Guest Author - Deborah L. Kompare
One of my favorite children�s authors is Eric Carle. His books are inspiring in so many different ways. I love the stories, and especially the illustrations. These books inspire some crafts, not only because of the stories, but also because of the illustrations.
First, let�s look at one of his books. For me, one of the first that comes to mind is The Very Hungry Caterpillar. The book starts out on a beautiful morning and the tiny caterpillar hatching. It then eats it way to a huge size, makes it�s cocoon and becomes a gorgeous butterfly. Your child could craft a number of different things to go along with this book. Why not make your own caterpillars? My last article gave some ideas on how to craft caterpillars. These ideas included using egg cartons, pompoms and some wiggly eyes and pipe cleaners for antennae and legs. If you are feeling adventurous, make a caterpillar from paper mache. I�ve seen a technique done that instead of using balloons for a base, simply shape newspaper, or other similar material, the way you want and then put the paper mache over it. You could do this with egg cartons or simply make a long, snake-like base from the paper. Cover it first with several layers of newspaper soaked in the paper mache glue, then layer on some white tissue paper until it is covered. At this point, you could allow it to dry and then paint it, or cover it some more with colored tissue paper to be the color you want. I think this method would most resemble the caterpillars in the book. You could also make the food in a comparable manner.
Next, you could craft a very colorful butterfly. There are so many different ways to make the butterflies. I�ve included some links at the end of this article to help you find some ideas, in addition to one or two here. A very simple way to create a butterfly is to use a coffee filter, make it slightly wet, and then use food coloring or markers on the wet filter. The colors will �bleed� through the filter creating a very colorful pattern. Let it dry, gather it in the middle and use a wooden clothes pin to hold it. You could even decorate the clothes pin to look like a butterfly body. Another idea would be to put different colors of tissue paper, or simply color different areas, on white paper. Place a cut-out of a butterfly over the paper and you could have a stained glass effect. The links at the end also give ideas on how to make beaded butterflies, learn about the life cycle and also some cute gift and card ideas.
Would your child like to �grow� their own butterfly? Help them to make a bug catcher. These are very easy to make and could be as simple as a large, wide mouthed jar with holes poked in the lid, or a gauzy material put on top, to a very intriguing creation made of wood and screened materials. Simply let your imagination and creativity go on this and it would be interesting to see what might happen! For some inspiration, check out the Bug Hotel link at the end of this article.
Why not stop by the forum and let us know how your butterfly experience went? It�s always great to hear how you took these ideas and then added some of your own. I�m looking forward to hearing about all the fun you had crafting with inspiration from Eric Carle.