Winter fine motor activities do more than simply spread the love of the snowy season. They also help your child to build skills that include eye-hand coordination and dexterity! When it’s way too cold to go outside, keep the kiddos warm, sneak in some fabulous fine motor development and try out this mitten lacing activity.
Why Do a Mitten Activity
Mittens? Why mittens? Well, they represent everything to do with winter. Before this activity you can set context by talking to your child and asking questions.
Start this artsy activity by asking your child why she thinks we wear mittens in the winter. Take the conversation past, “Because mom says so” or, “It’s just what we do.” Dig deeper and ask your child what mittens do for her in the winter. Then talk about the winter weather. Have her describe what the air temperature feels like and what falls from the sky. You can also use this activity to teach about the human body. Have your child think about why we need to cover our skin in the freezing cold or when touching snow.
Okay, so now on to the art-making aspect of this activity. This fine motor exploration also helps your child to understand a few of the basic elements of art – shape, color and texture. As your child gets hands-on with the materials, keep the questions coming. Ask her to tell you about the shapes she’s making, the colors she sees and the textures she feels.
- Craft felt (choose at least two different colors)
- A marker
- A hole punch
- Cardboard (reuse the front of a box)
Here’s What To Do:
- Make a template. Help your child to draw the outline of a mitten on the cardboard. Your child can draw the mitten freehand by combining a big oval with a smaller one. If your child is struggling to draw the mitten on her own, have her trace the real deal. We’d suggest using a pencil and not a marker to avoid coloring on a real mitten.
- Cut the cardboard out.
- Place the cardboard template on one piece of craft felt. Trace it. After your child traces it, she can cut it out. Repeat with another color of felt.
- Stack the two felt mittens together (make sure the thumbs are facing the same way).
- Punch holes around the outside, spacing them every few inches. It’s likely that your child will find it a challenge to punch through two layers of felt at once. Have her do one mitten, restack them and then dot marker points inside each hole. She can then punch holes through the dots. When it comes to the bottom of the mitten, your child can either leave it open or completely close it up. That’s her choice!
- Cut a piece of yarn and ‘sew’ it through the holes. Tie each end or if she sews the entire mitten, tie it where the pieces of yarn meet.
Repeat the winter fine motor activity by making more lacing mittens. Your child can also use the mittens for pretend play. Put them on dolls’ hands, add them to homemade puppets or use them to adorn a snowman friend!
Are you looking for more winter fun for your toddler or preschooler? Check out these ‘cool’ activities!
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Erica is a mom, educator and parenting writer, with an MS in child development. When she’s not teaching, she’s busy creating kids’ activities for her blog Mini Monets and Mommies.