Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Ants at a Picnic

Last week my kids had an afternoon filled with non-stop fighting. I couldn't take it anymore...so we did a craft. It seriously works every time!

We picked up some books about Ants at the library so making this picnic ant craft was perfect!

First I had my boys look through old magazines and find pictures of food they thought an ant would love to find at a picnic. They cut the pictures out and glued them onto scrapbook paper I had that looked like a picnic blanket.

Next they had fun using their fingerprints to make ants all over their picnic blanket. They both decided to make one really big to be the queen ant.

After the ants were dry, they used a black sharpie to add the details to the ants. (We got inpatient with the drying time so I whipped out the blow dryer to dry the paint more quickly.) Luke accidentally turned a couple of his into spiders with 8 legs instead of 6.  :)

Andy added antennae to the ants as well, and he added a couple black spiders. Later in the afternoon Andy came and gave me a big hug and said, "Thanks for doing the ant project with us Mom!" It was so sweet. It is small things like that, that make me love doing crafts with my kids.

Here are a couple of fun books that go along with this craft:

Ants at the Picnic, Counting by Tens by Michael Dahl
Luke can now count to 100 so this was a perfect book to incorporate counting by tens. 100 ants show up at the picnic and groups of 10 carry off different foods throughout the book, until no ants are left. I loved the numerical groups of tens at the bottom corner of each page which helped illustrate the concept. I had Luke count how many ants were under each food item on each page to practice counting. There was also a fun facts section at the end of the book about ants that I liked. If you had lots of plastic ants, this would definitely be a fun book to expand with math concepts.

One Hundred Hungry Ants by Elinor J. Pinczes
Another great book that incorporates math concepts. One hundred very hungry ants hurry to sample the foods at a picnic, but marching in single file seems too slow for 100 empty tummies. The smallest ant of all suggests they travel in 2 rows of 50, four rows of 25, etc. . . and the division begins. Luke really enjoyed this story. He laughed at each page about all the other forest animals who were taking off with all the picnic food while the ants were fiddling with getting into different lines.

Happy Crafting!!

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