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