Snowflake Sisters

This activity was inspired by our kiddo’s favorite movie involving a strong sisterly bond, a talking snowman, and the journey to discovering their strengths. 

Blue Snowflake
Step 1: Fold construction paper in half.
Step 2: Fold it in half, again.
Step 3: Cut small snips off the corners & edges of your folded paper.
Step 4: Unfold & enjoy your magical snowflake!
Step 5: Try a new cutting & folding pattern to see which you like best.

Purple Snowflake
Step 1: Outline the shape of a snowflake with a marker.
Step 2: Trace the outline with glue from a glue bottle.
Step 3: Sprinkle salt on the glue & discard the extra salt that landed elsewhere on the paper.
Step 4: Let dry.
Step 5: Use watercolor paint to dab the salted lines & watch the magic travel through the snowflake!

 

DIY Abacus Counting Frame (Rack Rack)

This activity provides many benefits while creating the abacus and while playing with the finished product.

To create the abacus:

Use 2 toilet paper rolls or cut a paper towel roll in half.

Use the pencil to mark and puncture equal height dots on each paper roll. The pipe cleaners will be attached there.

Cut the pipe cleaners to be equal length. Each one should be about 6 inches in length.

Insert one side of the pipe cleaner to the top hole on the paper roll.

Put 10 beads on the 1st pipe cleaner, and repeat these last 2 steps until you put all the pipe cleaners in the holes, and string all the pipe cleaners.

Insert the other end of the pipe cleaner into the 2nd paper roll.

Let your child be a part of putting this together to promote pincer grasp, bilateral hand use, and eye-hand coordination.

Don’t have pipe cleaners? Use a string instead.

Don’t have beads? Use Cheerios or buttons.

While playing with the abacus, the child gets to practice these skills as well.

Cutting Dr. Seuss’s Hat

DrSeuss hat and materials

Use the provided Dr. Seuss’s Hat shape template (download here) or draw your own on a construction paper with markers.

To work on snipping, cut long strips of red construction paper, and mark short lines for the child to snip (see image).

Provide the child with the hat template and the red paper stripes.

Instruct the child to snip on the lines.

Have the child glue the pieces that he cut into the hat template. If needed, provide the child with visual cues where to glue the pieces.

Grading Options

  • Work on hand strength by asking the child to tear the paper into small pieces, instead of cutting.
  • Use pieces of tissue paper and have the child crumble them, then glue them to the paper.
  • If the child is able to cut on a line, or to practice cutting on a line, draw long lines for the child to cut and match to the size of the stripes on the hat.

 

Candy Cane

For this activity, we used colorful paper straws and cut each straw into 1-inch pieces.

Ask the child to string the cut straw pieces onto a pipe cleaner.

Bend the top of the pipe cleaner to shape it like a candy cane.

 

 

Catch the Turkey

Catch The Turkey Activity - final

For this activity, you will need a brown construction paper, yellow construction paper, and an orange construction paper. If you don’t have any colored construction paper, you can use a piece of cardboard (an empty cereal box or any other dry food box can be used) and white paper.

On the brown construction paper or cardboard, draw half a circle. This will be the turkey’s body.

Use the orange construction paper and draw a circle big enough to be used as the turkey’s head.

On the yellow construction paper draw a small triangle, to use as the turkey’s beak. If using a white piece of paper, draw a circle and a triangle, and let the child color these shapes orange and yellow.

Ask the child to cut the brown half of a circle, the orange circle, and the triangle.

Have the child glue the orange circle in the middle of the half-circle. Then, provide the child with red tempera or finger paint, ask him to dip his pointer finger in the paint, and then stamp it in the middle of the orange circle. This will be the turkey’s wobble.

Next, use the glue to glue the yellow triangle on the top part of the wobble. Use the marker or crayon to draw the turkey’s eyes. You can also use googly eyes.

Using the clothespins, instruct the child to pick one clothespin at a time, pinch it, and place it on the curved part of the half-circle, stabilizing the paper (turkey’s body) with the non-dominant hand. Cover the turkey’s body with as many clothespins you can. These are the turkey’s feathers.

Grading Option

You can use specific colors of clothespins, draw matching dots of colors on the turkey’s body, and have the child match the color of the clothespin with the colored dot.

Construction Paper Guitar

Using a large piece of cardboard or construction paper, draw the shape of the guitar’s body. If the child is able to draw it by himself, allow him to do so. Otherwise, let the child trace your drawing, using a thick marker.

Ask the child to cut out the shape, following the lines. Depending on the child’s skill level, make the line thicker, and provide support as needed. Once the child cuts out the guitar’s shape out, ask him to draw or trace a circle in the middle of the guitar’s body. You can use a round object to help with drawing an accurate shape.

Instruct the child to cut out the circle, providing support as needed.

Using a single hole puncher, carefully have the child punch three holes on either side of the circle he just cut. Using 3 rubber bands, ask the child to cut through them so they are now one long string.

Instruct the child to thread each rubber band across 2 parallel holes, and tie on each end. Provide support as needed for tying the rubbers in place.

Using another piece of cardboard or construction paper, ask the child to draw or trace a rectangle. Instruct the child to cut it out, and use the glue and tape to attach it to the top part of the guitar’s body. To make the guitar look more life like, ask the child to draw lines continuing from the bands up the stem of the guitar.

Feed Me

In this activity, imagination and creativity are key components.

Begin by drawing the face of a child, a character (clown, robot, princess, etc.), or an animal that the child likes on the shoe box’s cover. Then, cut out the mouth of your figure so that it looks like the figure is opening its mouth. Make sure the opening is big enough so that the child is able to place the small objects through the opening.

Place the cotton balls (see additional ideas for objects below) on the table in front of the child or in a shallow bowl.

Give the tongs to the child and instruct her to hold it with her thumb, pointer, and middle fingers only, while tucking the pinkie and ring fingers into the palm of her hand. Then, ask the child to use the tongs to pick up one object at a time and feed the figure by placing the object into the figure’s open mouth.

This is where creativity comes into play as you can use the child’s imagination to decide what kind of food the cotton balls represent.

If you chose to draw an animal, you can have the cotton balls be the type of food this specific animal eats (i.e. monkey = bananas, dog = bones, bunny = carrots, etc.)

Based on the child’s developmental skills, you can have her draw the figure (can be a very simple figure) and cut the mouth opening independently.

Additional ideas for small objects (depending on the child’s age and abilities): pasta, beads (large and small), beans, cotton swabs, marbles, and Lego

Make a Puzzle

Hand the child a xeroxed page of a holiday design (with multiple items to color) or draw a picture on the paper/construction paper.

Use the ruler to draw horizontal and vertical lines for the child to cut (number of pieces depends on the child’s age and skills).

You can also draw curved or wiggly lines depending on your child’s cutting abilities.

Have the child follow directions based on skill level.

Start with simple directions and progress to harder instructions if appropriate.

Once all items are colored, have the child cut across the lines.

Once cut, the child should reassemble the puzzle.

Place the pieces in a ziplock bag to take home if desired.

Clothespins Butterfly

ClothespinsButterfly-front

Body Shape

Take one of your clothespins and paint it with colors. This will be the butterfly body.

Wings

To make the wings, take some colored construction paper and fold it in half.

Draw a pair of wings on the folded side of the paper, and cut around them using the scissors.

Unfold the wings and you will have two sets that are exactly the same.

Draw colorful lines and patterns over the wings.

Assemble Everything Together

Pinch open the clothes peg and glue the wings onto the top prong.

It is best to clip the clothes peg onto something so that it doesn’t get glued shut.

Decorate the body of the butterfly with your buttons and beads, and stick the googly eyes onto the top of the peg.

Paper Chain

Colorful Paper Chain

Draw 5-6 straight lines on different color sheets of construction paper.

Let the child cut along the lines to create long construction paper strips.

Glue the construction paper strips together the ends to create a circle.

Connect the circles together and make chains.