1-2-3 Come Frolic With Me: Winter Craftivities, Bulletin Boards and Games
I was really on a creative roll yesterday. All one needs to do is spend a little time on Pinterest and your brain will shoot into over drive! So many ideas and not enough time in my life to do everything I'd like to. Sound familiar?
While browsing, I found a wooden snowman used as a countdown to Christmas. I found versions of this idea all over, so not sure who was the originator, but I thought the moveable carrot nose would be perfect for the classroom.
It was fun designing a paper snowman face that can review upper and lowercase letters and numbers to 20. I've included a face for skip counting by 2's, 3's, 5's or 10's.
You can also simply make one for your calendar center and countdown the days in January.
These make a quick and easy way to whole-group assess too.
Call out a number/letter and have students move their snowman's nose to that position or... move your teacher sample to an uppercase letter, and have students find the matching lowercase letter on theirs.
For added pizzazz I ran the carrot noses through my crinkle machine. My Y5's called this the "Cruncher Muncher." It provided great fine motor practice as students turned the crank to get the paper through the rollers.
Poke a hole at the end of the carrot and use a brass brad to fasten the nose to the snowman. Click on the link to view/download the Snowman's Nose packet.
For more letter and number practice, have your students put together these winter pine tree puzzles. They can be done as an independent center activity, or you can make copies for your students.
Children cut the green number/letter tiles and then glue them in appropriate order on the boxed grid. For that extra bit of pizzazz, run the template off on blue construction paper and have students dot on "snowflakes" with a Q-tip.
If you celebrate 100 Day in January, this is a wonderful "craftivity" that makes a cool bulletin board. Caption: Mrs. Henderson's Kinders Are Doing Tree-mendous Work! Click on the link to view/download the Pine Tree Puzzles
Another awesome bulletin board for January, features a New Year's writing prompt.
Basketball, soccer and football are all sports where players score goals, so I thought it would be fun to have students write what their goals were for the New Year on the ball of their choice.
I've included a poster that you can put in the center of your bulletin board as a caption.
Besides the balls, there are also 2 writing prompt pages for journal writing, which includes one with a hockey theme. Click on the link to grab the New Year Goals Packet.
Another New Year's activity you can have your kiddo's do, is see how many words they can come up with, using the letters in Happy New Year. I've included a list of 267 words.
When students are done, share your list to see if there are any words that they aren't familiar with; have them write them on their paper and look them up. Click on the link to check out the How Many New Year activity.
They write it in the center of the snowflake and then write all of the equations that they can think of, on the outer sections of their snowflake, to show that number.
Do one each day; to make their booklet, have students glue their snowflake to an igloo-shaped page. Add their photo for that finishing touch. Click on the link to view/downlaod the Frosty Fact Family Fun packet.
For More number fun, I think you'll enjoy the snowflake number cards. Use these for your word wall, a bulletin board, flashcards, games, or an independent center.
Print; laminate and cut into puzzles for even more ideas. I've also included 3 sets of snowflake tiles so students can sort, pattern and make groups/sets to match the number on the cards. Click on the link to grab the Snowflake Number cards.
Finally, I had a request from Karla out in Vermont, for penguin alphabet and number cards.
She wanted something small that her pre-schoolers could manipulate. She only needed numbers to 10, but I included a blank template for you to program with more.
There's also a list of ideas you can use the cards for, including games like "Kaboom!" Click on the link if you'd like a set of these mini-penguins.
Thanks for visiting today. Feel free to PIN away. My "Pin It!" button is at the top. As you can see I design and blog daily, so I hope you can stop by tomorrow to see all the newest FREEBIES, created by this brain that needs a shut-off button!
1-2-3 Come Do Some New Year Craftivities With Me!
I wanted to get some “Happy New Year!” items designed and posted before you leave for Christmas break, so you can get a few things ready for when your kiddo’s return, before you take off that teacher hat and truly relax.
Start things out by leaving a bookmark on or inside your students' desks, as a sweet surprise when they come back. I've taped a lollipop on the back of mine, that they can quietly suck on while they do their morning tabletop lessons. Click on the link to print some off now. Happy New Year bookmark.
The Place Value “Happy New Year!” craftivity can be done as a whole-group or independent center. Students trace and write the numbers, cut them out, arrange them in correct order to form the New Year and then glue them under the appropriate place value “door.”
The last door helps children practice subtraction as they subtract the year they were born, from the New Year, to get their age. It’s self correcting, because they know how old they are!
Before hand, demonstrate yours on the board to review how this is done. Even when I was in my 20’s children always thought that was so “old!” Click on the link to view/download the Place Value New Year craftivity.
Some of my kiddo’s had not mastered counting backwards from 10 to 0, so I designed the New Year’s Glitter Ball Slider to help them practice. Even little ones are familiar with the New York, Times Square countdown ball, so this was a great Segway.
I’ve also included a strip to count from 20. Add some silver glitter for that extra bit of pizzazz. I had my kiddo’s crouch down and then jump up and yell “Happy New Year!” when we got to zero. Click on the link to view/download the Happy New Year Countdown Slider.
When one thinks about the New Year, it’s inevitable that a few resolutions come to mind. This was a new word for my Y5’s, so I presented it as a promise to themselves, of what they’d like to improve on.
With that in mind I designed some New Year word art craftivities last year, using Tagxedo, one of my favorite educational sites. You can set this up as an independent computer center for students to think up their own designs and words.
The packet has a list of 68-positive "resolution" words + an ABC booklet for students to "improve" alphabetically.
Click on the link for this great verb reinforcement tool and vocabulary builder. New Year's Word Art Craftivities.
For more parts of speech practice, I know your kiddo's will enjoy playing the Fractured New Year writing prompt game. Students take turns rolling the dice to fill in a word from the adjective, noun or verb list, which creates a hilarious story.
When everyone has completed the game, have students read their stories aloud, and enjoy all of the giggles. Click on the link for Fractured New Year fun.
Finally, I’ve also designed a New Year's graphic organizer for students to fill in with some interesting writing prompts.
Children can draw a picture of themselves or glue a photo to the center oval.
Thanks for visiting today. Feel free to PIN away. I hope you can stop by tomorrow for the newest FREEBIES.
"Character is the ability to carry out a good resolution long after the excitement of the moment has passsed." -Cavett Robert
1-2-3 Come Make Some Shaving Cream Stuff With Me!
If you haven't heard of using shaving cream in the classroom yet, you and your students are missing out on a lot of fun. Yes, it's a little bit messy, but oh the joy of hands-on learning.
Clear the work tables or student desks, and have children don a paint shirt. Shake up a can of shaving cream (they sell a variety at The Dollar Store) and squirt a few big dollops in front of each child's place. The whole key to not making a mess is to give them just enough to make a writing board.
Tell them to smooth it out to make their very own "whiteboard!" Using their index finger as a pencil, have students write letters, numbers, or draw shapes. This is a super-fun way to whole-group assess.
As you call out each letter, number, shape or whatever, students draw that on their snow "board." When you've checked everyone's work by simply a glance, have them "erase" their board by smoothing it over, so you can call out something else for them to write/draw.
After you review, give your students one last dollop for them to write their name or draw whatever they like.
An extra bonus is that the shaving cream takes off sticky glue residue, as well as crayon, permanent marker and ink marks. Depending on the fragrance you choose, your room should smell simply wonderful.
The cream also makes your kiddo's hands feel smooth and soft. Take a teachable moment to talk about friction, as students rub the tabletop or their desk. The shaving cream will disappear, and their hands will feel warm. We take a bathroom break to wash our hands, and then everyone pitched in with wet paper towel, to wipe and dry our work space. Our tables were so clean and shiny!
Shaving cream is also an excellent "frosting" or "snow" for winter "craftivities". The results pack a huge "Wow!" affect and were some of my students' favorite artwork. Shaving cream creations make an outstanding decoration for your hallway, but hang them above any one's reach, so little fingers aren't tempted to poke the fluffy "snow." To make the "snow frosting," mix Elmer's glue with equal parts non-menthol shaving cream; mix quickly to whip up a frothy-goopy consistency.
I plopped 1 or 2 spoonful's on each child's project and then they smoothed their "frosting" with a Popsicle stick. Depending on how thick the artwork is, shaving cream craftivities need at least 24-48 hours to dry. Here are 2 of my all-time favorite shaving cream creations.
Shaving Cream Frosted Cookie Ornaments: I have my students cut their cookie out of light brown paper, frost it, and then add their photo to the middle.
If you have an Ellison Die Cutter at your disposal, these cookies are adorable cut into your students' initials. Add a few real candy sprinkles and these honestly look good enough to eat; they look so real!
These make a darling bulletin board too. Cover with aluminum foil to make a giant "cookie sheet". Caption: "We're cooking up a batch of fun, learning letters in _____________'s class."
Shaving cream would also look cute on a frosted gingerbread man, and would be fun for your kiddo's to decorate like mine did with their snowmen below. Scatter them on your aluminum foil background above. Caption: "Some Sweet Fun With Our Gingerbread On The Run!"
By far, my favorite craft that I ever made with my Y5's, was the shaving cream snowman. The first time I made these, I hung my students' snowmen as a border, just under the ceiling in the hallway.
We got zillions of compliments and everyone wanted to know the secret of the awesome looking "snow!" I've also made them into a bulletin board accompanied by stern "Don't touch!" warnings.
Not sure why I used a yellow background here, when blue snowflake wrapping paper would have been awesome.
Before hand, have students draw their snowman on a pre-cut piece of tag board. (5x7 or 8x10) Little ones have a tendency to either draw way too small or way too large, so demonstrate drawing 2 simple circles “just the right size.”
I used a template to pre-draw the ones for my Y5's. You really need to make sure that there is a definite "neck" as the "snow" spreads and puffs up to the point where a snowman could look just like a big blog. Make sure students have written their name in the corner.
You don't want to use colored tag board, because when it gets wet it bleeds. If I remember correctly I used 4 cans of shaving cream for my Y5's. I had 2 classes, so this was about 35-40 students. It's always a good idea to have 1 or 2 extra cans just in case.
You can always use it for tabletop fun. I also had a gallon-sized container of Elmer's, so I didn't go through a bunch of smaller glue bottles. Use equal parts of shaving cream and glue.
I collected a large tub of pieces and parts to decorate the snowmen via a note home making a request, searching my house, taking apart jewelry and going junking.
Put several scoops of “stuff” in paper bowls and set 2 on each table. Give students 5-10 minutes to pick out 2 eyes, 1 nose, something for a mouth and 3-5 items for their snowman's buttons.
It’s very important to have children design their snowman BEFORE you give them a dollop of shaving cream, because they need to work rather quickly spreading their “snow” with a Popsicle stick.
It’s helpful if they arrange their parts on the side, so that they don’t forget what they chose for each feature. Children get so excited when they get the “snow-goop” that they sometimes forgot and this really helped. Also remind them to stay INSIDE the lines as one of my kiddo's was having so much fun "frosting" that he frosted the entire piece of tag board instead of just the snowman.
I also did the shaving cream board, discussed above, a day or two before. This really helped to avoid children's curiosity of how shaving cream felt, so they got down to the business of creating a snowman, instead of getting off task and simply playing with the shaving cream.
Mix up a huge bowl of “fluff” and use a wooden spoon to give each student enough dollops so they can “frost” their snowman. I also demonstrate how this is done. When they are satisfied with the results, they gently plop their decorative pieces in the appropriate places.
Remember to remove the bowls of decorations before you give students the frosting, to avoid children taking more and putting it all over their snowman, or it won't look like a snowman.
After they have completed decorating, set aside in a designated "keep out!" drying area.
Again, you will need at least 24-48 hours of dry time. Because of that, I always did shaving cream art on a Friday.
When you return to school they should have dried and really “puffed” up! They look simply amazing! Click on the link to view/download the Shaving Cream Snowman “craftivity.”
I hope you have a delightful time with these ideas. If you take pictures, I'd LOVE to hear from you and see your "mess-terpieces!" firstname.lastname@example.org
If you run into a Grinch that says: "You can't do that!" or "Shaving cream's not allowed in our school." I recommend reading Lisa Murphey's Ooey Gooey article. It's a humorous read, chock full of lots of factual information you can arm yourself with.
Want more shaving cream ideas? My kiddo's made a puffy apple in September; a plump pumpkin in October, the snowman in January and a cloud in April.
I tinted the shaving cream with powdered tempera. I've also used liquid paint, and added more glue and shaving cream, so it didn't get soupy. You could also drip some drops of food coloring in, but I don't think the colors come out as vibrant. A heart for Valentine's Day would be fun as would a shamrock for St. Patty's Day. Oh the ideas are endless!
Every Day Life has still more ideas including a shaving cream experiment.
Thanks for visiting today. Feel free to PIN away. To check out all of the creative-educational things I spend way too much time pinning, click on the big heart to the right of the blog.
I have lots of winter boards. I blog and design daily, so I hope you can pop by tomorrow for even more FREEBIES.
"If you don't mind smelling like peanut butter for several days, peanut butter makes good shaving cream!" -Barry Goldwater
1-2-3 Come Plan A Christmas Party With Me
The day before any vacation can be pretty wild, as children are bound to be filled with lots of energy. Their excitement for the season finds some of them not sleeping well, so you have cranky pants to deal with too.
Because of this, I planned all sorts of educational games and especially fun activities for the last day before Christmas break. Our official "party" was "supposed" to take place at the end of the day. Let's face it, when it's Halloween or Christmas time, the entire day might as well be a "party" and by the time the "end of the day" rolled around, my Y5's were also pretty much done and tired as well.
Wearing my Santa hat and jingle bell necklace, I told my students that we'd be doing extra special lessons, games, crafts etc as part of our "party" and that we'd be having a great time all day, ending quietly with our gift book exchange and snack. I never once had a child say: "When is the party going to start?" They were also happily focused, busy learning all day, just in a different way.
Behavior was wonderful, because they got the chance to get the wiggles out throughout the day. Gross motor activities were a part of our report card standards, so even our dancing and prancing around was legit. To keep children calm, I also played soothing Christmas music throughout the day.
I've compiled a list with brief explanations, of all of my favorite classroom Christmas games that I've played with my students over the years. They are quick, easy, educational and fun. Most of them require little or no preparation. (Woo hoo!) I ho-ho- hope you find something that will fit in perfectly for your party day. It's so important to give students brain breaks to keep them refreshed. Click on the link to view/download the Christmas Games packet which includes 36 games!
I've up-dated the packet to include stationery for students to write how many words they can think of using the letters in Merry Christmas.
Give students 5-10 minutes to work on this individually, then have them work in groups of 3 or 4 to combine their lists. Remind children that they can make more words by adding an s or es to make plurals. (A teachable moment.) Contractions are another option, or ask students how many of their classmates' names can be made with those letters.
What team had the most? Put my list on an overhead; did they think of words that weren’t on my list? Have them guess-timate how many words are on the list and then have them count them to see who has the closest guess. (I thought of 657!)
Make a copy of the list and have students circle all of the words that they don’t know. For whatever time remains, challenge them to look up as many words as they can and then share one or two with the class.
Here are a few other table top lessons you could plug in to cover standards in a game-type fashion; also, any of the winter alphabet cards that I've been posting, would work well. All those letter packets include a 3-page tip list of ideas, including games to play.
If you're set for party day, but want something for that busy first day when you return after break, any of these snowman themed activities would also work.
This snowman matching game is a lot of fun and reinforces numbers, number words, counting and tally marks. It also includes a keepsake "craftivity." Click on the link to view/download the Snowman Number Puzzles.
Help reinforce upper and lowercase letters + numbers from 1-20 with an "I Spy" game. Teen numbers are sometimes toughies for little ones. Practicing with an "I Spy" game makes it more interesting. My Y5's enjoyed playing "I Spy" daily. It was a fun way for them to practice, as well as a quick and easy way for me to whole-group assess.
Teacher starts by calling out a number or letter; students trace it and then raise their hand when they are done. I could tell at a glance who was having difficulty. Play continued with different children taking a turn to choose the number or letter for classmates to find.
The worksheet served double-duty, as I'd tell my students to take it home to play again with a family member, this time circling the letter/number. Click on the link to view/download the Snow Spy packet.
Finally, students catch on fast to the concept of small-medium and large, as well as the difference between a 2D and 3D shape, when they can do a hands-on craftivity.
This was the reason behind "Snowman Melt" "My snowman was 3 snowballs, 3 spheres with a hat, now he's melted into 3 circles that are flat!" Click on the link to view/download it.
For more games and activities click on the link to visit Miss Mary's Victorian and Vintage archive.
If you're looking for some online Christmas games for your kiddo's to play as a computer center, I found a site that lists over 1,000.
Make sure you play any online games first to make sure that they are age and content-appropriate for your kiddo & educations.
For more ideas and FREEBIES, check out my winter Pinterest boards. They are themed and filled with lots of creative fun. I spend a lot of time searching the web for interesting and educational FREE stuff, so you don't have to. You can also click on this December link to pop on over to that section of TeachWithMe.
Once there, you'll find categories for the following: Christmas, Elves, Gingerbread, Ornaments, Reindeer, Santa, Snowmen, Snowflakes & Wreaths. Lots of these activities would also be terrific for your last day or Classroom Christmas party, particularly the ornament section if you're looking for a quick craft to do as a center.
That's it for today. I hope you found some "We're Winding Down" tips and FREEBIES for those last few days before you can collapse, rest, rejoice and get energized for next year! Feel free to PIN away.
"A good conscience is a continual Christmas." -Benjamin Franklin
1-2-3 Come Do Some Winter Crafts With Me
Out of all of the items I post, it seems that the crafty activities are downloaded and pinned the most. I’m so glad! I LOVE LOVE LOVE doing hands-on art with children.
You really can make some time for it if you turn the craftivities into an independent center, where standards can be reviewed and reinforced + they are excellent fine motor practice as well.
These independent centers are a great motivational tool to get kids to focus and stay on task, as you reward those who do a good job finishing by allowing them to transition to a crafty center, when they have completed their work.
I know the day is packed, but perhaps if you ban together with the other teachers in your grade level, you can make a 1-hour block for a craft exchange. This is especially fun for the last day of school before break. Even older students really enjoy this. When I taught 1st and 2nd grade we did 4-fifteen-minute craft exchanges and allowed 2-3 minutes to transition.
Each teacher thought of a 15-minute quickie craft activity and supplied all of the materials. We’d start with our own class and then rotate through to the next 3. If “craftivities” needed to dry, we’d set them in a line in the hallway. Each teacher had their own section.
We tried to think of things that students could do independently, without a whole lot of explanation. We often included items that children could give as a gift. When everyone had rotated through the rooms, students could wrap their items in tissue and then read some Christmas books.
I’ve included some of my all-time favorite winter crafts in the blog today, and hope you find something to interest you and your kiddo’s. I gave up on asking parents for empty cans, toilet paper tubes or whatever recycled item I needed. It was simply much easier to save them myself and toss them into labeled waste baskets that I kept in my basement.
I also had a special can opener that I bought from Magic Chef that seamed the top of the can in such a way that there were no sharp edges for a child to get cut on. The Tin Can Snowman was a huge hit with my Y5’s.
If you don’t want to mess with painting, have students wrap the cans with paper or white & black Duct tape. They have all sorts of colors available at craft stores now. I cut the hat brims out of foam, but you could also use black construction paper for them as well. Don’t forget to take a moment to reinforce circles and the 3D-cylinder shape with your students (A standard covered! Woo hoo). Click on the link for the Tin Can Snowman.
Another way to review the cylinder shape is by making Silas, the Cylinder Windsock.
Students decorate the flat surface; glue a black strip to the top to make the hat and then gently roll the paper to make a cylinder.
Staple them at the top, in the middle and on the bottom. Punch a hole on either side and make a yarn tie. These look awesome displayed from the ceiling. Click on the link to view/download the Cylinder Snowman Windsock,which can be found in the Winter Art & Activities Packet.
You'll also find this 3D snowman dangler, as well as the Doilie Dan Snowman.
He reinforces a variety of standards, including small-medium and large.
I did this as a whole group activity to assess listening and following directions, which also reinforced ordinal numbers (1st do this, 2nd this etc.)
Spatial directions were also included. (Place this above, under, to the left etc.) Completed projects made a wonderful assessment tool, as parents asked their child the questions that were on the snowman's tummy.
Winter Art & Activities was one of the first packets that I put together several years ago, before I had all of the fonts and software programs that I use today, but I think the simple hand drawn patterns are easy to follow.
Besides snowmen, I've included penguin and mitten crafts as well. Click on the link for this whopping 118-page packet filled with all sorts of fun. Winter Art & Actiities packet
One of my students' favorites was Charlie the paint stick snowman. He dangles from the doorknob.
Sample in hand, I’d go to a paint store or home-depot sort of place, show Charlie, explain it was for a kindergarten Christmas craft, and could I buy 20 paint stirrers.
For 11 years no one asked me to pay, and they all thought Charlie was adorable. If you'd like to make a matching ornament, simply use an extra large Popsicle stick. Click on the link to view/download the Paint Stick Snowman.
“Snowy.” is my all-time favorite. What home doesn’t have a pile of socks missing a mate? Send a note home asking parents if they’ll donate them to your class. Cut the toes off, tie the tops with a bit of yarn, flip up the “cuff” and tadah you have an adorable hat.
You’ll need some white tube socks as well. These need to be the kind that are straight with no heel.
I turn them inside out so they have a nice scruffy look. A scrap of flannel with the ends frayed makes the perfect scarf.
You can also use ribbon (plaid is a personal favorite) Adjust how tight you tie on the scarf so it “sections” the body. Wiggle eyes, buttons and a wooden heart all add to the cuteness factor. I stuffed Snowy with pillow batting. You can buy it by the bag at most fabric stores. Click on the link for all of the directions to make this sweet sock snowman.
Finally, Snowman Prints is one of those keepsake "Awww-dorable" craftivities that parents so enjoy. This is not my original idea. I've seen it all over Pinterest on glass ornaments, and wanted to make this safe and inexpensive for a teacher to do with her class, so I designed one using construction paper and added an aluminum foil top.
Sometimes, parents fail to realize that some of the art work, especially this one, was made from their child's hand, so I wrote a poem to accompany this keepsake.
I guess it did the trick because one mom said: "I loved Conrad's ornament and didn't even know it was his hand print 'til I read the poem. Now I love it even more!"
I think they turned out super-cute and my kiddo's really enjoyed making them. I experiemented with red and green construction paper, but think the blue background turned out the best. Click on the link to get the patterns for the Snowman Print Ornament.
Thanks for visiting today. I hope you can stop by tomorrow, as I will be posting lots more helpful FREEBIES. Feel free to PIN away.
"Maybe Christmas, the Grinch thought, doesn't come from a store." -Dr. Seuss from The Grinch Who Stole Christmas
1-2-3 Come Do Some Winter Craftivities With Me
PTL things are FINALLY back to normal in my little cyber-world. Few things have the capicity to incapacitate me, as much as computer problems. I'm such a control freak that when something happens that is out of my control, it is way beyond frustrating. Anyone relate?
We now have a brand new server and everything seems to have transferred well. Sorry if you experienced broken links and error messages while I was swinging from the ceiling pulling my hair out. I'm all better now, and can't wait to share lots of new stuff that I played around with, to keep my sanity, while experiencing insane glitches.
This is a potpourri of winter-themed "stuff." My new personal favorite I call My Shapely Snowflakes. I was watching the overhead at church Sunday; they had a lovely snowflake posted on the message. The center was of all things a hexagon! That's a "toughy" shape that I'm always on the look out for fun things to do with it.
Beside the Pentagon and a few nuts and bolts, it's hard to give children an example. My husband thinks I should shut off my creative enthusiasm every now and then, especially at church, but I was so excited to design My Shapely Snowflakes I sketched a note to myself.
You can make a set to use as flashcards, a bulletin board, interesting assessment, or independent matching center. I've also included a spinner, so students can play a game. Click on the My Shapely Snowflakes link to grab it.
One of my Y5 standards was that students could recognize and spell their names. Although my kiddo's accomplished this by the end of September, they always enjoyed any activity that involved their names.
With that in mind, I designed this wintry alphabet snowman. You can give your students the option to spell their name, so they have a sweet sign to decorate their bedroom door with, or have them think of a winter word they'd like to spell out like: peace, love, joy, snow, winter or even welcome. Hang them in the hallway with the caption: "_________________'s Kinders Are Simply Brrrr-illiant!"
There are 4 different sets of alphabet cards to choose from. You can also print, laminate, trim and use for a variety of games. A 3-page list of ideas is included in the packet. This is the one I made for my grandson. Click on the link to view/download the Snowman Alphabet craftivity.
If you're tossing in some poetry to cover a variety of genres, have your students make an acrostic poem. Students of all ages enjoy making them, and they are a nice way for children to review letters and words that begin with those letters. I've made a template for a snowman, winter, and frozen word acrostic. Click on the link to check out The Snowman Acrostic craftivity.
I know many of you are out there searching the web for quick, easy and inexpensive ideas for your kiddo's to make as a gift, or for you to give to them. How about a pin? The snowman tea light is not my original idea. I found it all over Pinterest as a magnet and decided to diddle around with one as a pin.
As a child I LOVED my Santa, Rudolph and Snowman (pull-the-string and light-up-the-nose) pins you could buy at the "dime" store. Anyone else remember those?
I used E6000 to glue on the pin back, wiggle eyes and bow; added the mouth with a permanent Sharpie, and cut off the finger of a black glove to make the hat. Yes it stretches that much! Roll the end up, so they don't look frayed and add a dot of glue to keep it rolled.
The Dollar Store sells these gloves in all sorts of colors. I think red or green would have looked nicer, but I had black around the house so tada! (2 pair makes 20 inexpensive pins/magnets.) You can also buy a pack of tea lights there too. Make sure you position the hat so that you don't cover the light switch.
Finally, another sweet gift is the Christmas Tree Lights bookmark made out of finger prints. "You light up my life with your love, so I left some finger prints to brighten yours." Baby Kaiden and I made this sample; my daughter loved it.
Thanks for visiting today. I try to design and blog daily, so I hope you can stop by tomorrow for more FREEBIES hot off Diane's sketch pad. Feel free to PIN away.
1-2-3 Come Do Some Winter Craftivities And Games With Me!
Did you ever have one of those days where you might as well have stayed in bed? Well that was yesterday! The reason there was no blog article was that our main server (in Texas) crashed. It seemed everything techno in my world went on the fritz, from my e-mail, to the printer and even my favorite design software was having glitchy hiccups.
I apologize if you tried to visit us and got an error-connection message. I'm back to being a happy camper with lots of FREEBIES to share.
Keep review of upper and lowercase letters, numbers and skip counting fresh and interesting, by making these puzzles. Laminate for an independent center (I've included a blank grid for kiddo's to place the pieces on), or have your students pick one, run them off and then they cut and glue them to a blue or black sheet of construction paper.
If you're doing the alphabet, have students think of a word that starts with that letter on the puzzle piece, and then write it on the appropriate tree-strip.
Remind students to leave a little gap inbetween the pieces. You can add a bit of pizzazz by dipping a Q-tip in glue and then dotting on "snowflakes." For an awesome effect, sprinkle with white or silver glitter.
These make a lovely bulletin board too. Caption: Learning About Letters and Numbers Is "Snow" Much Fun! or "Look At All Of The TREE-mendous Work From Mrs. Henderson's Kinders!" Click on the link for the Snowman Tummy Puzzles or The 13 Merry-Making Tree Puzzles.
Since the Silly Shaped penguins and Owls Shape Up "craftivities" continue to be in the top 10 downloaded items from my site, I decided to design a Shapely Snowman, as well as a Gingerbread set, with plans to make special shape pals for all of the months. (i.e. pumpkins for October and butterflies for April!)
You can make the gingerbread heads a game, by running the bow pieces off on red construction paper.
Instead of gluing the shape words inside the bows and then gluing them to the gingerbread head, glue only the bows. Keep the shape-word circles separate.
Students place the shape word on to the matching shapely gingerbread's bow. To make a girl gingerbread, glue the bows to the top of the head. Glue it as a bow tie under the chin to make a gingerbread boy. To add a bit of pizzazz, I used white puffy paint for "frosting." Click on the link for the Shapely Gingerbread packet.
There are also several things you can do with the Shapely Snowman templates. Make a laminated set for a bulletin board, or use as puzzles for an independent center activity.
For a center matching game, do not glue the hats on the snowmen. Instead make only one hat with interchangeable hat bands. Students pick a shape word-hat band and place it on the hat, then they look for the matching snowman and place the hat on his head. Play continues 'til the child has used all of the hat bands and snowmen. Click on the link to view/download the Shapely Snowman Packet.
Another popular winter activity is the Snowman Glyph. Each one turns out a bit different so this too makes an adorable bulletin board. Click on the link to view/download the Snowman Glyph.
Practice addition and subtraction with Dominic the Snowman Domino-Dice game. Click on the link to grab it.
That's it for today. Thanks for visiting. I hope you can stop by tomorrow for even more FREEBIES. My brain is on over-drive again, and since the weather outside is "frightful" I might as well have a "delightful" time inside designing away. Feel free to PIN away!
"Snowmen fall from Heaven unassembled." -Unknown
I’ve been making “Stuffy” the snowman since the late 80’s when I used to sell lots of them at Christmas craft shows. I finally decided to post him on the blog, as he is do-able for a student activity, even for younger children + he's a great source for reinforcing measurement, as well as listening and following direction skills.Here's How To Make One:
Send a note home to parents that you need a clean washed white tube sock and another colored sock. Heaven knows we all have wash machines and dryers that seem to literally eat a sock or two so that the missing pair is nary to be found.
I include “socks with out mates” in a “Please Save” list, that I send out at the beginning of the year as a “heads up”.
If you get tube socks like the ones pictured, you can use the striped part for the hat and don’t need an extra sock!
I also have a list for parents to sign that’s entitled: “I’m willing to donate something for a special activity”. This project would fall under this category, as you’ll need a bag of “fluffy stuffing” the kind that people use to stuff pillows. You can purchase it at any fabric store.
You’ll also need a cup of un-popped popcorn or rice per student. This makes Stuffy stand up perfectly.
While at the fabric store, look for remnants of plaid flannel that’s on sale. I’ve tried ribbon and it just doesn’t look as cute for a scarf as real flannel does.
Each student needs an 18-inch long by 1 ½ inch strip. I pull a few strings off the ends so it looks like a real scarf.
Loosely tie the scarf around the middle of the snowman, tight enough so that it makes a “head” appear.
Cut your tube sock so that it is 9 inches long if you want to make a short “Stuffy Snowman” like the one pictured.
I have made larger ones using the entire white tube sock, but the smaller ones sold better, stood nicer, and looked more “adorable”.
If you want to make a “family” of snowmen as I did for us, then you’ll want to use the entire sock for the “daddy” snowman.
Pour the cup of popcorn in the bottom of the sock.
Lightly stuff with fluff.
Tie the top with a piece of yarn and knot it.
Cut the top of the colored sock off so that you have 6 inches of sock.
Tie the top with a piece of yarn. Knot it, and then tie a bow.
Flip the bottom edge up 1 inch for a brim.
Some socks are harder to cut and get a straight line. This doesn’t matter.
It’s a knit cap and ragged looks country great!
You can always roll the brim edge in if you’re picky.
No need to sew on. Just stick it on the snowman’s head and it will stay put.
For the eyes, I paint eraser-size wiggle eyes black; for the nose, I paint a mini wiggle eye orange and hot glue them on. I used burgundy puffy paint, and squeezed on a smile.
2 dark buttons and a painted wooden heart, also hot glued on, complete “Stuffy”
Click on the link to view/print the article's directions and pix. Stuffy the Sock Snowman.
Scroll down for more fun activities and ideas, and be sure and pop back tomorrow to see how Dominic the Domino Snowman will help your students with simple addition and subtraction!
Do you have an idea to share? I'd enjoy hearing from you: email@example.com and if you use a freebie I'd really appreciate a comment! Thanks in advance.
Wally the Welcome Doorknob Dangler Snowman
As promised, here is my other recycled snowman project. This is as inexpensive to make as the tin can snowman.
I went to the Home Depot, told them I was a teacher, showed them my project and asked if I could please have 20 paint sticks. They said, “No problem.” Wal-Mart, Meijer’s and other places that sell paint have also been generous.
Later, my class composed a thank you card and everyone signed it. If your parents don’t have a problem with photographing their children, it’s always cute to include a photo, with students holding up their adorable creations.
Wally the Welcome Snowman is a “doorknob hanger”. A dab of hot glue or a large glue dot will hold the yarn tie in place on the back. Simply slip him over the doorknob and declare whether you’d like it to snow or melt.
Run off my heart templates on red construction paper and laminate.
Students cut out two. They’ll need two pairs of Velcro dots.
After they have finished painting, one Velcro dot will go on the backs of the hearts, the other on the front and back of the snowman. (Whatever heart you are not using, gets tucked away on the back so that you don’t lose it. )
You’ll also need mini Popsicle sticks. To expedite things, glue them to the paint sticks. This will help your students know what to paint white and what to paint black.
Even tho’ a hot glue gun works extremely fast, I find that young children are rough with what they work on and these little sticks have a tendency to pop off, so I glue them on with E6000.
It’s a stinky glue, so make sure you have proper ventilation. Short of breaking them off, they will stay put!
Children paint the bottom of their stick white. I use the acrylic paint that comes in the little bottles for less than a dollar at Wal-Mart. You can also get the larger size for around $2. If you want your snowmen shiny, buy GLOSS paint.
Students can hang on to the hat part to paint the back of their paint stick, the front should be dry by the time they are done, so they can lay them down to dry. In the afternoon, paint the hats.
I buy plaid ribbon during the after Christmas sales. Cut 6-inch long strips and wrap them around the paint stick where you feel the snowman’s neck should be.
I glue these on with Aileen’s tacky glue. Do this BEFORE students paint on a face, as it will help them know where to put their face on.
Using Q-tips, have students dot on a face, heart and buttons. I put a tiny dollop of the various colors of paint on small paper plates in the middle of their table.
Toothpicks work best, if students want to make a little snowflake or holly on the hat.
Be sure and model how to paint these things, so they have step-by-step directions of “how to”. Just as with the tin can snowmen, it’s a good idea for little ones to practice on a piece of scrap paper before they paint their face on their paint stick.
I use a fine-tipped black flair, to write the children’s last name on the bottom of the paddle, as many of them have long names and this would be difficult for them to accomplish.
Click on the link to view/print the pattern, directions and pix for the Snowman Paint Stick
Be sure and pop back tomorrow for how to make an adorable snowman out of a sock!
Do you have a fun snowman project that you do with your students? I’d enjoy hearing from you! firstname.lastname@example.org
On the day my students earned their cup of hot cocoa by spelling the words HOT CHOCOLATE, I thought it would be fun if we also made a paper mug of cocoa. We hung our “mess-terpieces” in the window as a different way to display our work. It was a wonderful way to unwind after a busy day. The “chocolate” glued on the mug, reviewed the “oval” shape, and the cutting and “splattering” activities were great fine-motor skills.
Lay each child's mug in the bottom of a large box lid, have them dip a child's-size toothbrush in white paint and splatter a paint-flecked pattern on their blue mug. I made name labels for my students to stick on the center of their mugs as well as some punch-cut snowflakes. Click on the link to view/print the pattern. Mug of Hot Chocolate
Icicles: To drip or not to drip?
Cut black or dark blue construction paper in half lengthwise. Pour white tempera paint in a plastic squeeze ketchup bottle or empty Elmer’s glue bottle. Have children write their names with a white crayon on their papers and then turn them over. Remove one of the long sides of a box. Place the student’s paper in the box. Have them squeeze a thick line of paint at the top of their paper so that it faces the open end of the box. Lay the box on the table. Give them a straw. Child blows on the line of paint to make “icicles” down the row of his paper. After he has made as many icicles as he wants have them carefully lift up their paper and let it drip a little more, then set aside to dry. These are great put together and used as a bulletin board boarder or hung around the ceiling of your hallway.
Envelope Snowman Puppet:
Give each child a long white envelope, black construction paper rectangle, (for top hat) and some scraps of construction paper, a glue stick and some colored markers. Have them seal their envelope, carefully slit open the bottom (you may want to do this for younger children) and decorate their envelope to look like a snowman’s head. Wrap a piece of plaid ribbon around the bottom of the entire envelope and then staple it on the sides, for the perfect scarf. (Bolts of this go on sale after Christmas.) I also purchased large wiggle eyes and glue dots during the deeply discounted sales going on. They added just the right touch! Red-heart stickers or hot-pink sale-dot stickers make great cheeks. Children can add a smile and they’re set!
When everyone is done, have them think of a name for their snow pal, bring them to the carpet area and sit in a circle. Students insert their hand and introduce their puppet pal to their classmates. To get the “wiggles” out use the puppets to do the Snowman Pokey.
My Y5’s think it’s “snow” fun measuring things! They enjoy the challenge of scampering around finding things that are as long as their ruler, as well as measuring how tall their best friend is and then having their friend measure them. We do a subtraction activity and then compare their heights. I use this as an opportunity to graph how tall everyone is in the class; surprisingly there really isn't that much difference.
They also like to go out and measure how much snow has fallen on the playground or how big the snow bank in front of our school has gotten, where the snowplow man dumps everything when he shovels the walk. That’s why when they get to make their own snowflake yardstick they get very excited. Run off my sheet of 1-inch square flakes on 4 different colors of construction or copy paper. Each child will need 33 white squares, 1 pink square, 1 blue square and 1 light purple square. They glue a strip of 11 white squares on to their 36 ½ inch long piece of tag board and then glue one of the colored snowflake squares down to represent 12 inches; repeating this process for 24 inches, and finally 36 inches; the 24th and 36th square also being a colored snowflake.
I make my tag board strips 1½ inches wide. I’ve also included a list of fun things for your students to measure. If your students are really young and you think a yardstick is too big for them to handle, have your students simply make a 12-inch ruler. Have a room mom help you make the yardstick strips. When you are measuring the tag board use two strips for each child and do not throw away the excess. I measure 36 ½ or 37 inches so there’s a bit of an edge at the end of my students’ rulers to allow for uneven cutting. (I tell them that when they are measuring to use the snowflakes as their guide as they are one inch long.) Lay the two, 1½ inch strips of tag board, on top of each other and then pull them apart until they have reached the length you want. I mark that off with a pen and then glue the strips on top of each other with a glue stick, putting a piece of Scotch tape on top of each end for extra support. This makes their yardstick extra sturdy in the middle.
Have children write their name on their yardstick as soon as they get it. Have them cut two strips of 6 squares long. Have them put glue on the end snowflake marked with an X and put the other end snowflake on top of it so you have a strip of 11. Glue that long strip to the middle of the tag board yardstick followed by a colored 12th snowflake then repeat for the 2nd and 3rd (24 and 36-inch) strips and colored snowflake squares, making sure to butt them up against the previous strip.
Remind students NOT to cut out the individual snowflakes. Only the 3 colored snowflakes are individual. Gluing 36 individual 1-inch squares is simply too much work! I put the lines on the snowflakes so that students can count the squares and know how many inches something is. As with my class, you will probably have a few students cutting out the individual squares too, so I'm giving you a heads up to be on the look out for those little snippers. Snowflake Squares & a list of fun things to measure + a height graph
Just Hangin’ Around Snowman:
Making paper chains are great fine motor skills. Make sure you demonstrate how to put one together right before your students’ eyes. Some of mine always want to pinch the ends together so they look like raindrops instead of circles. I have my students press and hold their links together for a count of 10. That way the glue is sure to stick and hold and their chains don’t fall apart while they’re making them. We vary our counting from 10 to 0 “blasting off”, counting by 10’s to 100, and counting in Spanish. It’s a great way to review counting skills while doing this activity.
Pre-cut 1 ½ inch white and black strips of construction paper on your paper cutter, cutting widthwise. Each student will need 3 white and one black. I also pre-cut the orange noses, and a ½ -inch strip of brown and a ½ -inch strip of black for each student. These become the hat brim and arms of the snowman. Have children draw a face in the middle of one of the strips of white paper and glue on the carrot nose by folding the end of it and gluing just the “hinge” part down, so that it sticks out like a real carrot.
Have students draw 3 buttons on the bottom strip before they make it a link as well. Show them your sample. Students then make their 3 white snowman links making sure to start with their “face” link. Children fold their black “hat” link in half and then fold the ends up and rub glue on each end. Students glue the ends around the top of their white “head” link so that it looks like a hat. The top part looks like the top of the hat. Pass out the small “brim” piece so that they can glue it across the hat. Punch a hole in the top of the hat, loop with a piece of yarn so you can hang from the ceiling. Pass out the brown strips of paper. Students fold them, and cut in half. They hinge the ends like the nose and glue them to each side of the middle “belly” link for arms. Children can have them stick straight out, or they can glue them so they dangle down. Attaching little mittens also looks cute. I give my students a small sticker name label to put across the hat brim. You could also write it on with a white crayon.