Friday, October 3, 2014

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B is for Butterfly Craft

This Butterfly Craft is super fun to make and looks so lovely hanging in the garden!

B is for Butterfly!  Our preschoolers love butterflies year-round, but the fall is especially fun because we get to see lots of Monarchs!  Even our toddlers love to watch them sip nectar from marigolds and some of the other flowers.

This preschool craft is a fabulous sensory activity and fine muscle exercise.  It also provides a chance to talk about colors!

We used colored rice that we had from another activity, but if you don't have rice on hand you could use beads, sequins, or any other small object!  If you want to see how we make colored rice, click here to see how to make colored pasta, and use the same process for rice instead of pasta.

How to Make the Butterfly Craft

Simple Supplies:

* soda dough (see first step...requires baking soda, corn starch, and water)
* colored rice
* glitter
* butterfly cookie cutter

1.  First you need to make your soda dough.  Do this by mixing 2 cups baking soda, 1 cup corn starch, and 1 and 1/2 cups water in a pan.  Stir it over medium heat.  First all the ingredients will melt together as a liquid.  Keep stirring!  Soon, it will thicken, dry, pull away from the edges of the pan, and look like play dough.  Turn the heat off as soon as it starts to look like mashed potatoes!  Let it cool on the counter for a moment.  Knead it a few times so it is softer and smoother.  This whole process takes about 10 minutes and makes enough dough to give 4 kids a tennis ball-sized ball of play dough.

2.  Before getting started with the butterflies, let the kiddos play with the new play dough!  It has a wonderful texture, is great for sensory experimentation, and molds fantastically!

3.  To make the actual butterflies, roll the dough out to about 1/4" thick and cut the butterflies with a cookie cutter.  Add a little hole or two to hang them by after they cook!  I have an affiliate link for a cookie cutter at the bottom of this post.  You can smooth out any cracks by gently rubbing water onto the crack.

4.  Press the colored rice into the dough.  If you just set it on top it will fall off after it cooks.

5.  Smear a little water (or give a quick spritz from a spray bottle) on the top of the butterfly when you are ready to add glitter, and then let your kiddos pour it on!

6.  Set your oven to its lowest setting (mine is 170 degrees Fahrenheit), and cook the butterflies for about an hour.  Mine were hard through in 55 minutes, but my oven tends to cook quickly.  Start checking them after 45 or 50 minutes.  :)

7.  Carefully remove your butterflies from the pan and let them cool completely.  Thread a ribbon through the hole and hang them up to enjoy!

Do you love butterflies?  Be sure to check out our Cool Facts about Painted Lady Butterflies and our Backyard Bugs post about Monarchs!

What else can you do with the letter B?  There are loads of animals that start with B!  Try these fun action activities:

* Bear: Dramatize hibernating like a bear!
* Bat:  Eat fruit and fly around your house like a bat!
* Beaver: Gather sticks and build a bridge like a beaver!
* Blue Whale: Blow water like a blue whale breathing out its blow holes!
* Bongo: Run fast like a bongo!
* Bullfrog: Jump like a bullfrog!
* Bee: Go on a flower hunt like a bee!
* Butterfly Fish:  Swim like a butterfly fish!

This post is part of the 31 Days of ABC's hosted by All Done Monkey!  This is a fantastic series full of letter-teaching ideas!  Last year I did the letter Q.  Be sure to check out the other days and follow along!

Do you have a letter-learning post? Link it up here!

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