Winter walks need the right clothing. When you looked at Monet’s painting, The Magpie, in my last post, did you think about what you would have to wear to enjoy that winter day?
This post will include 3 things:
- A short story about the woes of getting 20 kindergartners ready to go outside in the winter… but why it’s worth it
- A fun art activity about hats, mittens, and winter pictures
- Some suggestions for related curriculum connections to enjoy
“Where was that boot?” I knew the child had arrived in boots, but I had crawled under every table and it was nowhere. I finally gave up and searched through our spare bin for a boot to fit her small, stockinged foot, so we could go out for recess.
Each child had a cubby, so you’d think it would be easy to match each child to their outdoor clothing. Not so. Twenty kindergartners can quickly create an infinite number of mismatched mittens, boots, and lost hats. Chaos often reigned, along with tears. Lots of tears–sometimes mine .
When I graduated college, I took a position team-teaching with an experienced kindergarten teacher. Kindergarten was half day, and we taught one group in the morning and another in the afternoon. So teaching time was at a premium. Despite that, this teacher insisted we take children out for a recess. Even if it was cold and snowy. (and in Maine it often was)
About three days into the first cold week of winter, I asked (okay, grumbled!) why we took so much valuable lesson time for recess in the winter. Wouldn’t it be easier to just let them play in the block corner? She just smiled.
And as she knew I would, I soon began to notice the joy on children’s faces as they played outside. Sticky snow inspired snowmen. They loved to taste snowflakes on their tongues, and even in snowsuits and boots, they jumped in snow drifts and chased each other around the playground. When we came back in, the wiggles were gone, and most settled down to do a little more work.
No matter what age we are, we all need those breaks to get out the wiggles. Outside sights and sounds refresh us mentally, physically, and spiritually. But we need snuggly clothing to enjoy wintry weather.
So here is our art project. A child’s happy face with a hat and mittens opening up to reveal a picture of something they enjoyed outside on a winter day.
A Fun Art Activity
- Sturdy white paper
- Crayons and/or water color paints and brushes
Directions (Although there’s lots children can do on this projects, an adult or older child will need to do the original measuring, cutting, and drawing)
For an adult
- From the white paper, cut a strip 18” long X 6” wide
- Measure 9” in to find the middle
- From that point measure 3¼” over twice on each side of the middle mark and draw lines ( which leaves 2¼” left on each side)
- Fold on these lines as shown in the pictures (the inner folds toward the center—they should meet there—and the outer folds outward)
- Next draw a template for a mitten and one half of a child’s face topped with a hat. (see the picture)
- Using the mitten template draw a mitten on each side of the outer fold (turn the template over for the second mitten
- On the folds beneath the mittens, use the face template to draw half a face on each side. (See the picture)
- Cut away some of the paper around the mitten so it is still attached but has the mitten shape. (see the picture)
- Draw designs on the mittens and eyes, nose and mouth on the face ( just one eye and half of the nose and mouth go on each side)
- Do the designs in crayon and fill in the spaces with water color paint (this is called crayon resist, because the waxy crayon resist the paint) you can mix your paint colors and paint right over the crayon designs.
- On the space inside, attach a photo or draw a picture of something you enjoyed seeing outside this winter
- When finished and dry, refold the sections so the mittens cover the child’s face until you open it all up.This makes a great picture to put up on the fridge or a card to send to grandparents!
- Children may use just crayon or marker for this activity
- If using the crayon resist method, have children outline all shapes with crayon, even if they don’t color them in. This makes it easier to paint within the lines of the hat, mittens, etc.
- I left my face uncolored except for rosy cheeks, so that children can choose the skin color they’d like. Most large boxes of crayons now have many skin tones available
- Help children mix enough water and pigment to be able to paint a whole space. (this is what the cover of paint sets is for) But not so much water that no color shows and the paper gets saturated.
- Use colored paper for your base and draw and cut out faces and mittens from white paper. Once these are colored, cut the mittens out and the face apart and glue onto the folded base paper. You will still have to measure and cut the base paper as explained above.
- Make a real pompom of yarn for the hat (you’ll actually need 2 pompoms!)
- Use some cloth to make a scarf
This is not a very messy project, but certainly a supply of paper towels and a plastic tablecloth are helpful if you decide to paint.
- Look up how sheep are raised and cared for and learn about how their wool is turned into yarn.
- Watch a video of sheepdogs in action.
- Watch a video of someone knitting mittens and hats.
- Research about the Industrial Revolution and how spinning and weaving were among the first processes to be mechanized.
- What were some good outcomes of this mechanization, such as cheaper goods?
- What were some bad outcomes for the workers who flocked to the cities to work in the mills? such as child labor.
- What are some new, man-made fibers that help keep us warm today?
Molly and I hope you enjoyed this art activity and will be able to don your own snuggly hat, mittens, and scarf and get outside to enjoy God’s creation!Next post will be children’s books about winter! Don’t miss it! Sign up to receive the Picture Lady posts by email.