Children have a love hate relationship with mittens. There is the steep learning curve at the beginning of the cold season when 3 year olds learn how to navigate the world with an additional obstacle.
My favorite way to put on mittens is this:
- Firmly hold the mitten and have the child push their hand into it.
- If the child has a weak arm or just won’t push I ask them to try and poke me in the nose while holding resistance.
Works every time 😉
- Repeat many times until they learn to put their thumb in the thumb space.
- Once mittens are on I test them by asking the child to grab my finger and squeeze it tight.
I do this for two reasons: one to check and two to demonstrate to the child they can hold things with their mittens on.
Alright enough talk. Here is my list of 10 things to do outside with children with mittens on.
- Throwing – snowballs, beanbags, pinecones, etc.
For an extra challenge hang a target. We use a bandana.
- Kicking – balls, balloons, rocks, pinecones
- Sawing – tree cookies or board ends
- Hammering – most children can accomplish this but will prefer to take them off.
- Painting – with large brushes and larger pots of paint. We love painting snow.
- Mixing, scooping, digging – most mud kitchen activities can still be done with mittens on.
- Chalk rubbing – we use the large sidewalk chalk and can do bark rubbings on trees with paper or draw on the trees directly.
- Shoveling snow – we have several sturdy child-size shovels and children love them.
- Sliding – this is by far the favorite activity of our students.
- Climbing – not trees but hills can definitely be climbed with mittens on. We sometimes tie a rope to a tree and teach a hand over hand technique.
There you have it. My top 10 things to do outside while wearing mittens.
Is there anything I missed?
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Have fun out there.