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I’m so excited to be a part of the Christmas Book + Craft Ideas for Children Series! This series of posts connects holiday-themed books to easy activities you can do with your kids.
Build an advent calendar around these books and you’ll have a month full of activities to get you ready for Christmas. Or just use the ones for the books you already have to bring some winter fun to your reading and activities.
The book I chose to work up an activity for was (affiliate link ahead!) Snowballs by Lois Ehlert.
It’s a really cute picture book that doesn’t have a lot of words (it’s rated pre-K to 3rd grade, but we’ve had it probably since the girl was 3 and she has always enjoyed it) about a family that builds a bunch of snowmen and decorates them with “good stuff” they’ve been saving in a sack for just such an occasion.
Some of their good stuff is food for winter animals such as popcorn, peanuts, dried corn and raisins. Other good stuff is found objects like hats, shoelaces, buttons, hardware, natural materials and toy parts. The snowmen illustrations in the book are made of white paper and decorated with various items.
They’re really cute, and it’s a fun book for kids of different ages because you can play I-spy with it, just read it or use it as inspiration for your own found-object snowman.
First, gather your good stuff. Because I wanted this to be an activity we could go back to again and again, I didn’t use any food in mine, but you certainly may if you’re incorporating the activity into snack time (making popcorn balls, for example, would be an excellent addition to this activity).
I went around the house with a divided tray from the dollar store and picked up random things like:
- bits of ribbon and lace
- colored dried pasta
- googly eyes
- clips from my desk
- a flower-shaped eraser
- a small Christmas ornament
- a jingle bell
- a wooden spool
In the book, individual circles are used for the top parts of the snowman bodies, with more of an oval shape (or a rectangle with a curved side) for the bottom part of the body. You can cut out individual pieces if you like; I cut a single piece of paper into a snowman shape.
I started out trying to freehand them, and after making a couple of sad-looking snowmen I used round objects to make my circles for the last one. You can also let your child draw and cut out (or not) a snowman if you like, or use a printable snowman shape to make it even easier on yourself.
To set up the activity, just gather your materials, your snowmen and the book. I put them out on the living room table for my daughter to discover when she got home from school. She was really excited to try it and used a lot of the materials in her project.
This is definitely a project I will keep out and add to/change through the winter (maybe with some Christmas items when I get the decorations out, or other random things I come across) and I hope she’ll want to return to it again and again.
Do you have favorite activities based on winter/Christmas books? I’d love to hear about them!