This winter has been rough. Long, cold, snowy.
Sometimes, as a stay-at-home parent to three littles, you have to resort to some pretty imaginative stuff.
Last week, with the umpteenth cold virus or whatever overrunning our homestead, we had to do just that. Our fellow homeschooling friends gave us some walnuts last fall and we’ve been gnawing away at them steadily since but we have quite a few left. I racked my Mom-brain and got the idea to transform them into ladybugs. After seeing some flutter around the windows these last few days, we learned a bit about these delicate insects and took to the painting table.
We read the book, “Bugs Are Insects” by Anne Rockwell, Illustrated by Steve Jenkins, from the “Let’s Read And Find Out Science” series. (We love this series of books!) As always, I prefer to use DecoArt Americana paints, so used Primary Red and Lamp (Ebony) Black for this simple project. One of the things I liked best was that this activity catered to all three ages of our children (5 1/2, 4, & 2). That is a rarity!
First, I shelled the walnuts carefully not to break the shell.
Second, I prepped the table & kids (acrylics are quite permanent once dry) & let them paint the red base coat onto the outer walnut shell. Let base coat dry.
Third, they painted black dots over the dried red paint. They can be as creative as they would like. Perhaps some ladybugs have stripes?!
Finally, after allowing the paint to completely dry, we coated the ladybug walnuts with a layer of DecoArt DuraClear Satin Varnish, a polyurethane sealant that will protect the paint from chipping as well as finish the paint nicely.
The kids thought this process was really neat, especially our oldest daughter who is very much into learning how things work & categorizing creatures around us. The fact that ladybugs have an external skeleton made them perfect candidates to paint on walnuts! Our children were fascinated.
What’s your go-to craft with your kids?
For more snowed-in/rainy day ideas that aren’t mine, visit my Pinterest board “Kids Crafts“.