Friday, March 25, 2011

Mama and Baby Chick Craft....and How to Dye a Cotton Ball!

Happy Spring...I think... maybe once the latest blanket of snow melts! What is up with the snow, peeps? Hellooo... the calendar says it is Spring so it had better start to act like it! Despite the weather, we did a spring time craft with our four year old AWANA Cubbies group at church. I don't usually show any of the crafts we do with these little friends because so many of the "seven sisters" are there as leaders that this is old news! But, this craft is very sweet and there might someone out there in blogland looking for a craft for preschool age kiddos.

First, let me tell you that last year was the first time I attempted this craft and it was a hilarious disaster! You can't see it yet but underneath the "mama bird" are baby chicks made out of cotton balls. The catch is, the cotton balls are yellow. Apparently, when my son made this craft in preschool about six years ago, cotton balls were available in various colors. I couldn't find them anywhere so I started brainstorming how to make my own yellow cotton balls. I tried a few ideas...rubbing them with yellow chalk (not much color), spray painting them (lots of color but kinda crunchy...crunchy chicks? Not good), so I searched on line how to dye them. It seemed simple enough, dip them in a solution of water and food coloring and then dry them on paper towels. So, this is what they looked like after I dipped them...

...and that is pretty much what they looked like after they dried...and it took days!! I remember texting "S" in a panic because I was supposed to do this craft and my "baby chicks" were yucky blobs of matted cotton. I think we played games that night instead of doing a craft and it was back to the drawing board! I finally decided to try putting the soggy lumps into my dryer...scary, I know, but it worked! They came out as cute little fluffy, perfectly round yellow balls! Success!

I did wipe down the inside of my dryer after wards and then dried a load of dark towels before using it for a white load. I didn't think the Mayor would appreciate yellow undershirts.☺
Okay, back to the craft...color a small paper plate with green or brown crayon and then glue on a handful of green Easter grass. Use a black Sharpie marker to make dot eyes on three yellow cotton balls. Glue on little beaks cut from orange card stock paper and then glue the three babies in the middle of the Easter grass.

Now, for the Mama bird, you will need yellow card stock for her body and feathers and orange for a beak and two legs. 

Cut the curved edges of the three feathers to make a fringe. Form the body into a cone shape and tape to hold. Glue the feathers and tail and legs and beak on using a glue stick. Attach some googly eyes with glue dots.

Now, place the Mama bird on the plate so she covers the three babies.

Cute!! The kids couldn't wait for their Moms and Dads to pick them up so they could show them the secret surprise under the Mama bird ☺ One of the little boys at "S's" table must have some background knowledge about baby birds because "S" said he was pretending the mama was feeding the babies and he definitely knew all about the whole regurgitation thing!! Eewww!
Jenn and I have "Little L" (Mar's daughter) at our table and she got her three little cotton ball babies glued down and they all had their little orange beaks facing up to the sky. She looked at them and said, "Oh look, my baby birds are singing to Jesus." Awwww....cute, cute.

Nel's smile for the week: Signs of Spring! Robins and buds on the trees!☺
Nel's frown for the week:'s all covered with SNOW!!???
Lulu's smile for the week: She is getting paid to make 30 Duct tape flower pens for a bridal shower in April!
Lulu's frown for the week: No sleeping in this's All County weekend! They practice for 3 hours on Friday night, then get up early Saturday and practice a bunch more and then the concert is at 2 pm! Whew!

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  1. so cute nel!!! I laughed out loud when i saw what little L precious!!! she's kept them displayed on her dresser since she brought them home!! :) ~Mar*

  2. I am so glad I found this post. I am preparing a craft for Sunday School that takes colored cotton balls and would have never thought of the dryer trick! Thanks!

  3. i was wondering how to dry those faster. im trying something with colored cotton balls soon. i wonder if putting them in a laundry sack would help? thanks a lot for your post!


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