Wednesday, December 29, 2010

2011 A'Comin'!

New Year's Eve and New Year's Day don't have anywhere near the impact on children that Christmas does---those holidays don't have presents and they don't have the readily grasped mythology of Santa Claus, reindeer, and Christmas trees. Not to mention that I can't think of any good New Year's songs. So our New Year's Eve storytime was actually a grab bag of vaguely related items.

For post-Christmas Day reflection, we had this poem by Marchette Chute, with felt cut-outs on the flannelboard:

I wanted a rifle for Christmas,
I wanted a bat and a ball,
I wanted some skates and a bicycle,
But, I didn't want mittens at all.

I wanted a whistle
And I wanted a kite,
I wanted a pocketknife
That shut up tight.
I wanted some boots
And I wanted a kit,
But I didn't want mittens one little bit.

I told them I didn't like mittens,
I told them as plain as plain.
I told them I didn't WANT mittens,
And they've given me mittens again!

Then we read The Mitten by Jim Aylesworth. This is a familiar story that has also been done by Jan Brett and Alvin Tresselt, but I like the illustrations in this one by Barbara McClintock. 

We also read How to Be, by Lisa Brown, and Chicken Soup with Rice, by Maurice Sendak.

For our craft, we made mittens.  I cut out the mitten shapes, and the children decorated them with crayons and stickers. I also printed out pictures of the animals that squeezed into the boy's mitten: squirrel, rabbit, fox, bear and mouse.  I used pictures from MS Word clip art, and printed them in grayscale, so that the kids could color them (and so that I could save money on printer cartridges.) 

The kids cut the animals out for themselves, or their moms did it. Then we punched holes around the mittens and laced them together. The kids did a good job of lacing.

All in all, this activity involved a lot of different fine motor skills: coloring, cutting, punching, and lacing. I provided blunt-tip tapestry needles for those who wanted to try them, but some did their lacing with scotch tape on the end of the yarn.

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