Sunday, April 9, 2017

The Bunny Who Found Easter - Charlotte Zolotow

Today's Handwork session (aka Craft Club, which trips off the tongue better than "Art & Handwork Class", or "Creativity Workshop") was all about decorating eggs for Easter!

We had two stories today. The main one was a favorite by Charlotte Zolotow: The Bunny Who Found Easter. My version is illustrated by Betty Peterson and I think is the original (and the best). But you can still find this charming story around.

We also read Clare Turlay Newberry's 1943 Caldecott Honor Marshmallow.

Yes, a bunny's a delightful habit / No home is complete without a rabbit!

We had six craft projects packed into our four hours (the last hour was free play outside). First, the Charlotte Zolotow book. Then, we made and decorated Easter baskets. This is a simple craft project which my mom taught me when I was a little girl and it's a quick and easy way to make an Easter basket out of a brown paper lunch bag. Make a mark 4 or 5 inches up from the bottom of the bag (depending on how deep you want your basket to be) on both sides. Make a mark for a one inch wide handle in the center (tick marks at 2 inches and 3 inches). Cut over and up. Cut over and up. Open the bag and stand it up on the flat bottom. Tape the handles together. Done!

Every year we made baskets this way and put two dyed eggs in Easter grass and trotted them over to my Maryland grandparents. We visited twice a year... Easter and Christmas. In December we brought them school pictures wrapped in holiday paper. Simple.

They lived a mile away and we barely saw them... that was my dad's parents.

On my mom's side, we traveled hundreds of miles to go spend every single second of Christmas Break with my other grandparents. My parents picked us up from the sidewalk outside of the school as soon as the bell rang to let us out the door. We drove all night, 16 hours, to get to Illinois. And I loved Grandmommy and Granddaddy -- and that house in Carbondale -- so much that I came out here to Illinois to buy their house and keep it in the family.

Anyway. Memories.

Today we made paper baskets out of white lunch bags and decorated them with colored pencils.

Zac and his harmonica

Measuring for the basket and handle

Ta da!

While kids were drawing on bags (they will spend a surprisingly long time doing this) I hard boiled the eggs. While the eggs cooled enough to be handled, we read the Clare Turlay Newbery book. I also passed around the Lansinoh tube of lanolin. Rub a little lanolin on your hands and you can shape wool batting easily into a little nest. We used the wool that the girls had dyed a few weeks ago (bright yellow with turmeric, rose gold with beets, lavender with red cabbage).

By the way, if I did turmeric and wool again in a crockpot I would use turmeric root.  The wool is STILL giving off clouds of turmeric powder whenever you touch it.  Not a great combination with Lansinoh!

Then I got out the oil pastels and the rubber bands and the children either wrote on their eggs in white pastel (or in color) or wrapped them tightly with rubber bands. While they were getting eggs organized, the water was boiling for the dye. I put 1/2 cup water in four different mugs (I recommend having lots of plates and mugs around that you don't mind getting stained) and the kids added the powders and stirred. There were lots of ooh and aahs. These were the Natural Egg Dyes from Natural Earth Paint LLC. 

Eggs went in dye, kids went out to play.

After everyone was happy with the saturation of their color, we needle felted in Easter cookie cutters. This is a nifty little trick I learned on Pinterest, and it's a great start to needle felting for the 8 or 9 year olds. We had my Grandmommy's Easter cookie cutters and made a rabbit and a chicken. 

Last, but not least, Easter Bunny Eggs!! Glue dots instead of a hot glue gun simplified the process, and although stiffened polyester felt, pompoms, and artificial eggs aren't usually my cup of tea, this craft was too cute to pass up.

The eggs will tend to float, so

flip the spoon over to hold them down

There were four colors of dye in all

Vintage cookie cutters

Adding a fancy tail and a comb turns a duck into a rooster

We drew faces on the eggs with ultra fine-line Sharpies

Natalie's bunny egg

Leah's bunny egg

Out the door to give to Mom and Dad:
  • a decorated paper Easter basket
  • a dyed wool nest
  • two dyed hard-boiled eggs
  • a needle felted Spring animal
  • and an Easter Bunny Egg

This post contains affiliate links to the materials I actually use for homeschooling. I hope you find them helpful. Thank you for your support!

No comments: