Emotional Snowmen – Exploring Feelings with Kids

by Kim

We talk about emotions a lot in our house. When you foster, it kind of comes with the territory and makes things a lot easier to have open communication. So I am always trying to come up with new ways to talk about emotions and feelings with my children. Enter my “emotional snowmen”. They are drama queens (even worse than my 3 year old daughter).

To do this activity all you will need are toothpicks, marshmallows, and food markers. These markers are completely edible and can be found at craft stores. I purchased mine in the cake decorating aisle of Wal-Mart. They were around $5 and we use them on all sorts of stuff. I highly recommend them.

Take two marshmallows and stick them on a toothpick. Be sure to leave enough of the toothpick out to attach another marshmallow.

Have your child draw a snowman face. You can open the dialogue by asking them how their snowman is feeling today. When they tell you, you can ask them to draw a face that shows Mommy how they look when they are _________.

My snowman was feeling silly. We made many different types of faces. We talked about things we do when we are feeling the way each face looked. We also talked about what we can do to help change our moods.

Then we acted out each mood and emotion.

 

Each child had one snowman body and then different heads to change out.

This is such a great ice breaker for new children or just getting your children to open up to you. Sometimes young children have trouble processing and understanding the emotions they feel. This activity really helps them, plus it is perfect for the colder weather.

Kim is a contributing writer for No Time For Flash Cards, a mom to a toddler, a preschooler, and a foster parent, too. She juggles her day by trying out fun activities and crafts with the kids. After all, she is just a big kid herself. See what she has been up to over at Mom Tried It.

 

Southern Snowman

by Katy

We live so far south that we very rarely get to experience actual snow.  When we do get snow, it’s often not enough to make a snow man. Even so, there are lots of holiday songs and stories about snowmen, so I thought I’d show my son how snowmen are made with a little play doh.

I used black and white play doh for this activity.

I went ahead and rolled all of the pieces in advance. My son has a lot of sensory issues, so he’s not a big fan of play doh. I still run him through the motion of rolling the big pieces, but if he had to do it all himself, we’d have a meltdown before we finished.
So, we took each white ball, rolled it once or twice in his palm, and then stacked them. He was extremely resistant to the play doh with his left hand, so we switched it up and used his right–much better!

We then took the smaller black balls and helped him use his pointer finger to press them into the snowman creating eyes, a nose, and some buttons. We’ve worked on using pointer finger before, so this is a good  way to reinforce that skill. Overall, using one finger was much better than using his whole hand.

When you’re finished, you have a snowman guaranteed not to melt.

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Katy is a mom of one who loves art, mystery novels, and anything involving peanut butter–she blogs about raising her little miracle at Bird on the Street.

Snowflake Snowman Craft

paper plate snowman craft

The snow was everywhere this time last week and we were excited to make a snowman. Unfortunately the snow wasn’t sticky enough so we had to come in warm up and make one with paper plates and glitter.  This snowman craft needs adult involvement for preschoolers for sure but working together is one of my favorite things about crafting with my kids. This snowman was inspired by our very popular  Snow Globe Snowman we made a few years ago.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need 1 large and 1 small paper plate, a cupcake liner, glue, scissors, glitter ( ’tis the season), goggly eyes, a hole punch, some ribbon, a stapler or heavy tape, black and orange paper.
  2. Start by cutting the middle out of your large plate. Make sure that the hole is a little smaller than your cupcake liner.
  3. Add glue to the plate.
  4. Add glitter and set aside to dry.
  5. Fold your cupcake liner in half, then half again.
  6. Make cuts along the side. Have extras on hand for preschoolers who insist on doing it themselves with no instruction and get frustrated when it’s not “perfect” for us that was 4 liners. Make sure that they don’t cut the outside edge or the snowflake won’t glue to the snowman’s tummy properly. This was tricky with the foil , he did the first cut and I did the second and carefully took the pieces out. Paper would be much easier , though not as shiny!
  7. Open and glue over the hole in the large plate . Let dry.
  8. Make a quick hat out of the black paper and a carrot nose out of the orange.  Great use of scrap paper if you have it!
  9. Using the hole punch have your child punch some holes in the black paper for coal for the mouth.
  10. Add glue to the small plate for the face.
  11. Add the googly eyes.
  12. Add the punched out black paper for the mouth – this is a great fine motor exercise, but may be frustrating for really little guys so be prepared to help . Add the hat and nose as well.
  13. Let dry. My light ( for pictures) was fading fast so I continued but you should wait until things are dry so they don’t shift on the plates.
  14. Attach the small plate to the bottom one. Glue is not a great option for this, staples are ok but tend to bend the plates. I have found the best option is to use packing tape.
  15. Add the ribbon as a scarf.

My Favorite Snowman Book Ever !

All book suggestions include affiliate links to amazon.com

Snowman in Paradise

Snowman in Paradise by Michael Roberts is genius. There I said it. I very rarely think that of books. I like the majority of books I read and think there are so many good ones to share but I don’t want to return this one to the library, I want to keep it! The book is about a snowman from Manhattan who is glum after Christmas and wants to go on a vacation too. A magical bluebird grants his wish and he flies first class to a tropical island , with the only rule being he needs to come back in time for Christmas next year. This book is written like the traditional “Night Before Christmas” and although I thought the copy would be too long for my son at first , I was so wrong. The rhymes are unique , my favorite being :

In May after splashing with buckets of paint, He threw down his brush, saying, “Gauguin I ain’t.”

Even if some references are more for the adults reading it than the children listening , both parties will close the book smiling and wanting to start all over again. Grab it and see why I love it so much!

Build Your Own Snowman

Magnetic Snowman

Snowman Kids CraftSnowman Kids CraftSnowman Kids Craft

We have done a few of these projects  before ( robot and haunted house) and they are always a huge hit with my son as well as readers. Although it hasn’t snowed here in ages, I know that many of you are snowed in and thought I’d do one more snow themed craft. Our guy has no arms because we forgot them and by the time I remembered my son just wanted to play with him so they were clearly superfluous.

  1. Gather your materials. I am using sticky back foam, it’s easy to use and mostly eliminates the need for glue. Also scissors, self adhesive magnets ( please be careful and supervise even older kids with magnets, any child that is still putting things in their mouth should not be using the button magnets. Instead use the magnetic strips that do not pose as great a swallowing risk. ),  a marker and some glue if like me you are reusing magnets and their sticky back is gone! You will also need a cookie sheet or a magnetic surface to play. Snowman Kids Craft
  2. Start by tracing the snowman shapes. 3 circles from the white foam. Cut out.Snowman Kids Craft
  3. Trace and cut out a hat , coal pieces and boots from the black foamSnowman Kids Craft
  4. Cut out a nose and arms from the gold foam ( or any color really, we had gold on hand)
  5. Finally cut out buttons from the blue foam. Snowman
  6. Start by assembling the snowman’s face. Stick the nose on. Snowman Crafts
  7. Add the eyes and mouth from the coal pieces. Snowman  Craft
  8. Add the buttons on the other white circles – as you can see my son opted for all on one , which is perfectly awesome.Snowman Craft
  9. While they are adding the features, glue or stick the magnets on. You will want one on the boots, hat, each section of the snowman and arms if you made them. If you can avoid it don’t glue it took hours for ours to dry. I ended up taking these final pics before it was dry and my son didn’t get to play with it until almost bedtime.  Snowman Craft
  10. Let dry and play! Snowman Craft

Books

jacket

The Jacket I Wear in the Snow

written by Shirley Neitzel, illustrated by Nancy Winslow Parker
published by Greenwillow Books
rebus picture book (baby to preschool)
Similar to the story structure and rhyme of ‘The House that Jack Built’, this story builds with each layer of clothes. As a new article is added, it’s given extra emphasis on it’s own page, then beside it lists the other clothing elements already included. The repetitive text and the rebus images make for a consistent and predictable story, great for beginning readers. Children will be able to read parts of the story and enjoy predicting the clothing that comes on next. This is a great way to introduce winter clothing vocabulary too. Be warned, you kids may take to repeating all or parts of the rhyme when getting dressed to go out

( reviewed by Carrie Anne)

Snowman in Paradise

Snowman in Paradise by Michael Roberts is genius. There I said it. I very rarely think that of books. I like the majority of books I read and think there are so many good ones to share but I don’t want to return this one to the library, I want to keep it! The book is about a snowman from Manhattan who is glum after Christmas and wants to go on a vacation too. A magical bluebird grants his wish and he flies first class to a tropical island , with the only rule being he needs to come back in time for Christmas next year. This book is written like the traditional “Night Before Christmas” and although I thought the copy would be too long for my son at first , I was so wrong. The rhymes are unique , my favorite being :

In May after splashing with buckets of paint, He threw down his brush, saying, “Gauguin I ain’t.”

Even if some references are more for the adults reading it than the children listening , both parties will close the book smiling and wanting to start all over again. Grab it and see why I love it so much!

Marshmallow Snowman Craft

marshmallow snowman craft for kids

This activity is in disguise, it looks like a snowman craft  but really it’s all fine motor practice and counting. My son has been skipping 5 while counting so I decided to focus on it more and this is a great activity for that. Our rule was he could eat one marshmallow after he counted out 5, 10, 15 etc… it worked wonderfully. His fine motor skills and hand eye coordination got an awesome workout too as he placed each marshmallow carefully on the glue.  Fun and learning!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some mini marshmallows, glue, some markers ( include black), some orange scrap paper and a little helper.marshmallow snowman craft
  2. Start by drawing a basic snowman on the paper with marker. Depending on the age of your child make it larger or smaller, challenge your child but have realistic expectations .marshmallow snowman
  3. Draw the face and buttons with marker.marshmallow snowman craft
  4. Cut out a carrot nose with the orange paper and glue on.marshmallow snowman
  5. Add the glue along the outline. If your child is able have them do this, it’s tricky to stay on the line but great practice in patience and hand eye coordination.  No my son did not do this step, he was busy sneaking marshmallows while I was concentrating.marshmallow snowman
  6. Start adding the “snow” . Like I said in the preamble, I had him add 10 to the bottom then eat one, then 5 to the middle, then 13 to the bottom again. It was very interactive and fantastic counting practice . He had a ball and really didn’t eat too many .marshmallow snowman
  7. Look at the fine motor skills! For children who are still at the early stages of fine motor development, you can adapt this by using large marshmallows.marshmallow snowman
  8. Let dry.

Books

The Lonesome Polar Bear by Jane Cabrera is a cute little book about a little polar who’s only friends are a snow cloud and snow animals that keep melting away. The book has a cute message about not giving up hope and to keep trying to make friends , a lesson that is worthwhile for everyone. The illustrations are very cute and my son loved it!


Birthday Snow by Kim Messinger and Michael LaLumiere is such a sweet book about believing in something even when all the facts say maybe you should give up. Daniel doesn’t give up hope waiting for the snow to come on his birthday , but who really steals the show is his mom and her continued support of her little guy and his determination. A very cute book and a new addition to my must buy list!

Snow Party by Harriet Ziefert is a magical book that celebrates the biggest holiday for snow people, the winter solstice. I wish I had had access to this book when I was teaching because it’s a perfect way to read a story about celebrations without focusing on one tradition, or leaving out another. The illustrations are beautiful and the idea of snow people eating and dancing in the middle of the night is delicious!

Even more cold weather books