If you are new to our site, take a minute to check out these posts to help take the stress out of the mess of creating with your kids!
- 5 Steps to Take the Stress Out of the Mess
- 10 Things You Need to Have for your Kids’ Art Projects
- Plan Ahead: The Secret to No Stress Fun with Your Kids
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Ideal Age Range:
Your prep should include reading the book before you begin the activity.
For younger kids prep the pipe cleaner mitten: gather materials and have them accessible in a work area. (Older kids can easily do this version too if they are interested.)
For older kids prep the cardboard mitten: If your kids need help with cutting, pre-cut the mitten shape in cardboard and the slits. If they are older, you can provide the template at the bottom and let them make their own!
The Mitten by Jan Brett has always been a favorite book in our house. (We keep it with our holiday books, though it is really a winter tale.) It is a retold Ukrainian folk tale and the version we have is beautifully illustrated and has Nordic accents around the borders of the page – that is what inspired me to create these companion craft projects.
If you aren’t familiar with the story, I will recap it quickly: a little boy asks his Grandmother to knit him snow white mittens. She hesitates because she thinks he will lose them in the snow. While playing, he does lose a mitten an a whole slew of animals (who should never be able to actually fit inside one small mitten) cozy up inside. Until one too many animals join and the mitten bursts!
If you don’t have the book already, you can get either the board book, paper back or hardcover linked below:
These craft projects are meant to enhance your story time and provide some activity, so they are not trying to replicate the mittens in the story exactly. I use white yarn, but you can use any color that you have.
I find that reading a story, making a coordinating craft project, and then asking my children to read the story again will spark their imagination to continue creating companion items that bring the story to life.
A tip for the yarn: the link above is to my favorite “butter soft” yarn. If you want to closely tie the project to the story, purchase the butter soft white yarn linked above that will look like the mitten in the story.
If you’d like another project pared with a book please check out our previous post: 2 Ways to Bring The Very Hungry Caterpillar to Life.
Pipe Cleaner Mitten
- Bend two pipe cleaners to create a mitten shape.
- You will eventually attach them in two places: on top of the thumb and at the lower right corner of the wrist of the mitten.
- Attach the two pipe cleaner ends that meet just above the thumb. (Leave the other ends open to put on the beads.)
- Place pony beads on the pipe cleaners – you can space them apart or fill the entire pipe cleaner. Attach the second end of the pipe cleaners to close.
- Cut a mitten shape out of cardboard – any size piece will do.
- Cut slits around the edge of the mitten approximately 1/2″ long and 1/2″ apart.
- Thread your yarn through the first slit, leaving approximately 3 – 4″ of yarn on the back side. Tie a double knot to keep the yarn in place.
- Weave the yarn around the entire form of the mitten, filling in all of the slats multiple times.
- You don’t need to follow a particular pattern, but as you weave you should try not to repeat stitches and work to fill up the space with different pathways.
- When the weaving looks the way you want, knot the string on the back side.
If you want to pin this project, please use the image below.