May 2009 Crafty Ideas

Signs of Spring

May is the time of year when the outdoors starts buzzing with activity.  Birds are chirping, bees are starting their collection ritual, and caterpillars are making big plans to become butterflies!  Get inspired by nature this month!     

Signs of Spring Collage: 

Go on a walk with your little one and collect some signs of spring, then turn them into a collage.  Some signs of spring to look for include puddles, rain clouds, spring flowers, blossoms, buds on trees, baby birds, caterpillars, and sprouts of new plants through the dirt.  

Supplies: camera, doodle pad and pencil, magazine clippings, found objects from nature (nothing moving or living!), construction paper, glue, crayons or pencil crayons

Directions:  On your nature walk, take photos of the signs of spring, or your child can draw what he or she sees as you walk.  Collect small items that might work in your collage.  At home, create a collage that includes your spring photos and drawings, magazine clippings of spring, and found objects.      

Did you try this craft?  Send us your comments and photos!

Coffee Filter Butterflies:

A simple craft that’s well worth being reminded about.  Our kitchen window is currently home to a few of these little critters!

Supplies: Paper coffee fliters (basket style), colouring supplies such as crayons, pencil crayons, markers, chenille stems (pipe cleaners).  Optional: decorating supplies such as glitter, pompoms, or paper scraps, glue

Directions: Spread the coffee filter out so it lays flat.  Colour the filter using crayons, markers, or pencil crayons.  Add decorations if desired.  When filter is dry, carefully ‘scrunch’ filter at centre, pinching top to bottom.  Filter should now look like two wings, with centre pinched in where a body will be.  To make body, fold chenille stem in half.  Twist the loop end together until half way up the length of folded stem.  Twist tie around centre of coffee filter, and shape top ends of chenille stem into antennae.

Did you try this craft?  Send us your comments and photos!

It’s All In The Details

The great outdoors has been the inspiration for many artists over the years, and proves to be quite complex when studied from up close.  Georgia O’Keeffe, an American artist born in 1887, made many large-scale paintings of natural forms at close range, as if seen through a magnifying lens.  On the next walk with the kids, find a new flower, a slow moving snail, or a bee who’s busy at work, and spend some time just watching, and talking about the little details that sometimes go unseen as we hurry by.


Kitchen with Kids – Rhubarb Strawberry Crisp

If you have your own rhubarb plant, the kids can help harvest a few stalks for this yummy treat.  Otherwise, find rhubarb at local farmers markets and produce stores. 


  • 4 cups rhubarb, chopped
  • 2 cups strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • ½ cup sugar


  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup soft butter

Mix filling in a greased 9×9 baking dish.  In a separate bowl, mix dry ingredients for topping, cutting in the butter until crumbly.  Spread on top of filling.  Bake at 375 for 35 minutes.  Serve warm, with ice cream.

Simple Science- What do Plants Need to Grow?

Plant one bean in planting medium or soil.  Water, and keep it in a bright place (but not direct sunlight).  Plant another bean in exactly the same manner, but keep it in a cool dark location (Like a cold storage room or a closet).  Which one grows faster?  What do plants need to grow?

Five Minute Fun – Dipping Dandelions

Do double duty by ridding the garden of dandelions, and using them for art!  The fluffy yellow flowers might not be wanted in the yard, but they make great abstract art paint brushes.  Pick a few and set out the paints so your kids can get busy with these unique tools