{Quad Squad} Simple Book & Craft Combos for Toddlers

Today we tackled our very first book and craft combo, and....it went well! I had a few somewhat cranky babies this morning and Harrison might have cried and yelled through half of our beautiful and peaceful learning experience. Kidding. But we did get the craft completed and no two-year-olds were harmed in the process. I call that success, people!

My good friend, Jo Ann, was on hand this morning to help, which was a benefit since I hadn't prepped anything yet for this craft. And there was impending mutiny on deck in the play room. So she hurriedly put them all in the quad table while I gathered up all the supplies as fast as I could. We're doing a craft, damn it!!

The inspiration came from Pinterest, naturally, which I now have saved to my new Quad Crafts & Learning board. But the original instructions called for black paint to paint the head and the ladybug's dots—and I had absolutely no black paint. Plus, I figured sticking to one paint color would keep things simpler for the eight busy little hands I needed to entertain. So I ad-libbed and cut out circles from black construction paper.

First, Jo Ann read our book, The Peek-A-Boo Ladybug and Harrison cried through every other word. Then we put art smocks from Ikea on everyone, partially covered the table in wax paper and gave them all a paper plate half, a brush (I love ours by Melissa & Doug) and some red washable paint. Then they went to work!

As soon as they had covered the plates with enough paint—all minimally assisted by the grown-ups—I gave them the dots for the ladybug to stick on while the paint was still wet, thus omitting the need for glue. Less material, better for everyone! Then they stuck on the larger black circles for the ladybug's head, to which I'd already glued a set of googly eyes. I also gave them two black strips of paper each for antenna, but I don't think those made it onto everyone's bug.

After that, everyone got four pieces of yarn, cut at random lengths, and we taped them to the backside of the plate for legs. Ta-dah! A ladybug, folks, in all it's charming toddler-esque glory.

I truly love this idea and am incorporating a literacy-based craft once a week into my new plan to create slightly more structured mornings for my crew. And my sweet quad momma friend—who also shares my same first name and is a wonderfully talented school psychologist—was the one to instigate the idea and encourage me to do literacy-based crafts as they help toddlers better learn and recall new concepts. We regularly display new artwork so we'll revisit the ladybugs and the book often. She does the same and explains details and shares other ideas in her literacy-based crafts blog post, as well.

Now to decide on next week's book and craft combo! (Look for future posts under my new category label, Toddler Crafts & Learning.) I'm thinking something like this caterpillar craft and a couple reads on caterpillars and butterflies...

Ah, the ever-thrilling life of a momma. ;)
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  1. They turned out great!! Poor Harrison! Still a bit grumpy, huh?

  2. AnonymousJuly 17, 2014

    Golly, I remember those days of two year old crafts! It is fun....kinda....but now mine is four I completely love it. I can leave out sharp scissors, glue, all kinds of bits and pieces and she just goes for it for ages. Much more fun! I love this craft - great job!

  3. I had to chuckle at your comment " We're doing a craft damn it" this as your kids are fussy are close to a mutiny in the toy room and you are running around gathering the supplies,
    The ladybugs are adorable,as are the quads;) Hope Harrison is doing ok.
    Thanks for sharing:)

  4. Here a few good books you could do activities with as well:

    The little mouse, the hungry bear, and the big red ripe strawberry

    Any Book by Moe Willams (especially, don't let the pigeon drive the bus)

    If you give a moose a cookie

    If you need any lesson plan ideas or book suggestions, let me know! I used to teach K and 1st for 5 years. :)


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