Tag Archives: rainy day fun

Bug Week: Paper Butterfly Catching

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Bug Appreciation Week

It’s Bug Appreciation Week! Not really. I made that up. Secretly there is no such thing as bug appreciation week, although I can’t see why considering the following ‘holiday’s’ exist…

As I was saying, I made up bug appreciation week as an excuse to post the 5 super fun bug related activities D and I have planned this week! And because I have to be proactive about bug appreciation as I have a debilitating fear of all insects that I am actively trying to not pass on to my children.

No joke.

I once got stuck in a parking lot for 40 minutes because a grasshopper got into my car, I had been working late and it took that long for someone to come by and remove it for me. I think I screamed  all the way home.

And with that introduction…I give you our first Bug Appreciation Week Activity: Catching Butterflies!

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Butterfly catching is great for indoors or outdoors and is as simple as it sounds, we made a jar full of paper butterflies, thew them up in the air and D tried to catch them with a butterfly net. The more butterflies the better, catching them is harder than it looks, especially if there is a bit of wind.

What you need:

  • Butterfly net (we got ours at the dollar store), a bucket or a grocery or gift bag would do just as well
  • paper
  • scissors or butterfly punch

Prep: D helped me punch out the butterflies so there was no real prep, but if using scissors you may want to set aside 10 – 15 minutes to cut out the butterflies ahead of time.

Activity Length: We did this activity inside and out and it kept D entertained for about an hour on both occasions (bonus: baby girl in a bouncy chair nearby was also very entertained by all the colorful butterflies flying about.) We switched back and forth so that sometimes he could throw the butterflies and I could catch them. D really enjoyed collecting the butterflies and putting them back in the jar between each game.

Bonus Fun:

  • Add Tweezers – When we played the game inside D had a pair of tweezers that he used to pick up the butterflies and return them to the jar, this lengthened the game and gave him a chance to work on fine motor skills.
  • Examine Your Catch – We also had a magnifying glass near by and every now and then D would take the butterflies he caught and examine them under the glass.
  • Decorate Your Butterflies – Decorating  your butterflies can be fun on it’s own and allows you to track which butterflies you’ve caught, we did this with colors ‘try and catch a green butterfly’ ‘how many yellow butterflies are in your net’
  • Use a Vacuum to Launch the Butterflies – If you really want to impress, pack the butterflies loosely into the wand of a vacuum and turn it on reverse to really shoot the butterflies up in the air! We were exposed to vacuum fun at a family fun night at Wee Care Development Centre hosted by Jeff Johnson of Explorations Early Learning. Shoving things in a vacuum and shooting them into the air is surprisingly fun with anything that is light and small enough to fit into a vacuum wand, paper confetti, Styrofoam pieces, streamers, it’s like a refillable party popper!

Sum up: Cheap, quick, easy to play, easy to clean up and fun, fun, fun (for adults as well) it’s on the shelf for another day.

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Homemade Face Paint Fun

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Our on the fly recipe:
Equal parts Palmer’s Cocoa Butter (or any face friendly lotion) and crayola washable paints
All natural recipe:
Use a thicker lotion for a base, pure cocoa butter, diaper cream etc and Natural food coloring

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Rainy afternoons sometimes produce odd requests from D.

  • ‘Mommy, let’s find a spider.’ (who in their right mind searches out a spider?)
  • ‘Mommy, I have your wallet and your phone, please? I want to be a mommy.’ (apparently all you need to be a mother is a wallet and a cell phone)
  • ‘Mommy, maybe we can have Halloween today?’ (this isn’t actually all that odd, there are lots of days that I just want to dress up and eat chocolate)

Our last rainy afternoon D requested a Rose Tattoo…the kid likes Celtic punk, what can you do? You can give him a Rose Tattoo is what. So away we went to find a red pen, but somewhere between the junk drawer and the office I had a better idea, why stop at a teeny tattoo? Let’s make face paint!

Why go through the trouble of making face paint you ask?

1. Face paint is awesome. However, we didn’t have any face paint on hand so we work with what we have.
2. D has more fun playing with things he has a hand in creating, so when given the option, we make.
3. The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics has drawn attention to the fact that many commercial face paints contain lead, nickel, cobalt and/or chromium…(see above or read on for a more natural non-toxic face paint recipe).

So, I pitched my idea to D and he immediately saw the potential, his tattoo request quickly changed…

to a beard…

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then to Spiderman (Yes, it is a terrible Spiderman, but you try painting webbing on an over excited 2 year old).

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Then D made a life changing discovery, when it comes to face painting the real fun is for the painter not the paintee, and so I became a butterfly. When he deemed my face paint finished he proclaimed ‘Mommy, it’s a wonderful butterfly!’ and it was.

I actually became a few different butterflies, and a spidermom. He made me clean my face multiple times so he could start with a clean canvas. The activity was a big hit and one we will be doing again.

If you aren’t fond of the idea of your toddler smearing colored stickiness all over your face, have them paint a baby doll or, if you have more than one small child, each other.

To make the paint we used a mixture of washable crayola paint and coco butter, any lotion would do. We were not exact with our measurements, we set out the lotion first then added paint until we were happy with the color, approximately equal parts paint and lotion. We used a mini muffin tin to mix and hold the paint and separate colors. The paint washed off of skin, clothes (and couches) easily and it didn’t cause any skin redness or irritation. If you are worried about using the paint mixture and you decide more than 5 seconds ahead of time that you’d like to have some fun with face paints, here is a great recipe from smilinggreenmom.com for all natural non-toxic face paints.

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