Sunday, January 8, 2012

Mitten Activities

This week we read the book  The Mitten by Jan Brett. We also did some fun mitten themed activities to go along with the book. I think the students' favorite mitten activity was sewing up their own paper mittens with yarn.

Beware: this can be very challenging for kindergarteners! I had the mittens precut, with one staple in the corner to hold the two pieces of paper together. I also had all of the holes already punched in the mitten and a piece of yarn tied to the first hole.

One little tip that will make this activity SO much easier for the kids is using very thin yarn so it fits easily through the holes. Also, putting a little piece of masking tape around the end of the yarn, so that the end of the yarn doesn't unravel and goes through each hole easily, is definitely recommended.

Something new I tried this year, was doing this activity in small groups-and it was a lot more successful that way. I really can't believe that I used to just let the whole class loose to do this independently all at once. By doing it with one table at a time, I could model for the kids how to thread the yarn through the top of the hole only, pull all  of the yarn through the hole, and then move onto the next hole. I could also keep an eye on everyone to make sure they were doing it correctly since I only had 5 kids to watch at a time. Everyone's mittens turned out really well!

While I was sewing up mittens with one table at a time, the rest of the kids were kept occupied with coloring and cutting out all of the animals from the story (you can get this page of animals from Jan Brett's website). Then, once all of the mittens and animals were done, we reread The Mitten, and the kids put their animals into the mitten as it happened in the story. Very fun! They loved the idea of taking their mittens and animals home to retell the story to their families.

We also had a mitten themed activity going in the pocket chart this week. On sentence strips I wrote: "The _____ went in the mitten." Then I printed out the animal pictures and word cards (from the blog 1+1+1=1) and students put them into the pocket chart and practiced reading the chart. (Sorry the photo is so blurry-that's what I get for taking the pic with my phone instead of my camera!).

We also did some mitten activities during math. I gave each student a mitten cut-out and we practiced measuring it with lots of different manipulatives (pennies, paperclips, links, cubes, etc.). Great measuring practice and lots of hands-on fun!

I know there are tons of great mitten ideas out there. I have seen them popping up all over blogs and Pinterest these last few days. I'd love to hear about any fun things you do with the book The Mitten.


  1. I'm going to try pipe cleaner needles to help them with the lacing. Last time we did it, the room was so takes lots of concentration.

  2. I love this book! Thanks for sharing some great ideas! After reading the story I make a very large mitten out of white butcher paper and the children work together to make the animals that go in the mitten. We use this to retell the story and then when we are done I have the children glue the animals to the mitten and label the characters. We hang it up in our room when finished.

  3. When we do lacing projects, I always dip the ends of the yarn in hot candle wax a few times and then let it dry. It dries quickly and it makes lacing so much easier.

    Lil' Country Kindergarten