Easter is the Christian festival that celebrates the rising of Christ after his crucifixion. The date of Easter changes each year and this year it is on Sunday 8th April. Traditions include egg decorating and rolling, Easter egg hunts, making Easter bonnets, making Easter gardens and the Easter bunny. Not all Easter customs are Christian though, with eggs and
bunnies being part of the overlap with Pagan spring festivals, so there is no excuse for anyone not to join in the fun!
It is never too early for children to start drawing activities, children can grasp a writing implement and attempt to make marks on paper before they are a year old. Please remember that young children (and some children with disabilities) tend to mouth objects, so use non-toxic and washable materials; wax crayons, stubby chalks and chunky pencils are ideal for first ‘writing’. The first scribbles quickly become firmer and more confident and by their second birthday, many children will be able to copy an adult scribbling ’round and round’ in a circular pattern, and then will start to copy a vertical or a horizontal stroke. At this stage children will probably not remember the ‘tripod’ grip used by adults, however they might allow a crayon to be placed in the correct position. You may find triangular pencils and pens beneficial in encouraging the correct grip. As children continue their writing development they will be able to recreate more complex patterns; for example, zigzags and loop the loops, all of which contribute towards formal
Art and craft activities for Easter are an ideal way of practicing fine motor skills including writing. Here are some ideas for children to make to encourage the development of these skills whilst having fun.
A fun way of practicing writing skills without any pressure is to ‘decorate eggs’. Draw a large egg shape on a piece of paper and decorate it with pre-writing patterns; for example, wavy lines, dotted lines, zigzags, loop the loops (like a continuous joined up letter e), bridges (continuous u or n), the sea (like a line of continuous joined up letter c). Children could trace or copy these lines or develop their own patterns depending on their abilities. Older children could try decorating boiled or blown eggs shells with these patterns for a bigger challenge.
Another fun Easter related drawing activity is to draw eggs (practicing circles), chicks and nests. Chicks can be drawn by repeated lines on top of each other (like a star shape with
many lines to make a fluff-ball and then add eyes, a beak and legs. A nest can
be drawn in the same way with no pressure on ‘neatness’. Flowers can also be
easily drawn by joining circles together round a central circle.
Other Easter craft activities could include making Easter bonnets or Easter baskets. You can decorate Easter bonnets with flowers, by collecting twigs to make a nest (adding in egg shells / chicks) or by making cardboard bunny ears (sticking on cotton wool) to make an Easter bunny hat. A simple basket can be made using an old cardboard box and decorated with patterns similar to those outlined above for decorating eggs and the basket can be filled with eggs or flowers.
And in keeping with our last Hama bead post the Littlesheeps did some Easter themed creations yesterday too!