“Once there was a boy named Nicki who wanted his new mittens made from wool as white as snow.” ~Jann Brett, The Mitten
From the time my oldest children were small, we have loved the story of The Mitten. Jan Brett’s illustrations are exquisite. Her attention to detail is so incredible, that each time we read the story, we find something we didn’t see before…it’s magic.
It’s a story of a young boy who wanted his grandmother to knit him mittens the colour of the snow. His grandmother worries he will lose them in the snow and not be able to see them. Nicky does indeed, lose one mitten in the snow. The forest creatures come one by one, seeking shelter in the warmth of the mitten, and well, you’ll have to read the rest yourself…
I have wanted to create a small world activity for this book for a really long while. And I finally have. No, the animals are not to scale with each other, nor with the mitten, and we don’t have a mole. Have you ever tried to find a toy mole? Anyway, the smalls didn’t mind. They thought the activity was perfect.
This is what you will need to build this book-inspired play activity…You can use your favourite play dough recipe and just add glitter to give the play dough a snowy sparkle. I used about half the jar of glitter for a doubled dough recipe…We read the story together, and I brought each plastic animal out as they appeared in the story and let the smalls put them in the mitten. ( I found our mitten at the local thrift store, and the animals are by Safari Ltd. and Schleich) By the time the bear arrived, the mitten was pretty full! When we were finished reading the book, I set out the play dough, the book, the mitten, the trees, and all the animals on the table with rolling pins and let them play.Each child played differently than the other…which is the beauty of an open-ended, imaginative play activity. Miss G decided to make her mitten out of the play dough itself…Mr. Pancakes made a snowy landscape, filling his trees with sparkly play dough and placing his animals where he pleased…Miss Coco incorporated the actual mitten in her scene, tucking everyone in safe and warm…There was footprint-making…Owls hooting…And a lot of checking back with the book from time to time to see what happened next…The children played until the sun began to disappear from the sky. So much imagination and creativity and happy chatter went on in my kitchen on this snowy afternoon. It was enchanting to watch.And when everyone was finished, we packed the animals up in the warm mitten and put everything in a small bin to be played with again tomorrow…
Now it is your turn to play with us! It’s time for the Weekly Kid’s Co-op! If you have a kid-friendly activity you’d like to share, click the link below and follow the simple steps. If you don’t have a blog and still want to play, click the link and visit all the other blogs that have already linked up! There are always dozens and dozens of fabulous ideas to explore. Enjoy!
Thanks for stopping by!
~Arlee, Small Potatoes
This is seriously sweet. LOVE the white glittery playdough, and love how you tied it all in so well to the story. Co-incidentally, as I read you post, I was sitting here tying the loops on the MITTEN ornaments we made today! Great minds and all that. :).(and no, I’ve never seen a plastic miniature mole. lol)
Thanks, Jackie!! Can’t wait to see your mittens!! You’ve been coming up with some fabulous crafts this season!! xo
Another awesome idea. Since I switched to wordpress from blogger, your blog is quickly becoming my favorite for great preschool ideas!
Awww! Thank you so much for the love! 🙂
One of our favorite stories!
What a wonderful way to retell the story. Thank you for sharing.
Well done Activity for a great story Book. Thank you for sharing diligently. Best, Mtetar
beautiful as always 🙂 i got one toy mole for you, it is a special Czech thing, kids love it from the age of 1 to around 4-5 🙂 https://www.google.cz/search?q=krtecek&hl=en&safe=off&tbo=u&tbm=isch&source=univ&sa=X&ei=TQXBUIjwA8jJswaZmYHABA&ved=0CEUQsAQ&biw=1680&bih=946
Loved your post! Where do you get the animals!! I have the trees, mitten, and the book!
Thanks! They are Schleich and Safari Ltd. Schleich animals are available at Chapters and most specialty toy stores or teachers stores. Safari Ltd. are sold at Michaels 🙂
How lovely! I read this book for the first time last week with the two year old I look after, and we were both enchanted by the illustrations.
makes me want to read that book.
Oh, you’ll enjoy it! It’s a gooder 😉
Thanks for sharing this cool project. My wife runs a family centre where we do lots of cool crafts. I look forward to following your blog to learn about more cool stuff!
I am new follower 🙂 Love this idea 🙂 I just ordered this book and was *surfing* Pinterest for ideas – thank you 🙂 I am sure going to do this for Aarya (son, 33 months). Thanks again.
I love Jan Brett books so much – have you see her newest one, Animal Santa? This is such a beautiful activity! Hope you don’t mind if I share with my followers!
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I tried making a Mitten work like this a few years back with Schleich figurines and struggled with finding a mole too! Have you had any luck finding one recently? Love the addition of the snow dough!
Have you read The Mitten by Alvin Tresselt? It is basically the same folktale but some of the animals are different. We are reading both in our preschool class and comparing the two, In his version instead of there being a mole, badger and hedgehog there is a frog, cricket, wolf and wild boar. I love the Mitten by Jan Brett and this is the 1st year I’ve done both.
Love your activity. I’ve been looking for the animals as well and nope…no mole.