Sep 14 2007
In your area it may be too early for winter coats, hats, scarves and mittens. (It’s gotten cool enough here for sweatshirts in the morning.) With the start of school, we need to remind our kids not to lose their stuff, and A Mountain of Mittens by Lynn Plourde and illustrated by Mitch Vane is a great way to do this.
Honestly, if Nathan loses his gloves every week this year, I’m going to leave him in the lost and found box. Understandably, it was Lucie who really loved A Mountain of Mittens, especially the picture of Molly’s parents who look a lot like my husband and me. Here’s a story description:
Every morning Molly’s parents remind her to come home after school with her mittens, and every day Molly forgets. Nothing works — not Velcro, not crochet chains, not even duct tape! But, Molly is not alone. All the kids at school forget, and soon there is a mountain of mittens in lost-and-found that has grown out of control.
The Charlesbridge website has a great activity for collecting lost mittens, hats, coats and scarves to help kids in need. Your school or scouts probably already has an annual coat drive. A great way to announce and promote the drive would be a short storytime reading A Mountain of Mittens. The cost of admission would be a gently used warm winter clothing item.
Afterwards, take a picture of all the items you collected, and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. They may post it on their website!
Another activity is making mitten and glove shaped cookies. No need for a special mitten cookie cutter. Instead, let your kids trace their hands on cardboard to create a cookie template.
- 1/2 cup shortening
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 cup molasses
- 1 egg
- 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- Powdered-Sugar Frosting (below)
- Beat shortening in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds.
- Add the sugar, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves; beat till combined.
- Beat in molasses and egg till combined.
- Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer on medium speed, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Stir in any remaining flour with a wooden spoon.
- Divide the dough into thirds. Cover and chill about 3 hours or till dough is easy to handle.
- Meanwhile, draw around children’s hands on cardboard or heavy paper to make glove and mitten shapes. Even out shapes and cut out. Set aside.
- Roll one-third of thedough directly on a lightly greased cookie sheet to 1/4″ thickness, using a floured rolling pin. Place patterns on dough, leaving 3/4″ between cookies. Cut around patterns with knife. Remove excess dough.
- Bake cookies in a 375 degree oven for 5 to 6 minutes or till cookies are set. Cool on cookie sheet 2 minutes. Remove cookies from cookie sheet and cool on a wire rack. Cool completely.
- Repeat with remaining dough, rerolling dough as necessary.
- Decorate with Powdered-Sugar Frosting as desired.
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 3 -6 tablespoons of milk (or more)
- In a small mixing bowl stir together 2 cups sifted powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons milk.
- Stir in additional milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, till icing is smooth and of spreading consistency.
- Divide into several portionls; color each portion with a few drops of food coloring.
- To thicken frosting for piping, stir in a little additional powdered sugar.