How to Make a Cotton Ball Snowman With Your Kids for the Holidays 

Teaching your child poetry is a fantastic way to build phonemic awareness -- the precursor to reading. Your child learns about rhythm and rhyme in a fun, lighthearted way that will stay with her forever. Don't subject your youngster to worksheets where she must match words that rhyme. Those are boring and meaningless. Don't get impatient if she's not catching on right away. Being able to hear rhyming words is developmental and cannot get rushed. Memorizing poems (and listening to songs) is the best way to learn about rhyming words in an organic way. A Chubby Little Snowman is a wonderful poem to learn together for the winter holidays:

A chubby little Snowman (hands in front of your stomach)

Had a carrot nose (make a triangle in front of your nose)

Along came a bunny (use your index finger and middle finger to make a hopping rabbit)

And what do you suppose? (hands out front, shrug shoulders)

The hungry little bunny (two fingers in front, making a rabbit)

Looking for his lunch (hand above eyebrows, searching)

Ate the Snowman's carrot nose (triangle in front of your nose)


(fingers and thumbs moving up and down together)

CRUNCH! (clap)

Now that you've memorized the poem, make it come alive by creating your own chubby little snowman with your child. This is a tremendous way for your youngster to improve her pincer grasp as she picks up cotton balls between her thumb and index finger. This is what to do:

1. Cut out the shape of a snowman wearing a hat from poster-board.

2. Cut out a hat from black felt or cute patterned scrapbook paper. Glue over the poster-board hat.

3. Glue cotton balls all over the body of the snowman.

4. Glue on pieces of felt or cute scrapbook paper for the face and buttons.

5. Tie a strip of fabric around the neck for a scarf. Ta-dah!

***To extend the fun, have your child dictate a story to you about her snowman. Write it down and read it at the dinner table.

This book is a must-have for your home library. It's a classic tale -- a wordless book with gorgeous illustrations. It tells the story of  a boy and a snowman who comes alive in his dreams.

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