Helping adults prepare children for kindergarten and life.

Mitten Fun

Introducing winter and cold, estimation and counting skills

Instructions Printer-Friendly

  • Show the child a real mitten and chat about why someone would wear a mitten
  • Share there is a time of year called Winter when it is cold and you need to cover and protect your body and hands
  • Place an ice cube in a child’s bare hand and let them describe the feeling. Remove the ice cube. 
  • Place the mitten on the child’s hand and place the ice cube on the hand again and let them describe the feeling. The child should be aware that the mitten protects the hand from the cold ice cube.
  • Recall from the story “The Mitten” that many animals went into the mitten.  Let the child guess how many mini erasers/jellybeans/marbles could fit inside the mitten. Write down the number that was guessed on a piece of paper
  • Fill the mitten with mini erasers/candy/jellybeans/marbles/ or coins and then count how many it took to fill the mitten
  • Examine how accurate the child’s guess was to the number of actual mini erasers/jellybeans/marbles/or coins it took to fill the mitten


Count the mini erasers/candy/or jellybeans aloud together when filling the mitten and omit the estimation question.


Estimation is an important skill.  Share other ways to use estimation - how many cups of water will fill a jar (let the child give an estimate and then actually count out the cups) OR pick up a handful of mini erasers/coins/or candy and let the child give you an estimate as to how many are in your hand and then count out the actual number together

Put an ice cube in a child's hand (or yours) and use a timer to see how long it can be held before it melts.


What is the difference between a mitten and a glove?

Can you name an activity that would be better to do wearing a mitten and why? 


  • paper and pencil
  • mitten
  • ice cube
  • small items such as mini erasers/candy/jellybeans/marbles/or coins to fill the mitten

Activity Resources

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Curriculum Plan Resources

Skills Focus

  • Shape - Square
  • Color - Yellow
  • Number - One, 1
  • Alphabet Letter - A, E
  • Senses - Touch
  • Character Trait - Caring
  • Target Words - In, Out, Empty, Full

Monthly Proverb

Swedish - The best place to find a helping hand is at the end of your own arm.

Did You Know?

Children who are not ready for kindergarten often have trouble succeeding in school. Those who do poorly in school are more likely to need to repeat classes, need special education, drop out of school, become teen parents, and get into trouble with the law. As adults, drop-outs have trouble making a living wage, and are at risk of poverty and homelessness

From Plan for the Washington Early Learning System – Draft 12/1/09 (Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, 2005; Isaacs, 2008).

Books to Read

"The Mitten"
by Jan Brett (Activity 22)

"Little Blue and Little Yellow"
by Leo Lionni (Activity 8)

"How Kind"
by Mary Murphy (Activity 12)

"Little Blue and Little Yellow" VIDEO
by Leo Lionni (Activity 8)

"The Mitten" VIDEO
by Jan Brett (Activity 22)

"How Kind" VIDEO
by Mary Murphy (Activity 12)

Music Playlist

"The Hokey Pokey"
by Music for Little People Choir from album Toddlers Sing Playtime (Children) (Activity 14)

"Sonata for Two Pianos in D Major, K448 II."
Andante by Alicia de Larrocha from album Mozart: Concerto & Sonata for 2 pianos (Classical) (Activity 20)

"ABC (The Alphabet Song)"
from album Dora the Explorer (Children) (Activity 1)

"The Hokey Pokey" VIDEO
by The Learning Station (Activity 14)

"Sonata for Two Pianos in D Major, K448, II. Andante" VIDEO
by Mozart (Activity 20)

"ABC (The Alphabet Song" VIDEO
by Dora the Explorer

Monthly Materials List

Click Here to view the list!

Fingerplay / Poems / Songs

Select one poem for child to memorize this month and recite it at bedtime plus one song/fingerplay to learn. Here are two examples:

My NAME Song

(Activity 25 Month 1 - Sung to tune of BINGO)

There was a family had a child

and Carly (insert child's name) was her name.

C - A - R - L - Y C - A - R - L - Y C - A - R - L - Y (spell child's name)

And Carly (insert child's name) was her name

Kind To Others

(Activity 13 Month 1 - Fingerplay)

5 little children

Standing in a row ( hold up 5 fingers)

They are kind to others

Everywhere they go. (walk hand in front of body)

I am one of the children (point to self)

Standing in a row (hold up 5 fingers)

I'll be kind to others (point to self)

Wherever I go. (walk hand in front of body)

(This fingerplay works as a reminder to a child to be kind in any situation- without saying a word. Just walk hand in front of body to silently signal a child to remember to be kind or use actual sign language for the word kind.)