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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!

STEM

Paper Plate Shape Weaving Activity

Paper Plate Shape Weaving Activity

This paper plate shape weaving activity is great for preschooler’s fine motor skills and shape recognition. Kids get to paint and wrap yarn! As they wrap the yarn, talk about how many sides the shape has and how many points it has. Ask you child what their favorite shape is!

Supplies needed:

  • paper plate
  • watercolor paints
  • paint brush
  • cup of water
  • scissors
  • yarn
  • tape

How To:

Pick a shape you would like to make. There are so many possibilities — square, triangle, heart, circle, a star, and more! My son made a star as part of our Learning Letter S Week.

Start by drawing a shape in the center of the plate and cutting it out.

Kids can paint the plate with a variety of watercolors; be creative! My preschooler loved using paints and had a lot of fun with this activity. Let your plate dry before wrapping it with yarn.

Pick out yarn or string to wrap around your plate. I had some of this rose colored yarn left over from a crochet project, so we used it for this craft. I suggest cutting a 36-inch piece of yarn. You can always cut off any excess yarn when your child is done weaving.

Tape one end of the yarn to the back of the plate and then let your child start wrapping. When you are finished wrapping yarn, cut the yarn (if you have extra) and tape the end to the back of the plate.

You can repeat this paper plate shape weaving activity with other shapes and make a whole bunch. Be sure to make your favorite shape!

Looking for more shape ideas?

-Make shapes out of plastic cups and craft sticks: https://imaginationsrunningwild.com/2021/07/27/lets-make-shapes/

-Basic Shapes Penguin Craft: https://imaginationsrunningwild.com/2022/01/17/basic-shapes-penguin-craft/

-Worksheet — Matching Shapes: draw a line connecting all of the matching shapes.

-Worksheet — Shape Shadow Matching: draw a line from the shape to its matching shadow.

Mother's Day, Spring

Butterfly Note Holder Craft

I love butterflies and I have made a lot of butterfly crafts with preschoolers over the years. This butterfly note holder craft is especially cute! It is perfect for spring, mother’s day, or any gift-giving occasion. Write a name, a message, or draw a picture on the note to customize it to your occasion.

butterfly note holder craft

Supplies Needed:

  • construction paper or cardstock (need 2 different colors)
  • clothespin (my clothespin is 3.25″ tall)
  • pompoms (size 1 cm)
  • white glue
  • scissors
  • pencil
  • markers or crayons

How To:

First draw a butterfly shape on a piece of construction paper or cardstock. It is important to have thick paper to support the weight of the glued-on pompoms. For my butterfly, I kept the shape pretty simple and did not worry about making antennae. I purposely made the butterfly’s middle wide enough to cover the clothespin. My butterfly measures 5″ wide by 4″ tall.

Cut out your butterfly. We glued-on a variety of colored pompoms to decorate our butterfly. Depending on how much glue your child uses, the pompoms might need to dry for a bit before gluing the butterfly into the clothespin.

Glue your butterfly craft into the clothespin with the snapping part of the clothespin pointed up. Make sure that your butterfly is up high enough on the clothespin that the wings don’t extend lower than the bottom of the clothespin, otherwise your butterfly won’t be able to stand.

Finish your project by writing a name, a short message, or drawing a picture on a little notecard/piece of paper. Clip your note into the top of the clothespin and now you have a cute butterfly note holder craft to give someone special.

Animals, crafts, Spring

Create a Caterpillar Craft

Create a Caterpillar Craft

Bugs are a fun preschool springtime theme! I’ve made tons of bug crafts with 3 and 4 year-olds over the years. This create a caterpillar craft is quick and easy project when you are looking for something that you can make without prep time!

Supplies Needed:

  • Caterpillar template (or draw your own circles)
  • crayons/markers/paints
  • scissors
  • glue stick
  • piece of construction paper

How To:

Create a Caterpillar Craft

You will need 6 circles to make your caterpillar’s body. You can draw your own or print off the free create a caterpillar craft template and have them ready made. Color your circles. In my example at the top of the page, we used watercolor paints. It’s nice to switch up the mediums from time to time, and since water colors dry pretty quickly, I like to use them for crafts. In this example, to the side, the caterpillar was colored with crayons. Both ways turned out cute!

Cut your circles out. Pick out a piece of construction paper to glue your craft onto. Now you get to glue the circles together to form a caterpillar. Slightly overlap the circles as your glue your caterpillar together, alternating the circles’ placement low and high.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Once your caterpillar is glued together, give it a face and antennae. You could also draw on some grass or leaf for it to munch. Pair this craft with Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar book!

Now that you’ve made a caterpillar, it’s time to make a butterfly craft! They my Mosaic Butterfly craft and make a beautiful mosaic butterfly from scraps of construction paper.

crafts, Mother's Day

You Are My Sunshine Craft

You Are My Sunshine Craft

Making a craft or coloring a picture for someone is a lovely way to show that you care. As a mom, I love when my child makes something special just for me. Over the years, I have enjoyed all of the pictures and craft projects that children from my library’s preschool storytime group have made me. Here is a cute craft project that your little one can make for someone special in their life. Whether it is a Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, or a craft to give just because, this “You Are My Sunshine” craft is a great one to make!

Supplies Needed:

How To:

If your tissue paper is not already in small squares, cut your tissue into 1″ x 1″ squares. Here’s a link to some pre-cut tissue paper on Amazon.

Squish your tissue paper into small balls. (For a simpler version of this craft, leave the tissue in squares and glue the squares along the glue arches.) This was a lot of squishing and I helped my son make a lot of them.

First we need our sun circle. Draw a circle on a piece of paper, or print off my template that has the circle and the words, “You Are My Sunshine!” Glue yellow tissue squares all over your circle. It’s ok if they extend past the circle outline a little — we covered this up by making gluing a bunch of balled-up tissue paper around the circle.

Once your have decorated the circle and its outline, it is time to make the sun’s rays. We alternated between orange and yellow tissue paper. If your child is getting tired of squishing the tissue, make less rays. You can always add more later after a break. This project reminded me of the book, The Day the Crayons Quit, by Drew Daywalt. The yellow and the orange crayons argue over which one is the true color of the sun! I couldn’t stop thinking about that as we made this craft 🙂 My son says yellow is the true color of the son.

Let your” You Are My Sunshine” craft dry before giving it to someone special! Glue from glue sticks dries pretty quickly, so you shouldn’t have to wait long.

This craft post contains as affiliate links to purchase items on Amazon. To help cover the costs of this site, I joined Amazon’s Affiliate program. If you buy a book or craft item 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 crafting 🙂

Animals, Spring

Rocking Bird Craft

Rocking Bird Craft
Rocking Bird Craft

I love birds! We have several nests in trees around our home and up and down our street and we enjoy hearing the peeps of the babies! My son and I keep 2 bird feeders well stocked for our feathered friends to enjoy. Over the years, my son and I have made lots of bird crafts–one of our favorites is this rocking bird craft that he made when he was 3. This was fun and easy to make. And most of all, we love how it turned out. It actually rocks!

Supplies Needed:

  • 1 paper plate
  • crayons
  • feathers
  • googly eyes
  • tiny bit of orange or yellow construction paper
  • white school glue

How To:

Color one side of your paper plate. My son’s favorite color right now is blue, so just about everything we make is blue. Feel free to be creative and color your bird any way you want.

After your are dong coloring, fold the paper plate in half. The rounded side will be the bottom of the bird.

Now it’s time to decorate! Glue on feathers for wings and a tail. We used 3 different colors of feathers. I like how the feathers matched the colors of crayons my son used.

Finish your craft by giving your bird a face. Make a beak by cutting a diamond shape out of yellow or orange construction paper. Fold the diamond in half to make it look a beak. Add googly eyes and now you have a bird!

Make it rock by gently pushing down on one of the plate and then quickly letting go. The bird craft will rock back and forth!

Looking for more craft ideas?

Torn Paper Nest: welcome spring with this cute nest made from pieces of construction paper.

Egg Maracas: get read to shake, shake, shake with this quick and easy DIY maracas made out of plastic Easter eggs.

Mosaic Egg: using an assortment of colors and sizes of construction paper, glue all of the pieces together to form a mosaic egg.

Spring

Earth Day Tissue Paper Craft

Earth Day Tissue Paper Craft

Earth Day is celebrated every year on April 22. Add some Earth Day fun to your preschooler’s day with this Earth Day tissue paper craft. Ball up the tissue paper and glue in onto the Earth template!

Supplies Needed:

Earth Day tissue paper craft supplies

You don’t need very many supplies to make this! I love that I had everything on hand so we could immediately start crafting.

How To:

Print off your Earth template. We used regular printer paper. However, if you want it sturdier, use cardstock.

If your tissue paper is not already in small pieces, cut it into 1″x1″ squares. You will need a lot! My son and I decided to start with the water first. We both scrunched up the blue tissue paper squares together — great for preschool fine motor skills. After we had a lot of of tissue balls, my kiddo covered part of the ocean in glue and then glued on the tissue. We continued gluing the blue tissue until all of the water area was blue.

Earth Day Tissue Paper Craft

We repeated the process with the green tissue. The green areas took slightly less tissue balls than the water area. By this point, however, we were squishing them into little balls so fast! My son knows what city, state, and county we live in, but this project gave me a great excuse to talk about the oceans and the continents. I explained that we live in North America by the Pacific Ocean.

Once you have your land and oceans covered in tissue paper, let your project dry before showing it off.

Animals, Spring

Tissue Paper Sheep Craft

Tissue Paper Sheep Craft
Tissue Paper Sheep Craft

My 3 year old was inspired to make a tissue paper sheep craft after reading Mem Fox’s Where is the Green Sheep? This craft is perfect for going along with sheep stories and a great addition to preschoolers’ spring craft fun.

Supplies Needed:

  • white paper (we used cardstock)
  • pencil
  • tissue paper
  • construction paper
  • googly eyes
  • glue stick

How To:

I drew a “cloud” shape on a piece of white card stock and told my son it was a sheep.

My preschooler wanted to make his sheep green, just like in the story, so he grabbed a bunch of pre-cut green tissue squares. If you don’t have the pre-cut squares, you can cut your large tissue paper sheet into 1″ x 1″ squares or tear it into small pieces. He covered his sheep shape with a glue stick and then stuck on the squares to make the sheep’s wool.

Next, I cut out 4 rectangles from green construction paper and my son glued them on as his sheep’s legs. Then I cut out a head for him to glue on.

My son loves googly eyes and always wants to use them for his crafts. He added his 2 googly eyes and called his project done. Use your creativity to give your sheep a smile or a cute little nose.

Looking for more fun crafts to make this spring? Check out my SPRING CRAFTS page.

Animals, crafts, Easter, Spring

Hatching Chick Craft

Hatching Chick Craft

With so many animal babies being born in the springtime, this hatching chick craft is a great way to incorporate some of that baby-cuteness into your preschooler’s activities. Use a brad to connect the top and bottom pieces of the plate to turn this into a moveable craft. Gently pull the top of your plate and watch your chick hatch!

Supplies Needed:

  • paper plate
  • scissors
  • yellow construction paper
  • glue stick
  • feathers
  • googly eyes
  • brad

How To:

First turn your paper plate into an egg by cutting a zig-zag line across your paper plate. Connect the two plate pieces with a brad on one side. This allows the plate to open and close so you can pretend the chick is hatching! Movable crafts are tons of fun and a great way to show “hatching.”

Next, cut an oval shape out of your yellow paper. This will be your baby chick. Glue feathers onto your chick. Our feathers were large and covered a lot of the chick so we didn’t need a beak. My son added two googly eyes and called his chick done.

Now that you chick as feathers and eyes, glue the bottom part of your chick onto the back of the bottom plate piece. Let your project dry before showing off your hatching chick craft.

For more fun spring crafts try:

Paper Plate Bunny— print off the free template, color and cut out the pieces, and glue them all onto a paper plate to make a bunny.

Mosaic Egg— use left over scraps of paper to make a beautiful mosaic egg.

Torn Paper Nest–tear up construction paper and use the pieces to make a nest.