Area: Mittens-Math, Games, or Science
I read The Mitten by Jan Brett, and the children were enchanted by the story. I brought in two large mittens-one made of wool that stretched quite a bit, another made of leather that didn't stretch at all. I asked the children if they could remember all of the animals that went into the mitten, and as they said them, I displayed them on the table. (I had downloaded the animal masks that can be found on Jan Brett's website.) We counted the animals, and I asked "How could so many animals fit into the mitten?" At least one child in each group knew it was because it had stretched. I then took bear counters (large ones) and we compared how many bears could fit into the leather mitten and how many could fit into the "stretchy" wool mitten. The children then took their own mitten, or glove, and we counted how many bears could fit into their's. We noted whose mittens were stretchy and whose were not. We graphed the results using dot paints as the bears' faces. This turned into a math and language experience for the children, and they truly enjoyed it.
Gather a variety of mittens, different sizes and fill with objects (car, block, crayon, ice cube) and the students have to guess what is inside by feeling the outside and then placing their hand inside.
as a science or sensory activity you will need to take two sandwich sized Ziploc baggies. You turn one so it is inside out, the other one you can put hair gel, cotton balls, feathers, or whatever you want the children to be able to see but not touch directly. Take the first baggie that you turned inside-out and place it inside the baggie with the material. Then seal the tops together so the yellow and blue make green. As an extra precaution i also use packing tape or duct tape and tape around the top of the bags so the children are not able to pull them apart. They are like a sensory mitten and the children love to stick their hands inside and feel the different texture. This works well if you have children that do not like to get messy. You can also freeze some of the bags so the children can see what happens as it gets warm.
We fill our water table with snow and provide the children with mittens, shovels, measuring cups, spoons, etc. They have a blast!
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