1-2-3 Come Snip Some Snowflakes With Me!
I don’t think there's another cutting activity more fun than snipping a snowflake. Even young children enjoy this great fine motor practice. There’s something magical about unfolding a cut-up triangle to reveal a lacy snowflake!
The photo shows my Y5's creations (along with 3 of my own more intricate ones, that I used as samples.) I displayed them on our cafeteria door, which was located across from our room. Everyone enjoyed them, and commented that they couldn't believe my little ones had made such awesome lacy snowflakes.
I was extremely proud of their results and how far they had come with their scissor skills! They absolutely LOVED snipping snowflakes.
For PK kiddo’s, fold coffee filters, so they are less thick and so much easier to cut. You can also expedite things by having your snowflakes pre-folded, or use this opportunity to whole-group assess listening and following directions, as well as ordinal numbers. i.e. First fold your paper like this. Second fold this point over to this point etc.
Be sure to make quite a few extras for students who fall in love with creating them, or those little ones who get carried away snipping and make a snowflake that falls apart, because they didn’t keep spaces in between their cuts.
For extra pizzazz, spritz their creations with silver glitter spray. (Make sure you’re in a well-ventilated area. Even though it’s cold, I spritzed artwork outside.) Completed projects look great sprinkled on a blue-foil bulletin board, used as a border, arranged in a huge wreath on the wall, or taped to a classroom window.
Before we made our snowflakes, I read Snip Snip Snow by Nancy Poydar. It’s one of my favorite snowflake books and my Y5’s really enjoyed it. They always asked if they could make a snowflake too, which provided the perfect segue to our paper cutting activities. For almost all of them, this was a first-time experience, so they were extremely excited!
This easy snowflake pattern can be found over at Sociological Images in an article about Snowflake Bently.
To cut some really intricate snowflakes, which you can use as incentives, check out the tutorial at DIY Cozy Home.
I'd cut 3 really awesome looking snowflakes and tell my students that they would be given to 3 "quiet as snowflake" students who completed their work.
When I saw a child on task, I'd put their name stick in the cup that I would be drawing 3 students' Popsicle sticks from. This was a very effective motivational tool.
There are quite a few more lovely lacy examples over at Designs That Inspire.
For more snowflake cutting practice, I think your students will enjoy making Snippy, the Snowflake Snowman. He’s a terrific way to review 2D shapes.
You may want to whole-group assess 2D shapes by using the snowman "posters" from My Shapely Snowmen. Make a set and use as giant flashcards.
Have students count any vertices and review vocabulary like angles, corners, symmetry etc. After your little review, have students transition to making Snippy.
Show my sample photographs, or make samples of your own. Students choose a shape that they want for their snowman’s belly.
I’ve labeled the shapes with numbers in each corner, to make this easier, however, there are a variety of ways you can fold your paper, as you strive for a folded shape that looks like a cone.
There's a photo of each folded-paper shape, next to the cut-out snowflake shape, to assist you.
Older students can read the directions at the bottom of their paper. For younger students, I suggest a “monkey see-monkey do” whole-group direction activity. i.e. Gather all of the students together who chose the circle shape.
Fold once, and have children do what you do, then continue with the step-by-step folding directions ‘til they have the desired cone.
Also demonstrate how to snip a snowflake. While you are cutting, explain symmetry to older students and remind them to snip the same “chunk” on both sides. This sort of cutting is difficult enough for little ones, so I simply let my Y5‘s snip away, with whatever shape they could manage.
They were not able to make a heart shape, so if they wanted one, I snipped that for them, when they were done cutting.
While you are demonstrating, remind students to keep their snowflake folded and to have a space in between each cut or they will have a snowflake with big holes that will likely fall apart. I always had a few kiddo's who got caught up in snipping and failed to follow directions. For this reason, it’s a good idea to run off a few extra shapes.
If you want to be able to have more cuts show through, for a lacier snowflake, fold the paper one last time. This will make the paper pretty thick, so students should be older, with more cutting experience.
To avoid ripping their shape, show how students should SLOWLY and CAREFULLY unfold their paper. So they flatten out, have older students refold their shape, but only in the opposite way they were folded, so the paper can be flattened out and smoothed.
I prefer making the snowman with just a snowflake tummy, but if your students would like to add mittens and boots for a more Frosty the Snowman look, I've included a template for both. Click on the link to view/download Snippy, The Shaped Snowflake Snowman.
Finally, while researching paper snowflakes, I came across the lovely idea of using a snowflake as a paper tutu for a ballerina, over at Krokotak What little princess wouldn't want to make one of these!
There's also a connet-the-dots snowflake over at Calvary Kids with numbers to 78.
Thanks for visiting today, feel free to PIN away. I hope you can stop by tomorrow, as I post more winter FREEBIES.
"Hold fast to dreams. For when dreams go, life is a barren field frozen with snow." -Langston Hughes
1-2-3 Come Do Some Snowflake "Craftivities" With Me!
As long as we have to have winter, it might as well snow! I'd always give my Y5's some time at our classroom windows, when the snow was falling heavily. It's so lovely and sparkly. They'd squeal with delight and chatter about a possible pending snow day. I think I was as excited as they were at the prospect of a stay-at-home and snuggle day.
Our snowflake theme was a real favorite. I'd start things out by sharing "Snowflake Bentley's" story and exquisite snowflake photographs. If you don't own these books, I highly recommend them.
I found that if I pre-folded coffee filters and demonstrated how to snip them into a snowflake, my students did a much better job, than when I used regular paper, which was way too thick for them to cut.
Singing a rousing round of Frosty the Snowman got the wiggles out, and my students' behavior was really pretty stellar, in part, because they were working towards spelling the words Hot Chocolate, so they could receive that treat.
They could earn a letter a day, which helped build self-esteem and confidence, as they worked together to achieve a goal. I did the same thing with spelling Frosty The Snowman. When they earned all of the letters, we'd watch the video at the end of the day. Click on the link to see it posted on YouTube.
The article today, shares some of my favorite snowflake activities. I hope you enjoy them as much as we did.
Start things out by printing, laminating and trimming a set of snowflake alphabet cards. Use them as a border, independent center or to play a variety of games with. I've also included a blank set so that you can program with whatever. Click on the link to view/download the snowflake alphabet cards.
I think home-school connections are very important. I designed a bulletin board activity each month, where students spent some quality time with their families, doing a themed-writing prompt craftivity.
This family snowflake was the one for January. Use blue foil wrapping paper for the background and suspend some plastic snowflakes from the ceiling for that extra bit of pizzazz. Click on the link to view/download the Family Snowflake "craftivity."
Another awesome bulletin board involving snowflakes, is my Snowflake Writing Prompt Strips. Run off a variety of color choices so that you will have a really vivid bulletin board. These look wonderful on a black background spritzed with silver glitter spray.
Students can write their resolutions, favorite things about winter, or something for your Martin Luther King Jr. activities. I had my kiddo's write what they dreamed they'd some day be.
Click on the link to view download the Snowflake Writing Prompt Bulletin Board Craftivitiy.
One of the biggest down falls of snow with little ones, is that it's such a chore geting them dressed in all of their winter gear.
It would take some of my slowpokes so long, that by the time they waddled like a penguin out the door, the bell would ring to come inside!
To expedite things, I made up this poster of the order of how they should dress. Before I did this, I invariably had more than just a few kiddo's start by putting their boots or mittens on first. We've all been there I'm sure.
Having a race to see who could be the first one dressed, or which team got lined up the quickest, really helped too. Click on the link to print one for your hallway. Getting Dressed Poster
A matching easy reader about getting dressed is entitled: Let's Go! Let's Play in the Snow. It's a great way to review ordinal numbers too. The packet includes traceable word cards, picture cards, a graphing extension, a compound word worksheet, as well as one on contractions. Click on the link to grab it.
Finally, one has to make a few snow angels before everything melts. Review 2D shapes with this Shapely Snow Angel easy reader.
Thanks for visiting today. Feel free to PIN away. I design and blog daily, so I hope you can breeze on by tomorrow to see all of the newest FREEBIES.
"The Eskimos had 52-names for snow because it was so important to them. There ought to be as many for love." -Margaret Atwood
December Does Double Duty
A Snowflake December Bulletin Board Idea You Can Keep Up For Your January Bulletin Board!
Since December seems to simply fly by, I like to make one of my bulletin boards wintry so that I can leave it up through January.
This snowflake bulletin board does the trick, gets your students writing as well + involves their families!
If you'd like a copy of my sample, click on the December bulletin board Family Snowflake sample link.
Run off copies on white construction paper and send home along with a note to families explaining the December bulletin board.
Click on the link to view/print December Bulletin board snowflake letter home to parents.
Cover the bulletin board with royal blue or navy paper and spray with silver or opalescent glitter.
They sell it by the can in most craft stores for less than $2.00 a can.
The smell can be a bit over powering, as it's alcohol-based, so you may want to run a fan, or open a window briefly, and then follow up with a few spritzes of cinnamon air freshener. The sparkling effect will be worth it!
To add a 3-D effect, twist some silver or white crepe paper around the edges or add white sparkly garland. Twinkle lights look festive, if you have a plug nearby.
Tissue paper, plastic, or white tag board-die cut snowflakes, that are suspended from fish line and dangling from the ceiling, just above your bulletin board, will also add interest and pop. I have a dozen like the ones pictured, that I purchased in a package at The Dollar store.
Hang your December bulletin board “caption” above the board. Use an Ellison die cut machine to cut out black letters that spell: Brrrr-illiant work! Or “_________________’s class is ‘snow’ special!” OR “Snow special sentiments from ________________’s class.” OR “Let is snow!” OR “A blizzard of Brrr-illiant writing!”
Sprinkle your students’ snowflakes in an interesting pattern across the bright blue background. Your students will enjoy seeing their family's pictures displayed through out the month, as well as have their self-esteem built by having their wonderful writing up on the wall!
Be sure and check out the other December bulletin board ideas in more blog articles by scrolling down. Tomorrow I'll have one last one that's just beautiful, so be sure and pop in!
As always, if you have a December bulletin board idea you'd like to share, I'd enjoy hearing from you! firstname.lastname@example.org