Monday, December 29, 2008

January activities

I loved doing our Advent stocking activities this year so much that I decided a week or so ago to surf the web for some fun winter ideas to do with my boys at home in January. I also have a very cool idea for how I'm going to present this to the boys. I'm hoping to have something to actually show you tomorrow. Until then, here is a list of the activities we MAY do in January. I've tried to cite the sources for these ideas in case you'd like to check them out in more detail.

1. Using old Christmas cards as a base, we will "frost" the pictures by painting over them with a mixture of 1 part Epson salt to 1 part boiling water. Supposedly this forms a sparkly "frost" when dry. I got this idea from Preschool Express.

NOTE: ALL the following activities are ideas I got from Perpetual Preschool. This is a website that is new to me. It has lots of good ideas, but I am not in love with the way they are organized. It takes quite a while to read through them as they are listed as emails that have been sent in.'s worth taking a look at.

2. Make a torn paper snow scene by tearing pieces of white paper and gluing them to a dark blue or black background paper.

3. Make snowflakes using pasta that has been colored white and gluing it together to form snowflakes. The website recommends putting the dry pasta in a bag with white paint and shaking it until coated then letting it dry. Sounds easy if it works.

4. Glue fake snow to a polar bear cut-out to make him furry. My oldest son got some of that Insta-sno in a science kit, so we already have that. I think I'll have the boys pin-punch the polar bears then tape them to a stick and insert it into a styrofoam ball to look like a snowhill.

5. Make and eat blue jello (ocean) cups with whipped cream (snow) on top.

6. Paint snowmen using large marshmallows to print the balls of snow and Q-tips to paint falling snowflakes.

7. Make 3D snowmen by sticking cotton balls and other decorations to a piece of clear Contact paper cut into the shape of a snowman.

8. Grate white soap with a cheese grater and use it to form snowmen. We'll use toothpicks and I'm not sure what else to decorate the snowmen.

9. Make and eat a rice cake snowman face using a rice cake spread with white cream cheese and decorated with veggie bits to make a face.

10. Paint "knitted" mittens by first painting on a piece of shelf liner, then placing the cut-out mitten shape on top. This is supposed to result in a knitted mitten look. I am going to try this in my classroom too if I can figure out how to set it up for the children to do independently.

11. Make patchwork mittens by gluing pieces of printed scrapbook paper to large mitten cut-outs.

12. Lace together two "knitted" or "patchwork" mittens with yarn. After reading Jan Brett's The Mitten, see how many animal cracker animals will fit inside our laced mittens.

13. Use a mitten cookie cutter to cut out bread in the shape of a mitten. Use milk paint (milk with food coloring) to paint the mittens. Sprinkle with sugar and bake in the oven until toasted.

14. Make snowflakes by gluing 3 popsicle sticks together in the center and painting white with glitter sprinkled on top before paint is dry.

I purposely didn't plan 31 activities. I realized after the Advent activities that it's just not feasible to do an activity every day. This way we will have lots of flexibility and can do the activities when and if we feel like it. I also love that for the most part I won't have to purchase anything to prepare for any of these activities. Good for the pocketbook, yet also great for making some family memories.


Anna said...

We often use dyed pasta in our class room and we've found that just coating the pasta in paint and leaving it to dry results in soggy pasta that eventually rots - nice. The way we get around it is to coat the pasta as you describe but then spread it out in a tray and put it in a low oven for 5-10 minutes. Don't leave it for too long or you end up with brittle pasta that smells burnt! I learnt that the hard way!

Laura said...

Thanks for the tip!!

sara said...

we made snowmen with my son (he's 3) using Styrofoam balls from Hobby Lobby. we didn't know HOW we were going to decorate him, so this is what we used (I noticed you weren't sure what to use to decorate your snowman so maybe this will help!):

* brown mini m&m's

* we got a sheet of orange foam and cut it into a little triangle to make a carrot nose

* black brads from the scrapbooking section at Hobby Lobby for the buttons down the front of him

* black hat from hobby lobby (since he was 3-d) - I am not sure what section this was from, my husband went and got it :)

* fabric from a fabric stash for a scarf

I think that he didn't have arms. It's in my sons room and he's sleeping right now so I can't tell you :)

I LOVE your activities. Made my brain start working for things to do with my kids! Thank you for sharing!

Laura said...

Those are great ideas, Sara! I love the idea of using the brads for buttons. Never would have thought of that. Thanks so much for commenting!

rainbowmummy said...

Such an inspiration Laura! Thanks for the link and ideas!