Monday, December 7, 2009

Simple Winter Project Idea

I love Thanksgiving projects, but it's always fun to move on to something new and different. We are officially into winter projects now. This is an idea for a simple and quick project if you are looking for a way to fill time with toddlers/preschoolers/early grade schoolers.

Winter Mittens

Prep work:
~Make sure you have a copy of The Mitten by Jan Brett. I made the mistake of thinking I had it on hand and then not having it : ) A quick trip to the library was able to remedy that. But not until a few days after we did the project. oops.
~Gather a small hole punch, construction paper,yarn, crayons, glitter, glue, markers, or whatever you are comfortable decorating with.
~Find a mitten form to trace. Online works if you're not an artist.
~Trace and cut out a pair of mittens out of construction paper if your children are too young to do it themselves. If they are older, this can be part of the project.
~Cut lengths of yarn long enough to lace the mittens together.
~Punch holes all around the outside edge of the mittens.
~If you don't have large plastic needles for the kids, roll scotch tape around the end of the thread to make it stiff enough for "sewing"/lacing with.

1.) Read the book The Mitten by Jan Brett. Talk about the different snow clothes we wear to stay warm in the winter. If you have chart paper or a white board, you can write (or have the kids write if they are old enough) all the different clothing items you come up with. Circle the word "mitten" and tell the kids that is the one you'll be focusing on.

2.)Cut out your mitten forms and trace them onto a piece of construction paper folded in half (older children can do this on their own). You'll end up with 4 mittens for each project.

3.) Cut out the mittens (or have your older child do this him/herself). Use the hole punch to punch holes around the outside edge of the mittens.
4.) Thread the yarn through a large plastic needle OR if you don't have the needle wrap scotch tape around one end to make it stiff like a needle.
5.) Decide on a stitch (wrap around/blanket vs. traditional "in and out") with your child. Allow them to lace the mittens together.

6.) After mittens are laced, tie off the ends of the thread. Now you are ready for decorating! You can use whatever you want for decorations: markers, crayons, glitter, etc. We used glitter glue--much cleaner than plain old glitter and very sticky as well. I squeeze the glitter glue onto the mittens and the kids rub it all around with their fingers. Then we used some decorative snowflakes I got on clearance after Christmas last year to stick onto the glitter glue.
Ta-Da. The finished product.

You can tie the ends of the mittens together and hang them on a tree, on the wall, from a door knob--they make a festive winter decoration wherever you put them. This project works on:
~Eye hand coordination
~Gross and fine motor skills
~The words "in and out" or "up and down" (as your child is sewing)
~Having fun together as mother and child : )
Enjoy! Oh yes, grilled cheese and tomato soup lunch tastes delicious after this project--or a simple cup of hot cocoa if it's not lunch time. Don't forget the Jan Brett also wrote The Hat and you could move onto that book and a matching project of your own choice. The possibilities are endless!


Sjo said...

Thanks for a cool idea! Very cute mittens you guys did.

Mike, Alice, and Hank the DOG said...

You almost make me wish I had been a teacher!!! The kids had some neat mittens!!

nicole said...

the mitten is a great story!