Are you already back at school? Did you start homeschooling this week? Well, I go back to my preschool classroom Wednesday, and I am so excited to share this fun winter circle time activity and hedgehog craft with my class. When I create circle time activities I connect them to the books I plan to read to the class, but I also try to make them into stand-alone activities that can be used during free choice later that week or month. My students love revisiting the activities after we have done them as a group. This color matching activity doesn’t even have to be done with the book, but it certainly makes more sense if you read the book first.
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The Hat by Jan Brett is a cute tale with some serious messages. A little girl is hanging her wash to dry, and one of her socks blew off and ended up on a hedgehog’s head. It’s stuck so the hedgehog makes the most of it. He is teased by the other animals but stands up for himself every time. Soon all the other animals want warm clothes on their heads too. The book is great for winter and farm themes.
To prepare you will want to print out the hedgehog and socks printables.
Print Hedgehogs here ( 3 pages)
Print Socks here ( 2 pages)
Next, you will want to laminate or use contact paper to cover the hedgehogs and socks, this way you will be able to use and re-use these for circle time activities and during free choice.
You can put the hedgehogs on a board or wall with painter’s tape, or simply lay them on the floor in the middle of your circle. Put the socks in a basket.
Circle Time Activity:
Read the book.
After you read, tell the children that you need help to match the socks you have in your basket to the correct hedgehog. Review the colors of each hedgehog with your class.
Pull a sock from the basket and hand to a child to match up. I have had classes where this works best by handing the socks out before the activity starts, classes where I hold the item the whole time, and as a group, we call out where it should go, and ones where it’s best to hand each item out as the activity progresses.
There are a lot of ways of doing this, adjust the activity to your classroom’s ability. You can match all the colors or only print out 2-3 hedgehogs and their matching socks. Help your students succeed, circle time for preschool should be about being introduced to participating in whole group instruction but it’s our job as teachers to keep that age and developmentally appropriate. Many of my circle time activities are less than 5 minutes long, but the students are engaged and learning the whole time.
You can also adjust this for math or letter recognition too by writing numbers or letters on the hedgehogs. If you laminate them, you can just use dry erase marker and adjust it as you see fit.
When circle time is done, it’s time for the craft project. You can do this the same day or later in the week; I suggest reading The Hat again to remind your students about the story to make the craft more meaningful if you do it later in the week.
Gather your materials. You will need to print out this hedgehog or just use it as a stencil, I prefer to use it as a stencil for brown construction paper to make this craft more open ended and focused on product, but do what works for you.
You will also need glue, one googly eye per hedgehog, a black pom pom for each hedgehog, and collage materials like wooden sticks, bits of felt, sandpaper, and string. The point of this craft is to explore textures.
Use the stencil to make an outline of the hedgehog.
Add the collage materials.
Pop on the eye and pom pom. Let dry.
If you like this circle time activity, you will love the ideas and circle time lessons I share in Little School my ebook of preschool activities.