Ladybird, Ladybird

One of Jemima’s favourite books is What the Ladybird Heard by Julia Donaldson. For anyone unfamiliar with Julia Donaldson, she was the Children’s Laureate from 2011-13 and has written a host of children’s books, her most famous arguably being The Gruffalo. We discovered her books when Jemima was still a small baby and they were an instant hit, thanks to the wonderful rhyming text and imaginative storylines. Jemima particularly likes What the Ladybird Heard because of the different animal noises and the vibrant illustrations by Lydia Monks. On every page there is a small, sparkly ladybird, and Jemima enjoys finding and pointing to her while we are reading.

Inspired by the book, I created some ladybird-themed craft activities for Jemima.

1. Potato Printing Ladybirds

To prepare, I cut a potato in half then scooped out several small circular holes to create the distinctive spots on a ladybird. I used the pointy end of a potato peeler to do this.

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I also cut out a ‘handle’ to make it easier to hold the potato.

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I poured some red paint onto a paper plate and Jemima had lots of fun dipping the potato into the paint and printing ladybird shapes onto the paper.

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We used black sugar paper so that the red paint would really stand out. Also, it would have been tricky for Jemima to separately paint in the black spots at her age (17 months), so this solved the problem! Jemima loved this activity and I would highly recommend it for any toddlers of a similar age.

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2. Egg Carton Ladybirds

This activity requires parental help and takes a little longer to complete, as you have to wait for the paint to dry, but it is worth the effort to create your very own little ladybirds!

You will need:
An egg carton
Black pipe cleaners (for the ladybird’s antennae)
Black pom poms (for the ladybird’s head)
Goggly eyes
Red paint
Black paint/marker pen/circular stickers (for the ladybird’s spots)
Scissors
Glue

Cut the cups out of the egg cartons.

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Paint each of the cups red and leave to dry. For a sparkly ladybird, you could add some red glitter or use red glitter paint.

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Once the cups are dry, add black dots. You could use a marker pen, black circular stickers or black paint. Next stick or glue the goggly eyes onto the black pom pom.

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Cut some black pipe cleaners into about 4 cm long strips and bend them into “L” shapes for the antennae. You will need two strips per ladybird.

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Finally, glue two pipe cleaners and the pom pom onto the red body, and your ladybird is complete!

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3. Ladybird Sensory Box

Next, we needed to create somewhere for our ladybirds to live!
For the base of the sensory box, I used white rice that I had dyed green to give the illusion of grass.

To dye the rice, I used the following method:
• Pour 500g uncooked rice into a plastic container which has a lid.
• Add green food colouring and 1 ½ – 2 tsp of white vinegar.
• I also added a few drops of lavender oil to eradicate the smell of vinegar.
• Pop the lid on and shake the container to evenly distribute the colour.
• Finally, tip the rice mixture onto a baking tray/into a roasting pan, and leave to dry for at least 24 hours. It actually took longer than this for my rice to dry, so I put it into the oven on a low heat for about an hour to speed things up.
• Once dry, the rice can be used and re-used. Just make sure you store it in an air-tight container.

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Once the ‘grass’ was dry, I added the egg carton ladybirds, some pine cones, fir tree twigs and conkers to the box.

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Next to the box I placed some containers, a mini muffin tray, a little plastic spade and a rake.

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Jemima had lots of fun with this activity but it was rather messy, so I would definitely advise you to put down a large tablecloth/old sheet on the floor to catch the rice. Jemima spent most of her time picking up the rice and letting it trickle out of her hand into all the different containers.

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4. Ladybird Music

The perfect accompaniment to our activities was Marienwürmchen (meaning ‘Ladybird’) by Brahms from Seven Children’s Songs:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UazEcxxWMcE

This song is in German and was written in 1857. The lyrics of the song are similar to those of the old English nursery rhyme, Ladybird, Ladybird:

Ladybird, sit on my hand -
I will do you no harm.
No harm shall come to you;
I only wish to see your colourful wings:
your colourful wings are my joy.
Ladybird, fly away,
your house is burning, your children are crying
so much, so much.
The evil spider is spinning her web around them;
Ladybird, fly home,
your children are crying so.
Ladybird, fly to the neighbour's children,
They will do you no harm.
No harm will come to you:
they only wish to see your colourful wings,
and greet them both for me.

We hope you and your children have lots of fun creating some ladybirds of your own and you enjoy these activities as much as we have.

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39 thoughts on “Ladybird, Ladybird

  1. Such a lovely crafty idea, so cute and fun to play with… I love Julia Donaldson’s story books, they’re very addictive, I’m fed up reading The Gruffalo with my kids as they choose it all the time, lol. However, I haven’t read about the Ladybird, so need to buy one for my kids. Thanks for sharing! #KCACOLS

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Just found this post through #SundayStars and thought how lovely! The potato prints work really well and I love how much thought you put into these activities, and really making it a multi-sensory experience. (I used to work in childcare so it’s right up my street!) Can’t wait to do some activities like this with my boys when they are a bit bigger.🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You’re welcome! I have twin boys, they are only 5.5 months but getting into a bit of sensory play through textured books etc. I love watching their faces as they experience new things, so cute! Jemima looked very happily occupied in your pics!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What a lovely post!! I love this idea!! You are very creative and talented!! I’m rubbish at these things!! But you have made it very easy to follow what to do. I have a 1 year old that will love experimenting with this activity!! OMG that song is so beautiful!! My sister would probably love it and probably understand it better than me. She lives in Vienna and her German is really good! Thanks so much for sharing this at #KCACOLS. I’m so happy to have you here for the first time. I hope you like this linky and that you enjoy finding new blogs/posts to read! I hope to see you again next Sunday!🙂 xx

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love love these ideas. Weirdly I’ve just added the ladybird book to one of my Pinterest boards and we were doing potato printing yesterday! Thank you for sharing such a fab post x

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I love this so much, what a great use of an egg box! We have used then ti make gems for treasure hunts and caterpillars but I’ve not thought to try ladybirds, Genius idea. Please do join me for Trash 2 Treasure it is for all up cycling projects. I love the potato prints too, so easy for little ones, I did Pumpkin ones the but ladybirds work for all year round fun. #MarvMondays

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Great ideas. I am going stir crazy at home with a poorly, contagious 17 month old so finding ideas we can do at home is great. I think the egg carton might be too much like hard work for a worn out mummy of a poorly one, but the potatoes look like a great, quick idea. #KCACOLS

    Liked by 1 person

  8. What great activities! My niece loves ladybirds, so they’ll be great to do with her when she’s not at nursery. I especially like the egg carton ladybirds and the potato prints🙂

    Laura xx

    #KCACOLS

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Wow- what great ideas. This is a dream for kindergarten teachers. I love the potato ladybirds- never seen that one before. Will be pinching these ideas to use in class- thank you!

    Thanks for linking up to #fartglitter xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Oh my your craft stuff is amazing, I am really rubbish at craft but you have inspired me to do potato printing with my children we haven’t done that yet. What the Ladybird Heard is a fab book too, we love it in our house. Thanks for linking up to #kltr

    Liked by 1 person

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