It is always a pleasure to enjoy activities with young children that encourage them to welcome spring and celebrate new life that is part of the season. Today I joined children in making woven paper baskets and decorating eggs with food colouring. They used crayons and vegetable oil to compare different ways of resisting the dye and were able to observe many different results. Here are some simple instructions and photos that may give you some ideas for creative activities to enjoy with young children.
Making a Woven Paper Basket
To make a woven paper basket you will need construction paper. Cut a few colours of paper into uniform strips, across the width. Then cut some slits across the length of another sheet to make it easier for little hands to weave the strips over and under across the width of the “loom”. Once the strips are in place use bits of rolled tape to secure the ends; this will facilitate stapling the basket together. Fold the long and short ends of the woven mat to establish the depth of the basket. Then cut the corners diagonally, tucking in the ends before stapling them into place. Trim away any excess paper. Then staple on a handle. (Hopefully the pictures will help to clarify how to assemble the basket!).
To colour the eggs, first hard boil them to make them more resistant to breaking if dropped by accident. Fill a few containers with different shades of food colouring (e.g., red, yellow, blue). Your child should wear a smock for this activity, to protect clothing. Invite your child to colour on an egg with crayons before placing it into the dye. A plastic spoon or fork could be used to roll the egg around. Remove it from the dye, and allow it to dry. Then, try using a Q-tip to apply some vegetable oil and place the egg in a different colour. Your child will enjoy seeing the colour transform, and also see the places where the vegetable oil preserved the original colour. You’ll see from the pictures how beautiful they can be!
To complete the activity, add a little bit of plastic grass to the basket and place the egg inside!