The Mitten by Jan Brett is a beloved children’s classic that both young and old adore. These are some of the activities our children like to do after reading the book. We hope your children enjoy them, too!
Acting Out “The Mitten”
Print the masks from Jan Brett’s website to heavy paper (or glue the masks to cardboard after printing and cut out). Hole punch the sides and thread elastic or yarn through the holes and knot. Cut out the animal eyes on each of the masks (adult only). Tie the strings to the back of the child’s head.
Read the book to the children and have the children pick one mask to wear (if playing with a small number of children, have the children pretend to be more than just one of the animals.) The children can use a blanket-covered table (as the mitten) and crawl under it as each animal is read in the story. We have also played with parachutes (an old sheet will work, too) and the children crawl under it as we name the animals one-by-one. As the children become familiar with the story, it is fun to let the children try independently to re-tell the story. Pick one child to be the “narrator” and call the other children one-by-one into a hiding spot. Switch the “narrator child” often so that each child has a turn to call out peers and re-tell the story.
Materials: Mismatched mittens are great for this game. Ask your parents for assistance or visit the local Goodwill or thrift store to buy inexpensive pairs.
Hide the mittens around the room before the students arrive for the day. During carpet/circle time, read the “3 Little Kittens” to the children and have them go on a Mitten Hunt.
Mitten Hunt Extension - Mittens_for_Sorting_Matching
Print several copies of the mitten pattern, cut out, and then write any numbers desired on the right-handed mittens with matching numbers on the left-handed ones. Laminate or cover with clear contact paper. Have the children match the numbers on the mittens and clip together with a clothespin. You could also make shapes, sight words, color words, or the letters R and L on the mittens for a simple matching game.
Play Dough Mitten Math Mat - Playdough Mitten Math
Print the Math Mat (one for each child or one for each small group) to heavy paper and laminate for durability (clear contact paper will work for laminating if you do not have access to supplies.)
Count the number of white circles (snowballs) inside the mitten and record on the math mat. Have the children use white play dough to make 10 “snowballs” for the mitten and place inside the 10 white circles. Next, tell the children they are to fit as many snowballs (play dough balls) as they can into the mitten (miniature marshmallows can be substituted, if desired). Have the children roll play dough balls or tear off small pieces to fit inside the mitten. When finished, have the children count all the snowballs inside the mitten and record on the math mat.
For older children: after counting the total number of snowballs inside the mitten, have the children REMOVE 10 snowballs. How many snowballs are now inside the mitten? Record the findings on the math mat. For very young children: have them make and count only 10 snowballs (or any number that has been previously introduced).
Mitten Letter Recognition and Matching - Mittens Literacy Activity
There are many ways you can use the Mitten file linked above. Here are a few suggestions:
1). Print the picture cards and laminate. Cut out the cards and place face-down in a “scrambled” pile on a table or the floor. Have the children play a matching game to find the like pairs of mittens. More advanced version: in order to keep the matching pair, the children must identify the beginning letter, the beginning letter sound, or spell the word.(mittens). Use the picture cards (the ones without the words) for use with any sight words, numbers, shapes, etc. the children might be working on.
2). Print the entire file and have the children work to match the upper and lowercase letters to the picture cards. Have the children clip the letter cards to the picture cards using a clothespin. Younger children can match uppercase letters only.
3). Scramble the picture cards and the letter cards on a table. The children must find a matching picture pair and clip all the letters to form the word: Mittens. Have the older children find the lowercase letters for the word and younger students find only the uppercase letters.
For more mitten activities and suggestions, please see the Winter Thematic Unit at: The Preschool Toolbox!