Thursday, November 28, 2013

Numbered felt snowmen

When living in Sunny California, snow can be a little hard to find (unless you live in Big Bear or Mammoth) so I decided that we could make our own out of felt and build snowmen that could last forever.

Who can play
Children aged 3 years. This activity could be carried out with children aged 2 years, however you would have to remove the stick on eyes and replace them with bigger pieces of black round felt.
Isabella also chose to add buttons to her snowmen. I would only recommend the buttons for children aged 3+ and of course close supervision goes without saying.

What do we need?
1.Two sheets of white felt, cut into 5 (3.5 inch) circles for the snow mans lower body, 5 (2.5 inch) circles for their middles and 5 (2 inch) circles for the heads. With the remaining felt cut five semi circles (1 inch) for the mouths. If using stick on eyes, place them on 10 small (1/4 inch) round pieces of felt, so that they can be placed on and off the snowmen.
2.One sheet of black felt, for eyes (if using with under threes) The numbers 1-5 (1 inch) and 5 hats (2 inch)
3.10 stick on eyes, placed on small round pieces of white felt. You can get a pack of these from most dollar stores.
4.One piece of red felt to make the bows for the snowmen (2 inch long)
5.Felt board (or you could easily make your own by attactching a piece of felt to thick cardboard/wood.

Supervise your child when they are using the eyes and buttons, as they can pose a choking hazard.

What did we do?
Bee and I talked about what snowmen need. One of her favorite movies is the Snowman by Raymond Briggs, so she told me they need a head and body and were "very cold" and "they can fly".
She loved experimenting, placing the white circles on the board and at one point one of the snowmen had 4 body parts and a head, but that didn't matter, she was having fun.

We talked about the numbers on the circles and she was able to organize them in the correct order, going from the lowest to the highest number. Bee was also very careful when placing on the snow men's eyes, mouths, bows and hats. She placed them in the correct positions.
I then introduced the "5 Little Snowmen song" When we reached the end of each verse we would take one snowman away, developing an awareness of subtraction.

5 little Snowmen song (to the tune of five little engines standing in a row

5 Little Snowmen standing in a row,
each wore a hat and a big red bow,
Out came the sun and shone all day,
And one little snowman melted away.

4 Little Snowmen.............

3 Little Snowmen.............

2 Little Snowmen.............

1 Little Snowman standing on his own, 
he wore a hat and a big red bow,
Out came the sun and shone all day,
And that little Snowman melted away.

Bee added some buttons to the play (purchased at a major store for $1 a pack) She began to place them on the bodies of the snowmen. I asked if she could count out the corrosponding amount of buttons to the numbered snowman. She was able to do this and seemed to enjoy counting the buttons. At one point, she turned the smiles on the snowmen upside down and added more buttons onto their bodies "They are sad" she said "because they don't have the right amount of buttons on their tummies". Once she reordered them, she turned their frowns back to a smile again and said "they have the right buttons now, they are happy again"

What did we learn?
Communication, language and literacy- learning the words to the snowman song. Talking through what she is doing.
Mathematical development-Positioning and counting out buttons to match the numbers. Number recognition and ordering. Subtraction and addition.
Creative- singing and learning the snowman song. Designing and making a snowman 
Knowledge and understanding of the world- learning that snowmen melt in the warmth of the sun.
Physical-Hand eye coordination, body awareness and fine manipulative skills.
Personal, social and emotional development- Joining in play together. Cooperating and taking turns. Quality time with mummy.

What could we do next?
Bee recognized and could count the numbers up to 5. To develop this further, I am going to put the number 6-10 on the other sided of the snowmen, so that she can practice recognizing and ordering these numbers further.
The snowmen and board will be placed in Isabella's 'Ice den' (which will be featured in another post) so that she can return to it during the day, if she wishes.
You could also watch ice from the fridge melt in the sun or put some in a warm bath and talk about them melting and why.


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