This easy "The Snowy Day" craft to make a simple clothespin doll and activity for kids is sure to be a hit after you read the book! Check out all of this week Virtual Book Club for Kids Winter Activities and our Winter Science Investigation on Why do they grit roads as this is the week's featured book.
The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats tells of Peter's adventures in the snow and has been a favorite with children since 1962, and with good reason. Simple illustrations, a sense of wonder, and a relate-able character make it one that we pull out every January.
Materials Needed for this The Snowy Day Craft
a traditional wood clothespin, the kind with legs
a way to cut its legs off (if you don't have a small saw, you could always use this kind of peg doll instead, but it won't have "feet")
red felt and some red thread, plus a needle (always supervise a child who is sewing!)
How to make your The Snowy Day Peg Doll
Start by cutting the legs on your clothespin shorter, about ⅓ to ½ of the original length. For a younger child or a group, adults will want to do this step ahead of time and sand the rough edges lightly.
Paint the doll's face brown, just to the neck and about halfway back on the head. Add two little round black dots for eyes.
Paint the body red from the neck to the feet, one side at a time so it can dry.
Now you can make the snowsuit hood while the peg doll is drying. Draw and cut a piece of red felt like this, that is twice the width of the head (half the width for each side, obviously).
Sew up the top of the hood.
When the red paint on your doll is dry, glue the hood onto your doll's head. You're done!
How to Play with your The Snowy Dray Craft Doll
Try making a watercolor background like in the story! Wet your watercolor paper, then spread blue and purple watercolor paints on the paper. While it's still wet, sprinkle kosher salt or epsom salt to make "snowflakes" like in The Snowy Day.
To Make a Watercolor background to play with your The Snowy Day Peg Doll you will need:
- Liquid or Cake Watercolors
- Large Brushes the biggest from this set are good
- Course salt of different sizes to produce different sized flakes
- Watercolor paper
You can also help your Peter doll to make footprints in the snow. I tried a few ideas for this, and finally settled on blue shaving gel with Epsom salts sprinkled on top for just the right mushiness to entertain a child for the longest period of time. I used a dollar store plastic tablecloth underneath it all to lessen the mess! Just pick up the cloth, spray, and rinse your gel and salt down the tub drain afterwards.
Practice counting by 2s! Ask your child to count how many footprints there are, or an older child could play a game with you where you say how many steps Peter could take altogether, and they skip count to figure out how many steps that would be. Math games happen naturally in this kind of play, and it gives you a great excuse to join in with the squishing. 🙂
Happy Snowy Day adventuring!
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