I don’t know about you, but between flu season, all of the “snow” and winter weather, it seems like this is my kids’ first full week of preschool since before Christmas. Moms who have survived winter 2018 so far, I salute you. It’s not that winter isn’t magical; it’s just that I am getting a little stir crazy. My oldest learned the word “bored” recently, and the other day, while looking out the window watching her breath fog up the glass, she asked me longingly if it was summer yet. I’m a firm believer that there is a book for every occasion, even these winter blues. So, a book to the rescue!
If you need a little help sparking the winter magic again, this book is for you!
Jennifer Hansen Rolli‘s latest picture book Claudia and Moth is all about dispelling even the blahest of winter blahs. The book begins in all the glory of summer (argh, remember summer?) when Claudia discovers two things she loves: the butterflies in the park and painting them. Quite the artist, she paints so many butterflies, she can cover her walls with her art like wallpaper.
Things change when winter comes and the butterflies fly away. Claudia is so sad, she hides her paint box under her bed. She mopes through winter until one day, while rummaging in her drawer for her warmest winter sweater, out flies a moth! I won’t spoil the story for you, but in the end the moth helps Claudia see the wonder of winter and reignites her creative and artistic spirit. Ultimately Claudia learns creativity is a positive way to deal with change, to work through big emotions, and to steward the beauty of the world around her.
Inspired by Claudia, we decided to paint our own moths.
There’s this magical moment in the book where Claudia paints her new moth friend to look like a butterfly. She transforms him from winter white, to orange, blue and purple. We made our moths out of white coffee filters and painted them with watercolor paint.
For this craft you will need:
white coffee filters
clothes pins for the moth’s body
pipe cleaners for the antenna and legs
hot glue gun (or your preferred glue to assemble your moth)
First, the fun part! I let the girls paint the coffee filters with watercolors. Bonnie really liked using the glitter watercolor paint so that her moth sparkled! Unlike me, you might want to paint on top of plates or place mats to protect your table. Since coffee filters are so thin, I suggest painting multiple filters together, doubling or tippling up on the layers so that they don’t tear as easily when they are painted. It also makes the wings fluffier when you go to fold the moths later.
Once your filters are painted, let them dry.
When they are fully dry, its time to fold. First fold the circle in half (like a taco). Then fold two wings up to meet in the middle (like pizza slices). Then I folded the head down and up to make a crease that makes the wings pop.
We drew on eyes with markers, but if your kids don’t put everything in their mouth like mine, you could use googly eyes or beads. To assemble everything, I glued our folded moth to a clothes pin with a hot glue gun. For the legs and antenna we curled cut pipe cleaners and hot glued them in place.
Easy, cheap, and fun! My favorite kind of craft.
The girls have enjoyed finding fun places to hang their moths. Next time it might be fun to glue a magnet to the bottom of the clothes pin so we can hang them on the fridge.