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 Snowman Craftivities With Me!
I LOVE rip and tear craftivities for little ones. It's so important to strengthen their finger muscles and tearing strips of paper is an especially fun way to do that.
Run off my snowman template. I purposely make these small, so that children don't get tired and bored trying to fill up too big of an area. Inform students to rip up their strips, putting each color in a pile, before they start to glue.
This way, they can rub their glue stick over an entire section and simply press those colored pieces on that area. This expedites the gluing and keeps children's fingers from getting too sticky. You'll still have a few that will rub glue on that little piece and stick it on that way, which takes a lot longer.
You can do this as a whole-group activity. While students are at special, lunch or recess, place the strips on their desk/table area, so they can get started when they return.
You can also do this as an independent center. When students completed their table top morning lessons, I had special centers the Y5's could transition to. This really helped children stay on task and focused, as they wanted to make whatever fun thing I had on those TV tray centers.
So that my kiddo's didn't make a huge mess of all the colors of paper strips, I slid the paper in the openings of a plastic basket.
Another option for rip and tear, is to rip the paper parts and then glue them together like a puzzle.
I suggest this for Y5's and older, as some of my kiddo's had a hard time figuring out where to tear, while trying to keep their paper folded and stay on the line. Before hand, demonstrate this.
In later years, I held up the hat and said, "Do what I do." Doing this activity with step-by-step directions (monkey-see, monkey do) really expedited things. These look wonderful hung back-to-back from the ceiling.
In the photograph, they are hung along with our cylinder snowman windsocks. My hallway was always decorated to the hilt, which was a real self-esteem builder.
These snowmen were also the January page for my Y5's Rippin' Through The Year monthly keepsake booklet. Click on the link to view/download that booklet. Click on this link to view/download the Rip & Tear Snowmen packet which includes both kinds.
Another group activity that's great fine motor practice, is "Stuffy." We have a recycled paper box in the teachers’ lounges through out our schools. The last day we’re in school, before Christmas break, I visited these rooms and loaded up a big black trash bag, with as much paper as I could carry.
If you don’t have a recycled paper box in your school, start one. These scraps are great to make “shred” and do all sorts of activities with.
When my students came back from vacation, we'd build our own two-snowball snowman out of a couple of white garbage bags. My Y5’s named him “Stuffy.” Children sat on our Circle of Friends carpet and crinkled up paper “snowballs.”
As they got a snowball done, I had them toss it towards our big garbage can that was lined with the white garbage bag. Every time they made a “bucket” they gave themselves a tally mark, under their name that I’d written on the white board. If they missed, they simply tried again.
Afterwards, everyone got a snowman sticker, and the one who made the most “buckets” got a trip to the treasure box. This is great counting, and tally mark practice, as well as wonderful fine and gross motor exercise too.
Take the garbage bag out when it’s pretty full and have students continue to stuff ‘til the bag is nice and round. Make sure the bottom bag is bigger than the “head”. When you are happy with Stuffy’s size, put your snowman "ball" in the corner of the classroom, so he leans against the wall for support and “build” him from there.
Using duct tape (It’s nice and sticky) put on the head. Decorate with a real stocking cap and scarf. Poke a hole on either side and use two rulers as arms. Two paint sticks work well too. A pair of gloves or mittens, go on each end and wahla (!) your own inside snowman.
Add a construction paper nose, “coal” black eyes and red cherry mouth pieces, + some circles for the buttons; stick them on with duct tape.
Each month I tried to do something that was RECYCLED and Stuffy fit the bill for January. Click on the link to print Stuffy's directions.
Finally, a simple and quick decoration for your students' lockers is to make the Snowman Name Stacker.
If you don't have lockers, these look adorable lined up on a hallway wall. Have your students help you arrange them in alphabetical order, or from tallest to shortest.
You can make a template, trace once and cut out 3-6 circles at a time, or run off my template on white construction paper and have students cut out their own circles.
For younger children, especially those with long names, have a 2-3-circle cutting limit and then allow them to add as many pre-cut circles as they need to spell their name.
Demonstrate how to glue just the edge of the "snowball" to another to "build" their vertical snowman stacker. Review vertical and horizontal vocabulary with them, as well as the circle, rectangle and square shapes.
Give each child a pre-cut black square and rectangle. Have them glue the shapes together to make a hat to glue to the top of their snowman.
Using crayons or markers students draw and color a face. Wiggle eyes are also fun. You could cut their school photo in the shape of a heart, and have them glue that to their hat as well.
Afterwards, students write a letter on each of the belly snowballs, so that they spell their name. If you have the time, go over their letters with Elmer's glue and have them sprinkle on glitter.
As a math extension, graph how many letters in students' names, or which letters were used the most. Add up everyone's totals for a grand total of how many letters for the entire class. Click on the link to view/download the Snowman Name Stacker.
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"Getting an inch of snow, is like winning 10 cents in the lottery." -Bill Waterson
I give credit for using reinforcement holes to construct a snowman to my fellow teacher Anita. Mrs. Kosack's has lots of cute ideas for her kindergartners. I've used reinforcement holes in the past for the various shapes, but this is just too cute. I revamped her concept with this idea just in time for 100 Day!
Click on the link to view/print the 100 Day Reinforcement Hole snowman patterns, pix and directions from this article. Would love a comment if you print or download my freebies. I truly enjoy hearing from you! firstname.lastname@example.org
Be sure and pop back tomorrow for another 100 Day idea! Click on the link to view other 100-Day Freebies!