The Usborne Big Book of Playtime Activities: Flowers and Bees

I love mornings filled with coloring, cutting, and art with my daughter right at the kitchen table. Clear off the morning dishes, break out the crayons, scissors and glue sticks... and if we are at a loss for where to start I grab this awesome book for inspiration. The Usborne Big Book of Playtime Activities is filled with great drawing, painting, cutting, and gluing projects. (I'm not an Usborne rep, but I was lucky enough to know a few who gave me all their favorites when my daughter was born).

Today was a sunny spring morning, so we both got excited about drawing flowers and bees. This page was our inspiration. We didn't follow the directions, but used them as a starting point - which we often do. But the great thing about this book is it makes doing art with kids simple for anyone, of any skill level.

The directions read:

1. Draw a flower with a crayon
2. Cut it out. Stick on a paper middle.
3. Make some more flowers and leaves.
4. Draw bees. Crayon eyes and stripes. Cut bees out.
5. Draw wings. Cut them out.
6. Stick everything down in a pattern.




This simple project was one we both enjoyed, and it filled up a good 30 minutes of our morning. Woo hoo! This day is off to a great start.

I'll share a bit more about this book, in case you are interested in purchasing one, or checking it out at your local library if it is available.

The book is divided into 7 sections:
  1. I can cut and stick
  2. I can crayon
  3. I can fingerpaint
  4. I can draw animals (one of my daughter's favorite)
  5. I can count
  6. I can add up
  7. Fun with numbers
The book is appropriate for a wide range of ages. I use it mostly when K asks me how to draw animals. The book makes it easy for me to show her how to draw step-by-step beginning with simple shapes, and adding details like eyes, ears, and simple legs.

Kids naturally enjoy art, and it has been a very important part of my daughter's life since she was a toddler. There are so many great benefits to doing art with young kids:
  • Teaches creative thinking
  • Builds confidence
  • Develops fine motor skills
  • Language development 
  • Improved academic performance
Here's a good article from PBS that covers the topic in better detail than I can do http://www.pbs.org/parents/education/music-arts/the-importance-of-art-in-child-development/.

Enjoy creating with your little ones.

-Jen

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