I had a lot of fun putting this craft together because of its many different components!
White PaintGlitter Spray
Blue Paper as background
White snowballs for snowman
Magazine cut outs of snowman accessories
Markers for detail
Use the corks as a stamp and dip into the white paint and then press on the paper. These will be your falling snowflakes. Once complete, spray the paper with the glitter to add a Winter sparkle and the illusion of fresh clean snow. :)
Once the snow is dry, you can have the kids glue down snowmen. They can dress them up with cut outs of hats, earmuffs, and scarves. Finally, they can do final touches like eyes and mouths with a marker.
What's Winter without the snow? A Winter on the West coast where I grew up :)
What you'll need:
White circles cut in varying sizes- have 4-5 distinct sizes
Snowman accessories- scarf, eyes, buttons, mouth, hat, carrot- whatever you'd like
First, set out the snowballs on a separate table all mixed up. Have each child put together a set of 3-4 different sized snowballs and sequence them from biggest to smallest. You can point out other objects in the classroom that come in a variety of sizes (Blocks, pom poms, dolls, plates, legos, books).
Next, have the kids bring their circles to the art center and glue them to a paper so the they resemble whatever their version of a snowman is. Finally, dress the snowmen with their accessories.
This is a fun activity that repurposes all of those unwanted clothing catalogs.
Clothing Catalogs for Winter
Head shot of each child (Optional)
If your children are not yet using scissors, during your free time, go through the catalogs and cut out coats, sweaters, gloves, scarves, pants, boots, shoes, etc. If your children are old enough to cut, rip the pages out of the catalogs in advance and have them cut out their favorite gear.
Next, give each child a piece of construction paper, or plain white copy paper- whichever you prefer. Have the kids assemble their person dressed for Winter. During your circle time, you may want to review the sequencing of what people need for Winter, and in general. Use the glue to stick the ensemble to the paper- a glue stick may work better because some of the parts may be more delicate and unable to withstand the onslaught of the liquid glue.
Finally, give each child his/her picture to place at the "head".
Last year, our class had received an adorable tea set as a class birthday gift immediately preceding Winter. So I began setting the dramatic play table for a tea party each morning before the kids would arrive. At first, the dishes were simply replaced with the food and pots. Eventually though, one little girl came to school earlier than usual, saw the tea party, and immediately dragged over another girlfriend to join her. I watched as, for the next couple weeks, the kids began pouring tea, serving desserts and fruit, and sipping their teas, and then replacing the cups on the saucers. A flash of inspiration struck! Why not have a real tea party? Except, let's do cocoa since that's far more kid friendly.
Here's what we did:
1. Teachers moved 2 tables (ours were trapezoids) together to form a rounded table to sit at.
2. One child passed out 1 plate to each child sitting
3. Another child passed out spoons
4. The next child handed out napkins
5. The next child passed around cups
6. The last child passed straws around- (Straws make all drinking activities even more fun!)
A teacher poured the warm water into each child's cup. Then I went around with the cocoa and had each child take a spoonful from the bag and dump it into their water and stir. Next, we passed around small cups of milk to add to the cocoa. Finally, each child received about 5 mini marshmallows. The kids loved drinking the cocoa!
We discussed the freezing cold of the Winter and different ways to stay warm- dress warmly, turn on the steam, and eat/drink hot foods.
Now that the holidays are over, we can focus on our Winter unit! This week, I will be posting a slew of Winter crafts and activities- Hot Cocoa anyone?
Have fun, and I'd love to hear feedback from you telling me where you use my ideas? At home or school?
Whenever I'm directing a large group project, I anticipate gallons of glue or paint, or whatever other material is being used ending up all over the floor. Here are some great refrains to remind the kids to stay focused on the task
"Dot, Dot, Not A Lot"
"A Dot of Glue will Do"
"Open, Shut, Open, Shut, This is how we learn to Cut"
My final Chanukah post is here! This one is family friendly, and super fun to do at home!
What you'll need:
Homemade or store-bought plain doughnuts
Icing bags and tips or syringes
Set out the doughnuts and the various toppings, spreads and fillings. Let the kids 9and adults go to town decorating and creating their favorite flavors! Use the icing bags to fill the doughnuts as desired. Poke a hole using a knife into the center of the doughnut from the side. Then, place the tip of the icing bag inside the hole and squeeze the filling inside. You can even combine fillings! Squeeze some custard, some chocolate, some caramel, etc.... The skit's the limit!!
Enjoy your delicious doughnuts!!
This is a fun alphabet center that helps reinforce letter recognition, fine motor skills, and pre math skills.
What you'll need:
2 baskets or bowls
alphabet cards- half random letters and half the letter that you're teaching
2 posts or chairs
Attach the yarn to the 2 chairs, stretching it tight so that it resembles a clothesline. Mix the alphabet cards and place them in one of the bowls or baskets. Stick the clothespins on the yarn.
Activity: Have the kids sort out the letter that's being taught and place those cards in the second basket/bowl. Then, have the kids hang the letters on the clothesline.
Have the kids remove the letters and shuffle them for the next child.
It's that fateful day! Right before the holiday, or at the end of whatever your current unit is, and you need to pack everything up and send it home, so that parents can ooh and aah over your creative genius! Now, if you've just finished a run of the mill unit- say transportation,- you'll pack up the crafts and send them home, explanations included in the newsletter. But when holidays roll around, like today when sending home Chanukah crafts, I think it's important to wrap them specially in order to convey the importance and "specialness" of the contents. It's a way to tell parents, babysitters, or whoever's picking the kids up to handle the crafts with care, and that the contents should be examined with joy and fanfare.
So how do you do it? Well, that depends on what and how much you're sending home. We sent home our Menorahs and Menorah mats today. I wrapped the menorahs in cellophane, tied them off with some repurpose fabric remnants and trims, then taped the ensemble to the Menorah mat. I placed them on each child's cubby, ad had a sign on the door asking parents to please take their child's crafts from there.
When I send home more than that, I try to find paper gift bags. If you don't have the budget for that, give the kids regular paper shopping bags, and have them decorate the bags with glitter, paint, stickers, sky's the limit! This also adds another craft to your schedule, and the kids are doubly excited to be taking home crafts in the bag they "made".
Then, a nice touch is to have the kids pack up their crafts by themselves. You can do this either by setting up the table with a bag and each child's items stacked next to it, or 1 on 1 with the kids to reinforce literacy, and have them find their crafts t place in their bag.
Finally, during your goodbye circle or routine- take one child's bag, and show the children what they'll be taking home. Go through each item, reminding them of the process and what it is. This also reinforces the kids' excitement when taking the crafts home.
We all end up buying and receiving far more chocolate coins for Chanukah than we know what to do with! This is a fun a activity that you can do either with the wrapped chocolates, or with the recycled wrappers!
You will need:
Simply tape the coins to the paper using the scotch tape. If you are doing this with the wrappers, tape them outside-down. Flip the paper over and hold the crayon at about a 30 degree angle from th paper, or unwrap the crayon and hold it so that it's horizontally parallel to the paper and color offer the whole paper. The kids will find the appearance of "pictures" magical!