Recycled Crafts are SNOW Much Fun!

It’s week 1 of my recycled craft challenge, and I’m on a roll…a toilet paper roll, that is.

It was COLD in Charleston this week…so cold that we even had a two hour delay on Tuesday! It was a perfect week to read one of my absolute favorite winter stories, “The Snowy Day,” by Ezra Jack Keats. Lately I’ve been really into having my kids act out stories. In a perfect world, I would have lots of cool story props, and maybe a stage…but in real life, I have a very small room that barely fits 4 chairs. I’m not complaining, because I love having my own space, and the kids and I agree it’s rather cozy. It also allows me to make cool things, like this week’s snowy day box!

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This took approximately 10 minutes to make and it has been a hit!

Here is how I made it:

I lined a paper towel box with computer paper from the recycling bin.

I added some craft trees that I just happened to have in my craft bin. (Once upon a time I thought I was going to make snow globes with them. It never happened, but a girl can dream….).

I made  a little person out of a toilet paper roll and felt.

I added  some cotton  balls which were also in my craft bin (I plan to reuse these, of course).

I took a piece of cardboard from the top of the box and taped it in the corner to make a hill (for sledding).

I also added some houses from a block set  that I bought on black Friday (from Michael’s…with a coupon).

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Here are some goals I targeted with this activity:

  • Story Retelling– The students acted out the story with the props.
  • Verb Tense-To target present progressive, I asked students what the boy was doing (e.g., “He is sledding,” “He is running in the snow,” “He is making a snowman.”). To target past tense, I asked students to tell me what the boy did (e.g., “He ran,” “He made a snowman,” “He went in his house).
  • Following Verbal Directions– I gave the students various directions such as “First make the boy slide down the hill, then make him run behind the tree.” I varied the length and complexity based on students’ age and ability.
  • Vocabulary– We talked about each item in the box, what it looked like, felt like, what parts it had etc. I love it when students can actually touch the items to tell me how it feels (rather than just looking at a picture).

Some notes on this activity:

  • The toilet paper man is sort of creepy looking. While I was making him, there was someone in my room fixing my heat. I saw him glance over several times, but he never asked what it was. When I was done, I just put it on my desk facing him. We never talked about it. I think it’s important to maintain a certain air of mystery in the workplace.
  • The trees kept falling down. Ordinarily I wouldn’t care, but it was SO distracting to the kids. I ended up just putting one tree in the box and taping it down. Next time I might just draw a tree on the side of the box or use something heavier.

So, all in all, this activity was super easy and fun. It was also FREE! I encourage you to try it with your kids or students to celebrate the snowy season.

I’ll leave you with one final thought today. If a tiny craft tree falls in recycled box full of cotton balls and no one is around…does it make a sound?

I guess only the creepy toilet paper roll person will know…

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