In the wee small hours of the morning....two moms were chatting from almost 2000 miles apart. They were seperated by two times zones, 30+ driving hours, a very large mountain range and more rivers than you want to count...but connected by good friendship and four little girls who adore each other....

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Mitten and Hats from Washington!

This week has been a lot of fun getting to read "The Mitten" and "The Hat" by Jan Brett. I just know that it won't be the last time we'll read them! After doing these activities, the girls are coming up with their own ideas of things we can do that tie in with the stories...I know they are really going to get into the stories in the next few weeks to come...letting kids just go with their ideas is such a joy....some days I feel like it's them teaching me...I hope you've enjoyed these books as much as we have!

After reading the book, the first of many times this week, I had the girls go look thru their toys for animals to go with the story. They loved the idea of an animal treasure hunt and were quickly back and matching up the animals to the story as I read it again! What better way to tell a story than to act it out! It also gives an easy way for siblings (that may or may not read) to retell the story for younger siblings. Unfortunately, I didn't get a picture of their treasure finds, I hated to ruin the nice moment but taking posed pictures. I did however have a picture of the swap I made awhile back...I have yet to make one for the girls....add that one to the list! :)
We made these for our felt board! The girls colored them, cut them out and put a little piece of Velcro! Perfect for the felt board!

Print them HERE

And, of course we couldn't read "The Mitten" without doing a project dealing with mittens! :) The girls and I set off to scour the local thrift stores in search of a wool sweater to felt!
Have you ever felted a sweater? When you are looking for a sweater to felt, look for one that is ideally 100% wool, although I have heard that 80% + will work. I try to find all wool. Next, you are going to wash it in your washing machine with soap on HOT! I like to do an extra rinse cycle to be extra sure it is rinsed good and to give it that much longer agitation. Then, dry it in the dryer, also on hot! When you take it out, the fibers will have meshed together so nicely that when you cut into the sweater, it will be like thick felt and not unravel! If you are nervous about this tho, take a little cut into the fabric just to be sure before you cut out a pattern! :)
Next, we traced out little hands on paper for the sizing...

...and cut out the pattern on the sweater. Don't forget to leave an extra 1/4 inch for the seam! I try to line up my mittens on the edge so they have a nice and fitted part on the wrist area.

And the finished product! Aren't they cute? The best part? Wool is pretty much water proof so they are even good for playing in the snow! :) This project worked out perfectly last year when we were still living in Texas during that freak snow storm! We didn't expect to need mittens but the girls desperately wanted to play in our surprise snow! So... I pulled out some wool from my stash and made some in a matter of minutes! And you can too!! :) Please be sure to link up...I'd love to see your creations!

We just happened to get this darling little hedgehog in a swap and he has quickly become a favorite in our house...especially when reading this book! R liked to place him on the pages with each turn of the page! It was so cute!

I just happened onto these hats (in a different print) from Oriental Trading Company and it worked out perfectly for this week's book pick! Since I know not everyone needs to buy this kind of craft in bulk, altho they would be cute as gifts from the kids, I thought I would do a tutorial for you to make your own!

Get a piece of fleece that measures 22 1/2 x 16 and fold it in half. Cut a notch about 3/4 of an inch in and about 5 1/2 inches from one end (cutting thru both layers)

Next, sew the longer part  using a 5/8 inch seam. Turn the hat inside out and sew the other 5 inch seam. See picture below...

That brings us to where the kit would begin...

1. Roll the bottom of the hat two rolls so the rolled up cuff covers the seam. I'd put the seam in the back.

2. Glue a flower cutout from felt to a felt circle and finish off with a button in the center. Attach a pin back to the flower. Stick the pin through all the layers of the rolled cuff to stop it from unrolling. (I just put a couple extra stitches on each side, but the pin would work too)

3. While laying the hat flat, cut the fringe with 1 inch wide strips at about 2 inches long.

4. Use a piece of string to gather that material and tie off with a knot.

Simple huh?

This craft is so easy because it would be simple to make a number of them from one piece of fabric from the remnant bin at your local fabric store and depending on the print could be good for either a boy or a girl! I can just see this being a great project in preparation for a ski trip, a sledding day or even just to have on hand for a snow day! What would be greater than cozying up on a cold snowy day with a good book and a follow up craft?!


What a better way to kick off our first week of our Books2bridgemiles than a give-a-way!

Don't want to buy the materials on your own? Want a chance to win the kit shown above? Stop on over to my personal blog and enter for a chance to win!

It's your turn!! Please share your links for what you've been doing to go along with these books! Don't have a blog to link to? Leave a comment and I'll get back with you! I'd be happy to post any ideas and pictures you have to share! :) Now go link up!

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  1. Cute stuff! Thanks for linking up to my Gift Guide...Jan Brett's books are amazing! Just looking at the pictures are fun! And those mittens????? They are so cute!

  2. We love The Mitten, especially since it supposedly takes place in Ukraine. I really like all the extra activities you did with it. I haven't commented on another entry because I don't think we need a hat, so I don't want to prevent someone else from winning, but thanks for joining WMCIR!

  3. Thanks for linking up at Feed Me Books Friday! Hope you'll return this week! I love the concept of your blog, and have become your newest follower! If you like Jan Brett, you've got to go check out Silly Eagle Books - she's a big fan and has some really fun crafts!

  4. Tried to link to this post but the linky is closed - that's what I get for procrastinating. lol. Here's my post: {I know you've already seen it but...}

  5. Hi, New follower. :) I found you through Totally Kids Times, Yesterday's Sweater post. I'm also in Washington. :)


  6. Thanks for visiting my blog! Great ideas! I want to make those mittens right now! I also love the idea of the treasure hunt.

    Here's a link to our hedgehog mania.


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