Beware: this can be very challenging for kindergarteners! I had the mittens precut, with one staple in the corner to hold the two pieces of paper together. I also had all of the holes already punched in the mitten and a piece of yarn tied to the first hole.
One little tip that will make this activity SO much easier for the kids is using very thin yarn so it fits easily through the holes. Also, putting a little piece of masking tape around the end of the yarn, so that the end of the yarn doesn't unravel and goes through each hole easily, is definitely recommended.
Something new I tried this year, was doing this activity in small groups-and it was a lot more successful that way. I really can't believe that I used to just let the whole class loose to do this independently all at once. By doing it with one table at a time, I could model for the kids how to thread the yarn through the top of the hole only, pull all of the yarn through the hole, and then move onto the next hole. I could also keep an eye on everyone to make sure they were doing it correctly since I only had 5 kids to watch at a time. Everyone's mittens turned out really well!
While I was sewing up mittens with one table at a time, the rest of the kids were kept occupied with coloring and cutting out all of the animals from the story (you can get this page of animals from Jan Brett's website). Then, once all of the mittens and animals were done, we reread The Mitten, and the kids put their animals into the mitten as it happened in the story. Very fun! They loved the idea of taking their mittens and animals home to retell the story to their families.
We also had a mitten themed activity going in the pocket chart this week. On sentence strips I wrote: "The _____ went in the mitten." Then I printed out the animal pictures and word cards (from the blog 1+1+1=1) and students put them into the pocket chart and practiced reading the chart. (Sorry the photo is so blurry-that's what I get for taking the pic with my phone instead of my camera!).
We also did some mitten activities during math. I gave each student a mitten cut-out and we practiced measuring it with lots of different manipulatives (pennies, paperclips, links, cubes, etc.). Great measuring practice and lots of hands-on fun!
I know there are tons of great mitten ideas out there. I have seen them popping up all over blogs and Pinterest these last few days. I'd love to hear about any fun things you do with the book The Mitten.