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We’re kicking off the Story Book Advent today with my favourite Christmas book, movie and memory from my childhood and one that my children are quickly picking up on The Snowman [affiliate link] by Raymond Briggs. If you haven’t read the story it’s set around Christmas time and is the tale of a little boy who builds a snowman that magically comes to life and they go on adventures. The book is a lovely tale with cartoon strip type drawings as well as words, however the movie – although short – is told mostly through music and animation, in our countdown to Christmas it’s one of our favourite things to sit down and watch the movie together as a family and it is a must for Christmas Eve.
To bring the book alive as part of the Story Book Advent we first got create and then got learning with our own snowmen. We made snowmen skittles, a snowball bowling ball and worked on number bonds to 10 through our activity.
Two Different sized bowls to draw around – or a compass
How to make The Snowmen Skittles
We made our skittles using kitchen paper rolls – I like them cause they are much longer than the toilet roll tubes and like our sight word bowling game they are easier to knock down and use.
First off paint the tubes white – we’re working on number bonds to 10, so 10 tubes needed painting, if you are working with younger children you could work on number bonds to 5 – or even create more snowman to have an army to work on number bonds to 20.
When the paint is dry, add on a ribbon for the scarf – add buttons onto the snowman’s body – you could also use them as eyes as well.
To make the hats for the snowmen we took an odd sock – cut it into thirds and then added it to the top of the painted tube. If it was the two thirds that was open both ends then we cut up one end and tied it to make it look kind of like a pompom for the hat.
Add the face and then create a snowball.
How to make a Snowball
I would be lovely to have snow – but alas it’s still warm in the UK and I think that snow and cardboard tubes wouldn’t be a good combination so it was time to get creative with a pompom snowball. Pompoms are so simple to make, I make pompoms with the traditional cardboard ring – 2 rings in fact, but it can take a while to wrap around the wool and you do need to unwind the wool from a ball first then to make the pompom.
Snowmen bowling and number bonds
We set up the snowmen in a typical 4, 3, 2, 1 arrangement on the kitchen floor – T counted the snowmen, and then the number of snowmen in each row.
We then bowled – any time someone knocked down the skittles we counted how many had been knocked down and asked “How many are left standing” – I encouraged the children to work it out on the hands, from memory or guess before we counted out the skittles standing.
With J we removed the down skittles, he bowled again and we added together the two sets of downed skittles and then worked out the number bonds to 10.
Story Book Advent
Each day counting down to Christmas Day we’re featuring a Christmas Book Based activity as part of our story book advent – pop back tomorrow to find activities for a classic Christmas Story “The Nutcracker” and see if you can pick up today’s book The Snowman by Raymond Briggs [affiliate link] or find the movie to watch together as an advent activity for you and your children to do together.