Snowman Button Counting

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This lovely counting activity is not new to the internet, but I wanted to share it because I think that it’s so cute!  I’ve included a free printable in this post too-scroll on down so that you don’t miss it!

Simple enough: Match the numbered hat with the correct amount of buttons.

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This counting activity works well for any little kiddo aged 1-3, or for others who may need reinforcement.  My three-year-old knows her numbers well, but still enjoyed this activity.  Besides the benefits of counting, children are also enhancing fine motor skills, and can practice concepts such as sorting and classifying when choosing which buttons to place on the snowman.  You can help that along by asking “can you find three large buttons” or “try finding five orange buttons,” etc.

If you don’t have a collection of buttons in the family, I highly suggest getting some because they come in handy for all sorts of projects and activities. Here are some really inexpensive ones that will do the trick Blumenthal Lansing Favorite Findings Basic Buttons Assorted Sizes, 130/Pkg, Citrus

 

If you want a little more variety at a slightly higher cost, I would personally go with these:
Bag of (100) Very Assorted Buttons. Assorted Colors. Sizes Range From 3/8″ to 1-1/2″ Whatever you choose, they will get used time and time again!

 

 

I came up with a couple variations to this snowman activity in order to stretch it a bit for kids who may need a challenge.  

  1. An easy switch: Try counting in a different language.  You can Google the pronunciation for almost anything these days, so even if you don’t speak another language, you can always let Google help you out.  You and your child can learn how to count in a different language together!
  2. You can also work with prepositions and ask your child to place the buttons under, on top of, next to, around, or beside the snowman.
  3. A third idea is to do simple addition or subtraction with the hats and buttons.  Place two hats on the snowman (as pictured below) and have your child place the total number of buttons as you say something like, “One button plus two more makes three.”  Flip it into subtraction by taking a hat away as your child takes the appropriate number of buttons away.  You can talk through what is happening, “When you have three buttons and you take away two, only one button is left.”

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I fashioned this cute little snowman out of some shiny photo paper we had lying around, and I cut the colorful hats from some thin foam-like paper. (Is there a name for that stuff?)  But, if you want something quick and easy, I have a quick download for you below. It includes a snowman template, numbered hats, as well as blank hats that you can number yourself if you choose.  Enjoy!

Here is the link to your free snowman-printable 🙂

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Fall Sensory Craft Using Oatmeal and Coffee Grounds

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After running across the idea of using these oatmeal and coffee grounds for a simple fall craft, I decided to put my own little twist on the original idea by making a colorful fall tree.

 

You will need:

  • Newspaper to cover your work surface
  • 1 piece of Cardstock (your choice on the color and size)
  • 1 pen or pencil
  • A spoonful or two or ground coffee
  • 1/4 cup of rolled oats
  • Elmer’s glue
  • 1 paintbrush
  • A few drops of food coloring OR watercolor paints in these colors: green, orange, yellow, and red

 

Process:

Lay out newspaper so that your entire work surface is covered.  (This also helps with a quick and easy clean-up.)  Sketch an outline of a tree on the piece of Cardstock, or if the children you’re working with are old enough, let them draw their own trees.  You can also grab my free tree-template or request another free template at the bottom of this post. image

Squeeze out a little glue on the trunk of the tree and, using a paintbrush, spread it over the entire area that you want to cover with coffee grounds.  Make sure this is a semi-thick layer of glue, if you go too thin, the coffee won’t stick.  Spoon on the coffee grounds and then tilt your paper back and forth until coffee completely covers the gluey area.  Dump excess coffee onto newspaper.

If you are using food coloring, mix each desired color into a tablespoon or two of the rolled oats.  We used small containers and a toothpick, but you could also knead the oats and coloring around inside a plastic bag. borderoats

*If you are using watercolor paint, read on…

Repeat the glue-spreading process to cover the top of the tree.  Sprinkle on the colored oats and shake, tilt, and dump, just like before!  Take your hands and press down on the oats and coffee grounds to make sure they adhere to the paper before setting it to dry.  Scoop up everything in your newspaper and dispose.  Never has there been an easier clean up process.

*If you are using watercolors to give the top of your tree some color, wait until the glue has dried and then paint away!  Be sure not to go too heavy on the water so that the Cardstock doesn’t become soggy and begin to tear.
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My little one loved this project.  She enjoyed playing with and examining the ingredients as well as working through the multi-step process.  She wanted to try another tree on her own after working on the bigger one together.  She sketched this one out by herself:bordertree

 

Other shapes you could try:

A sunflower with coffee in the center and yellow oats around the outside.

A spider or bat made of just coffee grounds.

A turkey with alternating rows feathers using both oats and coffee.

Download the tree-template here!

Request a free template below!  Simply fill out your email address and tell me the template you’re interested in (Sunflower, Bat, or Turkey) and I will ship it to ya! 

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