The theme for Summer Reading Club this week is Home Base, so our weekend fun is all about the Earth! We’ve got two different activities to keep you and your child busy this weekend – one which is a bit more science focused and one which is just plain fun.
Activity 1: Bug Hotel
Our first craft is a little bit fun and a little bit science-y. You’ll make a hotel for Earth’s smallest residents: bugs! This is a great time to teach your child about garden diversity and biology. Plants and animals have needs just like us! (Food, water, shelter, etc.) We’ll explore the world around us and learn a bit about our environment as we create.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Plastic bottle
- Sticks, pine cones, bark, any other bits of nature you can collect from your backyard (grass heads, flower heads, seed pods, and more)
- String or twine
- White glue (optional)
- Stickers or decorations (optional)
Pro-tip: Use materials that are long lasting, (unlike leaves which are brittle and will fall apart) so your bug house will last the season outdoors.
Begin by gathering the nature bits from outside. (This is a great thing to do as you take a walk through the park!)
Secondly, prepare your plastic bottle. (Adults, this step is for you). Cut your bottle down to shape by cutting off the ends. You’ll be left with a large cylinder. You can use this as your bug house or cut it in half width-wise, producing two smaller cylinders. We’re using a plastic bottle in this version of the bug hotel so that it will be waterproof and last a bit longer.
Next we put a layer of glue on the “bottom” side of the bottle. Just throw a dollop of glue in the bottle and spread it around with your finger. Then, because bugs like dirt, we put dirt onto the glue to make our hotel foundation. It’s messy, but good for bugs.
Now arrange your materials in the cylinder. Play around with arranging your materials by different textures and sizes. It’s okay if your nature sticks out the ends of your cylinder! This will make it look natural to your bug.
We had some cool stickers lying around, so we chose some bugs might like (like trees) to use to make our hotel more welcoming.
Lastly, choose a location for your hotel somewhere outside. You can even hang it up in a tree by tying twine around the cylinder with one end of string and making a loop in the other end.
Want some other ideas on how to build a hotel for specific bugs? For example, bees like hollow tubes or stems, like bamboo or plant stalks. Check out these two websites:
Activity 2: Confetti Planet Earth
Our second Earth themed craft is . . . the Earth! Have fun with confetti to make this recycled craft.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Empty cereal box or other cardboard item in your recycling bin
- Blue markers or crayons
- Green paper
- A hole punch
What to do:
Start by tracing a circle on your cardboard and cutting it out.
Then set that aside and cut your green paper into strips. Fold your strips over lengthwise and hole punch them. Collect all your little dots in a bowl or dish. This is your confetti. (We lacked a dish, but still had plenty of confetti!)
Next, colour your cardboard blue! (This is your ocean.)
When finished, add glue to your cardboard where you want the continents to be. (Please note that our map is not to scale.)
Lastly, sprinkle your confetti onto the glue. (This is the absolute best part!) Then, let it dry.
To make this craft last, consider gluing a magnet on the back so you can use it on the fridge or poking a hole in the top and threading a string through so you can hang it!