Mitten Activity Pack with Free Printables
It's that awkward timing between Christmas, New Years, and Valentine's Day... I absolutely love Valentine's Day and planning activities around that theme, but I always try to hold off and find another theme to fill my time so I don't burn out too quickly. ;) As a kindergarten teacher, we typically used this time of year for penguins. This was another favorite unit that I ALMOST went with for Kade this year. Other good themes for this time of year are just general snowmen, snow, winter weather/winter wear, and just plain old MITTENS. There are a ton of fun activities to go with Jan Brett's "The Mitten," but we stuck with some general mitten activities this time for something different. Here are the activities I created that we have been enjoying the last couple of weeks! Scroll to the bottom to get the free printables. :)
Kade blew me away and did so well with this activity! He's really been into matching colors lately but the shape puzzles were an added bonus. It's a great way to start talking about shapes and exposing them to the different vocabulary. At one point, out of no where, Kade pointed to the green mitten and said "rectangle!" I had no idea he knew that shape and it could have been a fluke but I almost cried. #proudmom #momhormones
I printed these on cardstock, laminated, and then used small Velcro dots to attach the shapes to the mittens.
This activity was inspired by a poem I came across on Pinterest. Kade absolutely loved playing this "game" with me and would get so excited whenever he found the snowball. Also a great way to continue talking about colors! There is probably a much cuter way that you could display the poem but I was kind of rushed toward the end of nap time so this is what I came up with. ;)
The poem says "Snowball, snowball, cold and round - Behind which mitten can you be found?" Repetition is key... Kade was practically saying it back to me by the time we were done! I used one of the mittens from the other printable activities in this pack to trace mittens on different colored felt. While you're tracing and cutting, go ahead and make two of each color because you will use them for the next activity, too! I used the "Handmade Modern Felt Library" that I bought at Target and it worked SO WELL. It is a thicker, more sturdy kind of felt and it stuck so nicely to our felt board.
And here's why I suggested two of each color. ;) Grab some string, some tape, and some little clothespins and you've got yourself a mitten matching activity! The clothespins are pretty tricky for Kade to navigate still but we worked on it a little bit together and he still had fun telling me where each mitten was supposed to go. There are a few different ways you can set up this activity. I had one mitten hanging already and the rest in a little bin. Kade had to find the matching colors and I helped him clip them up onto the string.
You could also just have the clothespins empty and have all of the mittens in a bin for your kiddo(s) to match up. I didn't get a picture of us doing this activity because I was pretty much all hands on deck trying to assist with the clothespins. I did find that the smaller ones were a little easier than the regular sized ones because they don't require AS much finger strength to squeeze open. This activity is huge for hand-eye coordination and using both hands at once which is what Kade needed the most support with.
I printed these counting mats on blue printer paper (not cardstock since I laminated but if you don't have a laminator, cardstock might be better for sturdiness). You can use any color paper, even white if it's all you have. I thought it might even be fun for older kiddos to color them in first if that's something your kiddo(s) would be into.
I sorted out some white pom poms (and a few blue because we didn't have quite enough just white) to use for counting. We called them baby snowballs. ;) You could use cotton balls, stickers, marshmallows, or any other small object, really. This, too, was slightly advanced for my little Kade, but he did attempt it on and off for a few minutes which is a win in my book.
The idea was for him to put a pom in each circle as we counted them out together. This activity helps with one-to-one correspondence (associating a number to the one specific object at a time that you're counting) and counting. We also switched and I modeled putting the "snowballs" in the circles as Kade counted for me. I only made counting mats up to 6 because this is supposed to be a pretty "beginner" activity pack for younger toddlers.
I printed this mitten color match mat on cardstock and laminated. I sorted out some matching colored poms for Kade to sort out on the colored mittens. There is a second mat with more colors, depending on what color poms you have or which/how many colors you want to be focusing on. For added fine motor practice, add some fine motor tweezers, a pair of tongs, or a little spoon! You could also use colored stickers for this activity and if you laminate the mats then you should be able to peel the stickers off and re-use. ;)
This is just a super simple size order (smallest-largest/largest-smallest) activity. Print, laminate, and cut out the mittens and have your child place them in size order. You could also have them stack the mittens from biggest to smallest like they are in the photo above. If you have an older child (or are working with older children) and they are digging the clothespins from the fine motor color match activity, you could have them clip these mittens in order on the string. You could also put magnets on the backs of these and put them on your fridge. :)
As always, feel free to PIN any of these activities to save for later
and/or share with a friend who you think might put them to good use!
You can click the image below to download the FREE PRINTABLE activity pack!