Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Counting & Sensory Snowman Craft

One thing about toddler crafts is that they aren't always going to look awesome. But we just have to remind ourselves that it's the process that counts, not the product. So even though he looks a little wonky, I'd like to present to you the snowman which is now adorning our mantel.

That might be one creepy, googly-eyed snowman, but Jonah loves him and we had a lot of fun making him. So there he sits.

To make this ugly little guy, I saved a coffee creamer bottle and used a bottle brush to wash it out really well. I wanted this to be a sensory-integrated craft, so I decided to have Jonah put cotton balls into the bottle. This gave him a sensory experience of touching each soft fuzzy cotton ball.

It worked his fine motor as well as his motor planning skills, because he had to get the cotton balls into a small opening.

Something that Jonah has been interested in lately is "counting" things. Of course it is just the typical "Eee, oooh, ahhh oooh..." as he points to each object (even though some say this isn't counting, it is a very important step towards counting that demonstrates the child has knowledge of basic concepts such as the "one to one" rule, the "stable order" rule, and the "abstraction" rule. If you want to know more about how children learn to count, visit this article from Scholastic)

As he put each cotton ball in, we decided that it would be fun to see how many cotton balls fit into the bottle! He had a lot of fun counting with me, and we got all the way up to twenty two!
Next, we put the hat on the snowman. This is just the bottle top. I realized how much adults take certain skills for granted as I watched Jonah struggle to screw the top on. Something that takes nearly no thought for us requires a lot of fine motor planning for a toddler! After a lot of trial and error of trying to figure out how to turn his wrist and hand together, Jonah finally got the top on by himself.

Then he decided that it needed eye balls. He pointed to his eyes and said "Eeee baaasss!" I couldn't argue with this. Snowmen do need eyeballs! So we glued googly eyes on him.
Then, because he loves adding them to EVERY arts and crafts project, he had to bust out the "domdom" (pom poms.) But not the boring little black pom poms. Oh no, he had to go with the crazy bright big pom poms. He got them out of the crafts cupboard all by himself (note to self: childproof the crafts cupboard!)
A fun thing about this craft is that we can continue to use it to practice our counting. All we have to do is take the top off and take the cotton balls out of it. Then we can count them over and over and over and....

Have fun!

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