Marshmallow Snowflakes

It seems like it’s snowing almost everywhere lately. I love doing activities that use what’s going on around us to keep things interesting and fresh!  This snowflake craft is simple enough for preschoolers to do with a little direction , and don’t forget you can add in lessons about counting and estimation too!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a sheet of construction paper, white glue, mini marshmallows, and glitter.
  2. Start by designing your snowflake. You can just use the glue or draw it with a pencil first.  I did this one to show my son how to draw with glue.
  3. I encouraged my son to do this himself by reminding him that all snowflakes are unique.
  4. Add the marshmallows! I get asked all the time how do you avoid him eating them all? My main strategy is that I let him eat a few but only after he adds them on. I tell him to count to 14, then eat one, then add on another 20 and eat one etc.. interestingly enough this time he didn’t eat a single one, but he still counted.
  5. Add glue for glitter
  6. Add the glitter. I LOVE these little glitter tubes. They only hold a small amount of glitter so the mess is minimized. I wouldn’t use them with toddlers/ kids who still put things in their mouths though, the tops pop off and could be a hazard. 
  7. Let dry. His is proudly on display in our front hall.

Books

Holly’s Red Boots by Francesca Chessa was a delight to read. Holly wants to go outside in the snow but can’t find her boots and we follow along as she looks for them.It’s a cute story and the pictures are scrumptious. My son loved that the dinosaur was wearing her boots and wanted to read that page over and over. I also loved that when she does go outside her mom has her baby sibling in a baby carrier. Fun book!

Stella, Queen of the Snow by Marie-Louise Gay is my kind of book. If I were to quote all my favorite bits of this book I would write out most of it. I just love the writing, it’s simple but doesn’t talk down to the reader. The characters are sweet but not saccharine and I love how inquisitive Sam is . Stella is a know it all but not bratty about it at all! Sam has never seen snow before and Stella tells him all about it as they explore the first snow fall of the year.

Tacky the Penguin by Helen Lester is such a cute and funny story, your kids will love it! Tacky is an odd bird but when hunters come to get some pretty penguins is funny odd ways of doing things turn off the hunters and saves Tacky and his perfectly not odd companions. This is a sweet look at being different and being happy as pie about being different.  My son loves this book and will often point out that Tacky is proud to sing just the way he wants. I love that it can preach to kids without preaching at all.

Hole Punch Snowflakes

by Kim

Making snowflakes isn’t a new craft. I love to try different ways of doing traditional activities. When Iwas young my mom and I would make snowflakes like this. So I had to do this with my son.

You will just need paper, hole punch and scissors.

Fold the paper into a triangle.

Give your child the hole punch and the triangles. Just let them punch away.

You will need to make sure that you don’t fold the paper too much or you may encounter this…

Cole made random punches on the first snowflake, but as he started the second one I asked if he coulduse the hole punch to make a hole that was a line. He looked at me funny for a second, then you could see the light bulb go off. He really got into making clusters and lines.

The end result was a window full of beautiful snowflakes. Now I have passed down this activity to the next generation and I guess we have a new tradition in our house.

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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.

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 !

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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!

Penguin Craft !

Penguin Place Mat!

Kids Penguin Place Mat

Who doesn’t like penguins? This penguin place mat craft could easily be turned into a plain old paper craft with white paper instead of a paper towel. You can find contact paper almost anywhere these days, both Walmart and Target carry it in my neck of the woods and of course the big craft stores do too! We use these place mats for play dough, crafts and yes dinner time too. Putting out the place mats for dinner is my son’s job so making something new and fun is a great way to keep it fresh!

  1. Gather your materials you will need 1 sheet of black construction paper, a sheet of paper towel ( paper will work too),contact paper,  some glue, silver and blue sequins, 2 googly eyes, an orange marker, scissors and some white construction paper. Kids Penguin Place Mat
  2. Start by drawing an outline of a penguin with the marker on the black paper. Penguin Template
  3. Cut out and glue onto the paper towel.Kids Penguin Place Mat
  4. Add glue for the sequins.  Penguin Place Mat Craft
  5. Add the snow – the sequins! This is awesome for fine tuning those fine motor skills. Those sequins are tricky.Penguin Place Mat
  6. We had no orange paper so instead I had my son color this white piece to use for the beak and feet.Penguin Place Mat
  7. Next cut out the beak and feet from the colored paper. Penguin Place Mat
  8. Add the eyes.Penguin Place Mat
  9. Add the beak and feet.Penguin Place Mat
  10. Let dry –  I didn’t because daylight and my ability for ok photos was fading fast in my cloudy sky town! But you will want to to avoid globs of glue stuck under contact paper.
  11. Measure your contact paper to fit – you will want to sandwich the place mat between 2 sides of a long rectangular  piece. Peel back only half the backing , place the place mat face down on the sticky side.  Doing it this way will prevent big bubbles and wrinkles on the front.Penguin Place Mat
  12. Peel the rest of the backing off the contact paper and press to sandwich the place mat. Press firmly to seal. Kids Penguin Place Mat
  13. Trim the edges and voila!

Books !

Tacky the Penguin by Helen Lester is such a cute and funny story, your kids will love it! Tacky is an odd bird but when hunters come to get some pretty penguins is funny odd ways of doing things turn off the hunters and saves Tacky and his perfectly not odd companions. This is a sweet look at being different and being happy as pie about being different.  My son loves this book and will often point out that Tacky is proud to sing just the way he wants. I love that it can preach to kids without preaching at all.

penguin_dreams

Penguin Dreams by Vivian Walsh is a crazy trip of a book. Both my son and I loved it but it wasn’t at all what I expected. I am not sure what I expected but I’ll summarize. The story is simply one penguin’s dream.  He dreams he can fly ,  and readers follow along as he flies through his clever and off beat dream.  I loved thinking about whether or not penguins even dream and that thought had my son and I talking for quite sometime before he himself drifted off to sleep. It’s fun, it’s weird and it’s perfect for creative imagination driven kids!

Marshmallow Snowman Craft

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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