nose because the glue stick wasn’t sticky enough and our nose kept falling off.

Now it is time to make your chain our of the remaining 5 strips of paper. Fold your first strip of paper into a circle and glue the ends together. Next, take your second strip and stick it through your circle. Glue the ends of the second strip together forming a circle. Repeat this process with the remaining strips of paper until all 5 pieces are connected in a chain. Once your pompom nose is dry, you can add the last of piece of paper with the reindeer face to the top of your chain.

To finish our craft, I tied a red ribbon through the top chain so we hang the paper chain reindeer craft up in our home!

paper chain reindeer craft
Paper Chain Reindeer Craft
Winter

Fingerprint Winter Tree

Fingerprint Winter Tree Craft
Fingerprint Winter Tree Craft

Enjoy a snowy winter scene without having to leave your warm home with this fingerprint winter tree craft! My 4 year old really like using his finger as the paint brush for this activity. We don’t get snow at our home in the winter so my kiddo has to be content with pretend snow until we can make a trip up to the mountains. I paired this craft with a snow-themed book, The Snowy Nap by Jan Brett. It was fun to read about snow and do a snow project together!

Supplies Needed:

I love low prep activities that I can quickly pull together without having to delay the fun or make a trip to the craft store! This project is quick and easy to get started with minimal supplies.

You Will Need:

  • construction paper (I used light blue)
  • black marker ( I used a Sharpie, but I think any black marker would work)
  • white washable paint
  • paper plate or paint pallet

How To:

First–draw an outline of a barren tree. I didn’t fill in my tree trunk, but feel free to color it in however you like. Maybe draw a hole and your child can pretend there’s an animal hibernating in there! 

Second–pour a small amount of white paint onto a paper plate or a paint pallet. I like to use Crayola Washable Paints. They are easy to wash off which is fantastic since we somehow seem to get paint everywhere.

Third–have your child dip their finger into the paint and then make “snowy” fingerprints on the tree. Be creative with your snow placement!

Fourth–make a snowy ground by dripping some white paint at the bottom of the tree and letting your child smear it all around with their fingertip.

Fifth–let your project draw before showing it off!

More Winter Crafts:

Check out more winter crafts that my son and I made: https://imaginationsrunningwild.com/preschool-winter-crafts/

There is a cute and sparkly snowflake, a fuzzy candy cane, a handprint peppermint craft, and more fun things to make with your preschooler.

Christmas

Candy Cane Reindeer

Make a candy cane reindeer to give out to a friend, neighbor, or family member. This reindeer craft is pretty quick and easy, but turns out so cute. Both kids and adults will love receiving one of these little reindeers. My son enjoyed making them and had a blast handing them out 🙂

candy cane reindeer
Candy Cane Reindeer

Supplies Needed:

  • candy cane
  • googly eyes
  • pompoms
  • pipe cleaner
  • glue dots
  • white school glue

How To:

Pick a candy cane to decorate. Leave the plastic on the candy cane!

Pick a pipe cleaner and a pompom to use on your candy cane. My son wanted to make a “Rudolph” candy cane reindeer so he picked a red pompom for the nose 🙂

Twist the pipe cleaner around the top of your candy cane to make the antlers. Now twist the 2 ends of the pipe cleaner around your little one’s finger to make them look kind of zig-zaggy.

For the eyes, we originally just peeled off the back of the sticker googly eyes and stuck them, but we found that they did not stay on very well. So Plan B — we glued the eyes onto the candy cane with white, school glue.

Last, we attached our pom pom nose with a glue dot. I think you could also use the white glue for the nose too, but then you have to wait a while for it to dry.

And now we have a cute (and yummy) candy cane reindeer! For more crafts ideas, check out my Winter Crafts page 🙂

Animals

Spouting Whale Craft

Use construction paper and tissue paper to make a spouting whale craft! This was pretty easy to make and lots of fun. Plus good fine motor skills development involved with scrunching up the tissue paper!

Spouting Whale Craft
Spouting Whale

Supplies Needed:

  • white and blue construction paper
  • pencil
  • scissors
  • blue tissue paper ( 1″ x 1″ squares)
  • glue stick
  • white school glue
  • googly eyes

How To:

1. I drew a whale shape on the blue construction paper and cut it out.

2. My son used a glue stick to glue the whale onto the white paper. He made sure to leave some room under the whale so he could add the tissue paper water. Then he rubbed the glue stick all over the bottom of the paper and glued on the blue tissue paper squares to make the ocean water.

3. Together, we wadded up the blue tissue paper squares to make the water spout.

4. Using the white school glue, I added glue dots in the pattern of the whale’s water spout and then my son added the scrunched-up the tissue paper.

5. To complete his craft, my son added the googly eyes. He loves googly eyes and, in his opinion, no craft is complete without them!

Pair this spouting whale craft with Julia Donaldson’s The Snail and the Whale story!

I really like making tissue paper crafts with my son. We’ve made a lot over the years and I’ve shared some on my TISSUE PAPER CRAFTS page if you are looking for more ideas 🙂

Animals, Fall

Hedgehog Picture Books-

Hedgehog Picture Books
Hedgehog Picture Books

Hedgehogs are one my favorite animals, so I was excited to read hedgehog picture books with my son 🙂 Here is a list of 6 of our favorites. Some are older titles and others are more current, but we were able to find them all at our public library. Check your library for these and other great hedgehog picture books.

Picture Books–

Hedgie's Surprise
Hedgie’s Surprise

1. Hedgie’s Surprise by Jan Brett–

Jan Brett is a fantastic storyteller and illustrator! This is a funny hedgehog book featuring Hedgie, a reoccurring character in several of Jan Brett’s books. In this story, Hedgie’s friend Henny keeps getting her eggs stolen by a child. The child returns every morning to steal an egg and Henny needs help protecting her eggs. Hedgie replaces the eggs with other things to eat, such as a strawberry, a mushroom, and even a potato. Still the child keeps coming back! Finally Hedgie comes up with a great way to stop the egg thief — Hedgie hides in the chicken’s nest and gives the child a handful of prickles!

"Hedgehugs" by Steve Wilson--an adorable hedgehog picture book
Hedgehugs

2. Hedgehugs by Steve Wilson–

Are you ready to meet Horace and Hattie, two of the cutest hedgehogs ever!?! These two hedgehogs are best friends and love to do things together. In fact, they pretty much do everything together except hug. How are two spiky hedgehogs supposed to be able to hug each other? The two friends try all sorts of different ways (cue preschooler giggles), but nothing is working. Then, they stumble upon some laundry drying in the sun and get the best idea! Brace yourself for a super cute hug 🙂 Horace and Hattie have more adorable adventures, so be sure to check your library for the others in this series.

3. Ouch by Ragnhild Scamell (republished as Apple Trouble)

In this story, an adorable hedgehog gets an apple stuck its back. Now hedgehog can’t fit into its den and winter is coming. The hedgehog’s animal friends try to help and get the apple off, but each attempt ends up with more things stuck to the poor hedgehog. After squeezing, and swimming, and rolling around, hedgehog and friends are running out of ideas. Fortunately, along comes a goat with a big appetite and eats all of the things that are stuck on hedgehog!

Hedgehog and Rabbit: the scary wind

4. Hedgehog and Rabbit: the scary wind by Pablo Albo —

This book is perfect for fall! Friends, Hedgehog and Rabbit are enjoying the day when the wind comes through, sending leaves twirling in the air. Rabbit thinks he sees a monster! He yells and runs for safety in a hollow log. Hedgehog didn’t see anything scary, but hearing Rabbit yell, Hedgehog runs to the log too. Mistaken identities and silliness ensues as Rabbit and Hedgehog each try to scare away the monster! Despite being afraid, both Rabbit and Hedgehog muster up enough courage to help each other in acts of true friendship.

The Snowy Nap

5. The Snowy Nap by Jan Brett–

It’s time for hedgehog to hibernate, but hedgehog wants to stay awake and experience the beauty that winter brings. All of the other animals tell hedgehog about icicles and glistening snow and fun winter activities that happen while hedgehog is asleep. Determined not to miss out this year, hedgehog tries his best to stay awake with the help of a nice girl. Fortunately a snow storm comes and turns everything into a winter wonderland just before hedgehog falls asleep.

Prickly Hedgehogs

6. Prickly Hedgehogs! by Jane McGuiness–

I love that this story is filled with factual information about hedgehogs! We learned that hedgehogs are nocturnal, like to eat bugs, and what they do to prepare for winter. The story itself, isn’t very long, but it is a fun read-aloud. Filled with cute pictures and lovely background colors, you and your child will definitely enjoy this book together.

hedgehog illustration

Please check your public library for these books. If you choose to purchase them, please note that I joined Amazon’s Affiliate program to try and help cover the costs of my website. So if you buy something through one of my links, then I get a small percentage of the sale at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support! Happy reading 🙂

For more fall animal stories, check out my SQUIRREL BOOKS post.

Paper Plate Hedgehog Craft —

hedgehog paper plate craft
paper plate hedgehog craft

Make this cute hedgehog and let your little one and practice scissor skills!

Supplies needed are:

1 paper plate

water color paints

scissors

googly eyes

To Make:

-Cut a plate in half. Trim one of the halves to look like it has a hedgehog profile. 

-Paint your hedgehog with water colors and let your project dry.

-Kids can practice scissors skills by cutting along the outer edge of the plate to make spikes. After cutting, gently push and pull spikes to separate them.

-Add googly eyes, and then you have a cute little hedgehog.

Animals, crafts, Fall

Pompom Owl Craft

Pompom Owl Craft

I’m obsessed with owls and crafts, so why not combine them into a cute pompom owl craft! This craft is fun and easy for little kids to make — all they have to do is color and glue. Print off the free owl template and then let your child’s creativity design a cute owl craft.

Supplies Needed:

  • white cardstock (regular printer paper is ok)
  • owl template — free printable PDF
  • pompoms (sizes 1 – 2 cm)
  • white school glue
  • crayons
  • googly eyes (size 25 mm / 2.5 cm)

How To:

First print the free owl template. Color your owl completely as the background will show between the pompoms.

You can draw your own eyes or use googly eyes. Preschoolers tend to love googly eyes (my son does) and look for any excuse to use them! We found these orange-colored googly eyes at Michaels craft store.

Glue your pompoms all over the owl’s body. Mix and match colors and sizes, make patterns, and have fun using your creativity! Depending on how much glue you use, your pompom owl craft might take a while to dry.

More Owls!

I Spy Owls: count how many of each picture you see in this I Spy scene. Write the number in the box next to each picture.

Owl Find the Differences: find 5 differences between these 2 pictures.

“Owl You Need is Love” Craft: print off your free template and create your own owl. Complete you owl by gluing on cupcake wrappers for wings!

Uncategorized

Cotton Ball Ice Cream Painting

Get creative with your paintbrushes and try cotton balls with a clothespin for painting a picture of an ice cream cone. Pinch a cotton ball in the clothespin and then dip it in paint to make a fun paintbrush! Cotton ball ice cream painting was a lot of fun! My son enjoyed using the cotton balls as a paintbrush and it remined him of his dot pens.

Cotton Ball Ice Cream Painting
Cotton Ball Ice Cream Painting

Supplies needed:

  • cotton balls
  • clothespin
  • washable paint (I like to use Crayola Washable Paints )
  • paper plate
  • paper (preferably card stock or construction paper)

How To:

Painting the Cone

First, pinch a cotton ball in your clothespin. I knew we were going to use 3 different paint colors, so I had my son use 3 cotton ball clothespin brushes. If you only have 1 clothespin, it is easy to change out the cotton balls.

Pick a paint color for your ice cream cone. Pour a little paint on a paper plate. Pinch a cotton ball in a clothespin to use as a paintbrush. Gently dip the cotton ball into the paint and then stamp it onto the paper in a triangle-shape to make the cone. If your child is having trouble with this step, lightly draw a triangle shape for them to fill in with paint.

Next pick a color for your first scoop of ice cream. My son chose blue, which is also the color of the ice cream he usually picks! I poured a little blue paint onto the paper plate and he stamped his cotton ball into the paint and then onto the paper. He made his first scoop pretty big and we didn’t have much room for the second scoop.

For his second scoop, my kiddo chose purple paint. He had to squeeze his second scoop onto the top of the first scoop and quickly ran out of room on the paper. His cotton ball ice cream painting still turned out cute, even if his second scoop wasn’t very tall.

Cotton ball ice cream painting preschool craft

OPTIONAL: I think it would be fun to add fingerprint “sprinkles” onto your ice cream cone.

For more ice cream fun, check out my ICE CREAM post! It contains cute book recommendations and ice cream recipe so that you and your preschooler can make ice cream together at home.

Animals, crafts, Spring

Bug Crown Craft

Bug Crown Craft

Kids are fascinated by bugs and a bugs theme has always been a hit at the library preschool story-times. My son loves to look around for bugs outside. They are often small and overlooked, but when we take the time to look for them, we are always amazed by how many busy little bugs we find! to encourage his love of bugs, my son and I made this bug crown craft with some of his favorite bugs! I’ve included the bug pictures we used if you would like to use them too.

Supplies Needed:

  • bug pictures template (free PDF download)
  • green construction paper size 9″ x 12″
  • markers or crayons
  • glue stick
  • scissors

How To:

Print out the bug pictures template. Color your bugs and then cut them out.

Cut your sheet of green construction in half (length wise) to form two strips. Glue your bugs onto one of the strips.

Now to make the crown! Glue one side of the strips together. Hold the strips up around your child’s head to measure where to glue the other side of the strips together. I always tell my son to to pinch his paper together where the glue is for a few seconds to help keep the pieces from separating when they are bent. We had to add a little more glue to a couple of the bugs because they started to peel off once the construction paper was in a rounded shape.

Let your project dry. Once your crown is ready to wear, put it on a go on a bug hunt outside. How many bugs can you find?

More Bug Crafts!

Egg Carton Ant: paint an egg carton and add some pipe cleaners to make your own ant craft.

Mosaic Butterfly: make a beautiful mosaic butterfly from scraps of construction paper.

Toilet Paper Roll Bee: your preschooler will love making this cute bee craft out of an empty toilet paper roll!