This weeks selection of books for our Story Book Summer are based on Fairy Tales – today I welcome Becky from Kids World Citizen an amazing multicultural mum and author to share a great fine motor lacing activity for kids based on the classic tale The Mitten.
Jan Brett is a brilliant author and illustrator, who uses travel as an inspiration for her children’s books. One aspect I love about her books is that she names a specific setting (in this case, Ukraine) and includes authentic details in the illustrations that reflect the culture represented. As you read the fairy tale to your child, point out the clothing, the house, and the landscape comparing and contrasting to your own clothing, house, and landscape. Some special meanings in The Mitten:
- the water jug on the fence is a way to offer the people passing by a cool drink
- the stork on the roof is a sign of good luck
- the painting around the fireplace is typical in Ukrainian cottages, which used to be heated solely by the fire
As you pour over the pictures, you will be delighted to see the care she takes on each intricate picture.
This story is about a little boy, Nicki, who asks his grandma to knit him a white mitten. As he plays outside in the snow, he doesn’t realize he’s dropped it. One by one the forest animals crawl in to get warm: a mole, a rabbit, a badger, a fox, and more. After the huge brown bear squeezes in, a tiny mouse tries to find a space inside the crowded and stretched out mitten, leading to a humorous ending with them all tumbling out.
On her web site, Jan Brett has gracious provided these beautifully drawn animals as coloring sheets for her book. First, print out the sheet of animals, and have your child color them in and cut them out.
Next, my son drew a large mitten on a piece of poster board. He cut it out, and then traced it to make 2 separate sides of the mitten. Although the mitten in the book was snow white, he decided it would be better if it were painted green so it could get “lost” in our green grass.
Once the paint is dry, I helped him figure out the whole puncher and he punched holes around the edges (leaving the”wrist” area free of holes so the mitten could have an opening). Finally, he laced the mitten closed. He proudly retold the story again and again to his brothers and sisters stuffing his animal props into his very own mitten.
Becky is the mom of 5 multicultural kids, an ESL teacher, author of The Global Education Toolkit for Elementary Learners and founder of KidWorldCitizen.org. She is passionate about activities that teach kids cultural and global awareness, and shares them on facebook andtwitter.