Have you ever wondered how the holiday classic song Jingle Bells came to be? The author of this picture book above came up with a reasonable story about it. He took some historical license in guessing the details, but the license makes a fun story. It involves John Lord Pierpont, who was the music director of a Unitarian church in Savannah GA in the mid 1800s. I love that it shows how he fought racial prejudice and hate with a joyful song to lift the spirits of the congregation after being a target of those ills.
I read this aloud to the class of 6-7 year olds that I teach at my weekly homeschool co-operative. Every week my friend Stephanie and I like to do a picture book, a craft, and then free play for this group of cuties/rascals. This week, to go with the snow theme in the book we made paper snowflakes, out of coffee filters, decorated with washable markers.
The kiddos had a little bit of a hard time understanding how to fold the paper and where to cut for it to turn out to look like snowflakes. It’s hard for more than one to watch at a time. It’s like herding kittens! In the future I will show them a video first like this one above and maybe they can all see a screen better than my hands on the table. I’m thinking we will do this activity again in January and pair it with the Snowflake Bentley picture book. Then maybe they’ll get the hang of it. Some of their snowflakes looked like misshapen masks with barely recognizable holes for eyes and mouth, lol.
Anyway, this is a fun picture book and craft pairing that I recommend if you need a fun picture book and craft activity to do with kids, say ages 8 and up, without any help.
Here are some of the snowflakes I made below. I love that with coffee filters, you don’t have to do as much cutting as you do when you use 8 1/2 by 11 inches paper. Coffee filters are cheap too! A bag of 100 is less than $2. I and we in the class will be making more of these! This is something I’m adding to my January list of things I’m looking forward to, in order to avoid the post-Christmas letdown that I’ve sometimes had. I’m looking forward to filling up our windows with these.
I used paper plates for them to work on because I don’t have one cookie sheet each for 10 kids. I also used a spray bottle of water and heated them to dry in a 200 degree oven. That worked just great. Before I let them loose with the markers I pulled out all of them that weren’t blue, purple, or pink. You can see that the markers’ effect is this pale coloring that kind of looks like iridescent snowflakes reflecting light.
If you want more Christmas picture book and craft match-ups, go here.