What’s your favourite Eric Carle book?
That’s a trick question because how do you narrow it down to just one?
Eric Carle celebrated his 90th birthday last week.
Pop the poppers, eat all the cake and celebrate the Grand Master of Picture Books with these 26 creative and fun Eric Carle activities. (Cake is obviously optional but highly recommended.)
Two of my Insta Buddies, Laura and Diane, launched a fabulous account over on the ‘Gram.
Their account, A Pop of Culture, celebrates popular culture in a fun and playful way.
They launched with the excellent theme of Eric Carle.
The following Eric Carle activities resulted from this amazing launch theme.
How excellent is 4kids2moms’ Eric Carle-inspired cow that is interactive?!
I did not know this amazing fact, but Miriam from Cardboard Schoolhouse shared that after the release of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Carle wanted to create a quartet of Very books to highlight different themes.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar is a story about Hope.
The Very Busy Spider is about Hard Work.
The Very Quiet Cricket is a story of Love and finding a mate.
And The Very Lonely Firefly is about Belonging.
You need to go and check out the art that Miriam and her team created exploring these themes.
READ: Mister Seahorse by Eric Carle CREATE: Colourful seahorses with watercolour markers on aluminium foil
This Mister Seahorse art project uses a simple process that blew us away with the results.
WHAT YOU WILL NEED:
Paper – we used photo paper. Watercolour paper would also work nicely. You could use any paper but photo or watercolour papers really up the vibrance!
Seahorse template – download below
Use washable markers to draw on the non-shiny side of the aluminium foil in big blocks of colour.
Spray a light mist of water across the colour.
Press photo paper down onto colours. Peel away the paper to reveal your design.
Photo and watercolour papers are excellent for absorbing colours. You can absolutely use any kind of paper but results will vary.
Play with how you place the colours on the foil.
If your foil bunches up, this causes little rivers of colour that creates an interesting effect.
Is it okay to Eric Carle ALL THE THINGS?*
That’s a rhetorical question. Yes. Yes it is.
This egg decorating idea is inspired by the technique Eric Carle uses to illustrate his iconic picture books.
*2019 is the 50th anniversary of The Very Hungry Caterpillar and also Mr Carle’s 90th birthday.
I feel like it is the perfect year to be Carle-ifying everything. #youhavebeenwarned
Want to try egg decorating inspired by Eric Carle?
Here’s what you will need:
A variety of painting implements
Eric Carle paints tissue paper which he then collages with to create his illustrations.
We are no strangers to this process- you can check out our painted tissue paper art here.
In that project, we painted big sheets of tissue paper.
For this project, we scaled down.
We painted smaller rectangles and squares of tissue paper- a much more manageable process!
Tape your tissue paper to cardboard scraps for a DIY easel. The paint will bleed through the tissue paper.
Tissue paper is obviously quite delicate.
This is a great exercise for mini artists to experiment with mark making and pressure. Too much paint, too much pressure and the paper will tear.
Decide on your paint colours and provide your little artists with different painting implements.
As you apply paint, you need to keep gently lifting your tissue paper up off the cardboard to prevent it sticking.
Pull out all your Eric Carle books and pore over his illustrations.
A great prompt to use with the kids is: “How do you think Eric Carle made those marks?”
If you’re looking for a cool effect, pull out the bubble wrap!
Slather some paint onto the bubble wrap and then place your tissue paper on top. Press lightly, lift and voila!
If you have a bit of paint overload happening, simply lay another piece of tissue paper on top of your design.
It’s a simple printmaking exercise that quickly increases the sheets of painted tissue paper that you have. (And trust me, you’ll want loads of the stuff!)
Once your tissue paper is all dried, here comes my favourite part!
Tear the paper into little strips, ready for collage.
Then you simply cover your foam eggs with your tissue paper pieces.
A thin layer of glue will keep corners down- just keep gently pressing down as you glue your tissue paper around the egg.
This step can get messy, so keep a wet towel nearby for your fingers.
You can use any craft glue. We were recently sent some Bostik products to trial. This is not a sponsored post!
I’m wondering how I survived this long without the Bostik Fine and Wide glue stick in my life.
It has two applicators for ease of use, a non-drip pen applicator that flows in a fine clean line as well as a spreader, for larger applications. It made the collage process super speedy.
Once your foam eggs have dried, decide what you are going to do with them.
You could use them as a table display. Or turn them into a mobile. (My sleep-deprived brain just couldn’t quite figure that one out today. But I’m sure you’ll have better luck!)
We decided to turn them into a door wreath. Because our postman deserves some Eric Carle Easter in his life too.
I simply used the hot glue gun on the eggs to affix them to an embroidery hoop. Simple!
Welcome in Spring or encourage some imaginative play with this butterfly craft made from paper plates.
They would be perfect to couple with a reading of The Very Hungry Caterpillar.
Or perhaps you could make a gazillion of them and string them up as a garland or as a mobile?
You will need:
Paper plates (We had some fancy paper plates left over from a party- but plain paper plates will do just fine!)
Paint / Crayons/ Markers
This post contains affiliate links. Thanks for your support.
Paint the rim of your plate in your favourite colour. (If you have plain white plates, you might also like to paint the other side of the rim in a second colour.)
Of course if the idea of painting gives you the heebie-jeebies, you could choose to colour the rim with coloured markers or crayons instead. Paint or colour the middle section of your paint black.
Once the paint has dried, you need to cut out the inner part of the plate whilst leaving the rim intact. The rim will become the butterfly’s wings. Use the black painted section to create a thorax. If you like, you could decorate the thorax with washi tape or sequins.
Fold the rim in half. Then fold it in half again. Pinch down on the bottom fold and push the outer half towards the middle to create an upper and lower wing. Repeat on the other side and staple these parts together in the middle.
I painted craft glue onto the edge of the wings. Place tissue paper over the edges and allow the glue to dry. Once dried, trim the excess tissue paper away.
If you wish to turn your paper plate butterflies into puppets or a mobile, wrap a chenille stick around the middle of the wings. You could also use jewellery wire. I tape the thorax to the middle of the wings.
Your butterfly craft is now ready to flutter through the skies.
If I asked you to name some of the world’s greatest picture book creators, who would you name?
This simple Eric Carle art project for kids introduces mini makers to the glorious collage technique of one of the world’s greatest picture book creators.
It involves painting tissue paper to create some seriously eye-popping results.
One of my most popular posts in the history of this blog, involved making a wall hanging using this Eric Carle-inspired process.
It felt about time to whip this project out again to create something new.
Gotta love a fun process that leads to glorious products, right?
You can then turn your painted tissue paper into cards, garlands, wall hangings, illustrations…. if you can imagine it, you can create it.
This post contains affiliate links. Thanks for your support.
You will need:
A variety of paintbrushes
Offcuts from cardboard boxes
Here are some tips from what we learned from the experience.
You will need some thick cardboard to lay under your tissue paper to prevent the paint bleeding through to your work surface.
I pulled apart an old nappy box.
As you apply paint to the tissue paper, lift up your sheet of tissue paper frequently.
This will stop the paper from sticking to the cardboard.
Eric Carle applies his paint in layers.
For example, he works on a red layer and then lets that sheet dry.
Then once dried, he applies another layer of paint.
We went for a process that explored different paintbrushes and strokes.
So we applied all our layers at once, doing different lines and dots.
(You might want to make sure the colours on offer are complementary, in this case.)
We then finished by using IKEA Mala paints, in their excellent squeezy bottles, and squeezed haphazard lines onto the paper.
Once your tissue paper has dried, tear it up into little pieces.
You now have an instant collage box of goodness!
We traced hearts onto cardboard offcuts and cut these out.
Using craft glue, we then covered our cardboard hearts with painted tissue paper.
Trim away any excess overhanging the edges.
Once dried, you can glue your hearts to some thin cardboard to create a homemade card.
Or you could create a garland.
Here’s an excellent garland-making tip that I learned from my friend Shelly at Creating Creatives.
Cut up a straw into small intervals.
Use a hot glue gun to secure these bits of straw to the back of your hearts.
Once the glue has dried, you have an easy way to string yarn through and a super simple way to make a garland!