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.
- Run off the snowflake shapes on regular white paper.
- Review 2D shapes.
Show my sample photographs, or make samples of your own. Students choose a shape that they want for their snowman’s belly.
- Give students a few moments to trim their shape, counting vertices as they go.
- Demonstrate how to fold the shapes.
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.
- Run off the snowman head and hat templates, trim and trace onto an old file folder to make a pattern that you can trace once and then cut 3-6 at a time. Because your students are already doing a lot of cutting, I’d have the head and hat pre-cut.
- So it's easy for children to have proper placement on their paper, have them glue the black hat to the white circle and then glue the snowman's hatted-head to the top of their paper. Afterwards, they glue their snowflake so that it becomes Snippy’s body.
- So they don’t rip their snowflake, have students rub their glue stick over the construction paper area where they will glue the snowflake, and then gently press the snowflake down, carefully smoothing it, so that it sticks to the paper.
- Run off the shape-word hatbands on a variety of colors. Students trim, trace and glue to their hat. Glitter, or snowflakes cut with a paper punch can add a bit more pizzazz. Punch a hole in the top, tie a yarn loop and hang back-to-back from a hallway ceiling.
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