Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth Day Grass Caterpillars

Celebrate Earth Day
and the Letter C
Grass Caterpillar Hairy Caterpillars Letter C craft

I found these adorable caterpillars all over the Internet while searching for crafts my playgroup could do for Earth Day. It looks easy enough for a bunch of 2-4 year olds to accomplish mostly on their own! So I gathered up my troop of princesses and headed off to Lowes to pick up some grass seed, potting soil, and some cute shovels for the kids. After much searching I found a small bag of grass seed, and several other seeds I wanted to try out with the kids as well.

Our playdate began with the moms prepping our breakfast counter. We poured soil into 2 containers figuring more then one kiddo would want to participate in the craft at one time. In a large bowl we mixed the grass seed with the soil then cut up our pantyhose. I never knew how much fun it would be to destroy my pantyhose! 

We set up the kids with a bowl of soil and grass seed mix, handed them shovels, and opened the pantyhose for them to pour it all in. It was a mess, but fun none the less!

FamilyFun Magazine says to use ponytail holders and we tried that on one of the caterpillars. That worked well as long as you use the thin holders, the thick ones were too hard to wrap around the worm. But it did work well. Another mom brought regular rubber bands, hers turned out great as well. 

I refused to part with any of my pony tail holders and honestly didn't want the girls to think they could use their small ones for anything other then their hair. So I wrapped the pipe cleaners tightly around the worm making segments then used what was left over as legs. These pictures also show the placement of the tie off and I personally prefer making it the nose as seen in the first photo!

Earth Day Grass Caterpillars
Caterpillar with rubber bands and legs pushed into the side:
Grass Catapillar
Caterpillar with pipe cleaners wrapped around then used as legs:
Hairy Grass Caterpillar

*Tip - You may want to wait on putting the eyes on. We didn't, as you can see and were worried they'd come off during the soaking. So far neither of mine have lost their eyes but that may just be luck!

After the legs are done its time to work on the antenna. There are a couple ways to affix the pipe cleaner to the caterpillar. You can cut the pipe cleaner in half and push it through the pantyhose 0r you can cut 2 slits in the hose and feed the pipe cleaner through. Bend in the middle and curl the tops.

Now its time to soak! Soak for 10 minutes.
After your caterpillar is done soaking its time to put it in the sun. Since the girls garden is barren in the middle I thought it'd be a nice home for ours till we can plant the seeds we bought at Lowes.
Hairy Grass Caterpillar in Ladybug Sandbox Garden

Once your caterpillar has dried out a bit, you can affix the googlie eyes on without much worry. Water your caterpillar every other day. Have your kiddos go out with you to observe how the grass is growing, the texture, color, and length. I measure out the water for each girl and let them water their own, otherwise they'd be mud by now!

*Additional note: Once the grass begins to grow the eyes you glued on will disappear. The FamilyFun site says to use a bobby pin and glue the eyes on that way. I tried that but had an impossible time keeping the bobby pins upright. I also didn't find the need for a yogurt container or pom poms.


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