Saturday, April 23, 2011

Spring Activities for Preschoolers: Little Love Birds

So today was a perfect example of why I started this blog. I wanted to come up with a service activity that we could do as a family this Easter, to keep it more Christ-centered. I found these little birds and thought we could make them for a local children's center called the Christmas Box House. I called the shelter and they told me that they currently had five children at their shelter, so our plan was to make five of these "love" birds (to show the kids how loved they are) with hand-written notes from my girls. Sounds simple enough right? And if I were to post the pictures of my girls making these birds, writing their notes, and taking this basket of love birds to the shelter, it just might have passed for a perfectly planned activity that was a great success.
Fledgling Friends from Family Fun
But the point of this blog is NOT to make activities like this look easy! Let me just pull the curtain and reveal the back stage realities of this activity. The birds were delivered with love, but not without a few little mishaps along the way. Everything started out so well. We had a lesson on the Easter story and the Resurrection. We talked about how we want to remember the Savior this Easter by doing service. We made the birds, wrote the notes, and all was on track. Then, right before we left, my three year old started crying because her love bird's wings were uneven. She refused to eat dinner and when she started telling my husband and I that she'd never be our daughter again, she was put in time-out.

(She chucked pieces of her magnetic calendar out from under her door one by one... and her underwear. She knows that really ticks me off.)

Once she calmed down enough to come downstairs and get in the car, we were on our way. Then my sweet little girl (same one) lost it again. Her little sister got to choose what movie was on in the car, and that was pure injustice. To give her credit, she had stayed up late with the babysitter the night before and needed to call it a day, but our goal was to DELIVER THE GOODS. We pressed forward. Once we arrived at the shelter, Hazel (over-tired 3 yr old) offered to carry the bag of candy. I should have known that that was a bad idea. Once she realized that after her behavior that evening she wasn't getting one bite of that candy, she started pouting again...

We did deliver the basket of love birds and candy and wished everyone a Happy Easter. We speedily drove home while our precious girl (yep, same one) cried about not getting the biggest carrot in the snack bag. She was sound asleep within 30 minutes of returning home and we are left with HOPE for a brighter, more sane tomorrow...and the age of 4. (I hear it's better than 3).

Easter Love Birds


Styrofoam balls in 2 different sizes
soft fuzzy yarn
tacky glue
black ball-head straight pins

Step One:
Stick a toothpick into the smaller Styrofoam ball and drizzle the ball in glue. Wrap yarn around the ball, starting at the end and working towards the middle. Cut the yarn, move the toothpick to the opposite end, and wrap the remainder of the ball in yarn, again working toward the middle. Repeat with larger ball.

Step Two:
To put the bird together, press a glue-tipped toothpick into the end of the smaller ball, dap the other end of the toothpick with glue and connect it to the bigger ball (one is the head and one is the case you weren't following). Use toothpicks to poke four holes into the larger ball (2 for wings, 2 for legs).
(My husband is the lovely hand model here)

Step Three:
For the legs, bend the end of a pipe cleaner into four zig zags and pinch them together in two's (for little toes). Trim the legs to about 1 1/2 inches and insert them into the holes with glue on the tips of the pipe cleaners.


Step Four:
Insert wings into the other holes you made in the body. Trim the feathers if needed to make them the same length.
Step Five:
For the beak, cut a triangle from a piece of folded orange felt and bead glue along the outside of the crease. Press into place on the face and add two straight pins for eyes.


Step Six:
My girls drew pictures and wrote "Happy Easter" on little notes with John 3:16, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life."


Happy Easter!
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1 comment :

  1. I tell any mother of a three-year-old that four is your reward for letting them live through three. :) Four is the best!