Friday, January 16, 2009

Reading Fun: The Mitten

*This is a re-print of a post that I wrote for Me and My Girl last year.

I believe that reading to your children is crucial at all ages and stages of their lives. Years ago, I would hold my tiny babies on my lap, and read softly to them each day. As they grew, we would sometimes read the same book 10 times a day, or more! I still read to my children. Abigail is 10, and cuddles up with me while I read long chapters to her. Autumn is 16, and still sits near by so that she can enjoy the stories, too.

This is the perfect time of year for this cold-weather story but, The Mitten, by Jan Brett, is a book that can be enjoyed year round. It can be enjoyed even more when you complete this fun and easy craft, and allow your child to tell the story back to you!

You'll need:

Jan Brett's book, The Mitten
2 pieces of construction paper or felt
• a hole punch if you're using construction paper
• yarn or embroidery thread
• colored pencils or crayons
• a thick needle, such as for embroidery
• a printer
this file and this file

Read the story.

Print out the files containing animals. Have your child or grandchild color the animals how ever they would like. If they are very young, you can cut them out after they are colored. If they are older, let them do it. Perfection is not what we are after.

In the meantime, freehand a mitten shape onto the construction paper or felt.

Cut around your drawing, leaving you with a large mitten.

If you are working with a very young child, you can punch holes into the construction paper mittens.

and show them how to whip stitch them together.

An older child might enjoy learning how to blanket stitch on the felt.

Abigail sat at the table for about an hour working on her mitten. She's got a pretty good attention span. Make sure the child has fun! It's okay to help them if they need it, but don't fret if the project isn't perfect.

Tell the story again. Refer back to the book if you have to.

In The Mitten, Nicki's grandmother, Baba, knits him snow white mittens. As he goes out to play on a snowy day, one of his mittens falls off. Animals come, one by one, to squeeze into the mitten for warmth.

First comes a mole.
In hops a rabbit.
Along comes a hedgehog,

followed by an owl,

and a badger!
They all make room for the fox.

And believe it or not, they find room for a bear!

The last little creature to squeeze in is a mouse.

She tickles the bear's nose, and all of the animals come flying back out of the mitten because of the great sneeze.

Once all of the animals are safely inside the mitten, make a loud, drawn out sneezing sound, and shake the mitten to release the animals. Young children will enjoy doing this over and over again!

Have them retell the story to you. And to their daddy when he gets home from work. And to Grandma and Grandpa, and anyone else that will listen!

I didn't find this idea there, but you can visit Jan Brett's website for other fun activities that revolve around reading.


Becky K. said...

Makes me wish mine were young readers again. That looks like so much fun!

Sheri said...

Tracy, thank you for this great idea! Especially on this cold winter day, a story like this would be wonderful. Thanks again!

lady jane said...

I wish Lizzie were little again.


lady jane said...

were - was ?

the voice of melody said...

Oh that sounds like something my little boy would like a lot! Thanks for sharing about your fun time. :)

Bethany Hudson said...

How fun! I loved "The Mitten" when I was a little girl. I look forward to doing this with my daughter when she's old enough.

Mrs. Rabe said...

I am going to get that book and do this project! Sarah and Kyle will LOVE it!

Ways of Zion said...

Thanks for this, actually Magoo did this at CHC the other day! great site though for ideas! Thanks!

Tammy said...

Oh we love that book! What a wonderful idea, perfect for this book.

Patricia said...

What a precious idea for little ones! Love it. I believe my Willow and Piper woudl enjoy this. Now where is that book...

Terri said...

What a cute idea! I love it. :-)

Jenn said...

What a sweet story & activity!