Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Easter basket of mini "dinosaur" eggs

Santino hasn't been very co-operative lately, very uninterested in any sensory activities, art or crafts. I have set up a table with a comfortable armchair in his play room, covered with large sheets of white construction paper, put all the art supplies in his reach and encourage him to draw at least a little. We have colored a few coloring sheets, but that was it.

 Montessori idea of teaching children is to let them choose what they are interested in. If he is doesn't want to play with the sensory stuff, this means I don't push it on him. I do try it every now and then, but don't push too hard. I did notice though, that once started an activity, he often likes it, at least for a little while. The challenge is to have him start.

I found this idea via some link on my Facebook. Now I can't find that link, but here is a similar one. I was inspired by it and said to Santino "let's make an Easter basket with some eggs". He wasn't really interested, as usual, but I put together some items for this craft and told him that this is going to be a basket of dinosaur eggs. Lucky for me, he just watched the "Land Before Time II" cartoon and is all into dinosaur eggs hatching and baby T-Rexes and other fun stuff.

He asked me to draw him Chomper from that cartoon, and I sketched it with a marker. Then we made one with a modeling clay, and he just wouldn't let it out of his hands. Now the basked with the eggs idea seemed more fun to him.

Since I didn't have tiny mini eggs to put in the mini basket, I brought down some beans and a piece of tissue paper. My idea was to wrap the beans in the paper so that they would look more Eastery.

I have several egg cartons saved in my recycling box, so I cut off a couple "baskets". Then I let Santino paint them. He really enjoyed this task. I knew it! He gets inspired during the process.

Then we wrapped a few "eggs" in the blue tissue paper. I didn't have any thin foil on hand, the kind the chocolate eggs are wrapped in, which would have worked much better probably. Nevertheless, I was happy with the result. I wasn't going for beauty and perfection, I just wanted to involve Santino in some crafts.

He immediately tried to "hatch" the "eggs", by unwrapping one or two. Then he tried eating one.

I attached the pipe cleaner and showed him the result. He loved it very much, and stuffed the poor clay Chomper in it.

This was a fun little activity that I would recommend to do with your toddler. I am sure any child with a bit more concentration would enjoy it even more!  The result would be great for pretend play with dolls and .. well... dinosaurs.

Happy Easter!