Monday, December 8, 2014

Reindeer Romp: DIY and Freebie!

It's Laura, back from Differentiation Station Creations!  If you haven't noticed, I love to create learning activities from recyclables/trash.  I'm back with a festive holiday manipulative made from a shoe box and some finger puppets.  I'm bringing you DIY directions, so you can make your own holiday house for tons of holiday learning!
I got the original idea for this creation from my son.  We received some reindeer finger puppets in the mail from my mom.  He's very familiar with how I transform finger puppets into Velcro manipulatives.  See examples here and here.  He wanted to create a song that would use reindeer on top of a house.  You can get a FREE copy of the song that we wrote in this blog post! 
With a vision, we got right to work!
- Shoe box
- Two small rectangles of cardboard 3"X 5"
- Foam, construction paper, or felt
- Hot glue gun and glue
- Velcro
-Some type of reindeer (finger puppets, pictures, small toys)
-Green paper plate
-Cotton balls
We got out one of the shoe boxes I just happened to have under my bed.  I made 3 different versions of this house.  Two with boxes that have hinged tops and one with a fully detached top.  The hinged top was my favorite, by far.  It was more durable and less likely to lose its' roof :)
Cover the bottom part of your shoe box with foam/construction paper/or felt. 
I chose green foam as the base.  I measured and cut the foam to cover the entire bottom of the shoe box.  (Foam makes the box even more durable).  Hot glue all of the foam to the box.
I used foam for the base, all the windows, and the door.
To make windows: Cut out 2 red squares and 2 slightly larger white squares.  Cut or draw a cross through the red square.
To make a door: Cut out a red rectangle and a small white circle for the door knob.
I originally covered the entire roof with black felt, but then quickly realized that I had to cover it with white "snow". 
You will only need to cover the bottom lip of the box top with black felt or foam.  Hot glue the black felt/foam/or construction paper to the box.
Cut out a wavy design in white to show snow falling from the roof.  I cut the waves freehand, but you could easily draw and then cut.  Hot glue the white foam to all edges of the box top.
Trace and cut a piece of white foam or felt to fit the top of your box.  This will be the snow on your roof top.  Be sure to liberally hot glue the foam to the roof.
To create your chimney, get your two pieces of cardboard.  Mine were 3" X 5".  I folded them in half and then folded a small lip at each end of the rectangle.  This makes it very easy to hot glue them together.  As you can see, I do not have perfect cuts.  However, this does not matter, because it is covered in felt or foam.
Hot glue the two rectangles into a square shaped chimney.  Hold until the glue is dried. 
Next, hot glue felt around the chimney.  You can also line the chimney with felt, if you choose.
Liberally, use hot glue to attach the chimney to the roof.  I truly mean use A LOT of hot glue.  This chimney will get a lot of love!
Hot glue Velcro to the top of the house.
We created reindeer manipulatives out of finger puppets.  You can see the DIY directions on my blog here. 
You can use any type of reindeer manipulative, including pictures, to Velcro to the top of your roof.
You are ready for the "Reindeer Romp"!  You can use these "Reindeer Romp" songs that are sung to the tune of "Five Little Speckled Frogs".
 You can use these songs as a fun way to add and subtract reindeer off the roof.  It gives children a fun and hands on way to play with number sense.
We created a small area of snow, for the reindeer to jump into the snow.  Use a green plate and hot glue cotton balls to the middle.

Get your FREE copy of the "Reindeer Romp" songs here!
Hope your kids have a wonderful time using the Reindeer Romp manipulatives and songs.  Check out my blog for more ideas on how to use this set of manipulatives!

For more winter and reindeer activities, you can check out:
Rowdy Reindeer Alphabet Scavenger Hunt
Rowdy Reindeer! "Roll, Say, Keep!" Pre-Primer Dolch Sight Word Center + Extra
Rowdy Reindeer! "Roll, Say, Keep!" Primer Dolch Sight Word Center + Extra
Rowdy Reindeer! "Roll, Say, Keep!" First Grade Dolch Sight Word Center + Extra

Hope you have a wonderful holiday season!  Until next month,

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