Taking Time to Make Valentines and Enjoy Winter

One of the classroom teachers that I worked with today let me look through a stack of Valentines that her students had made. I found these to be so delightful that I took some photos to post here.

Winter outside my window - Paula Beardell Krieg

But first let me say that it’s a good thing that I love what I do, because looking out the window and seeing these trees covered with snow again does not inspire me to get up and go.  The words in the title of this post (“…and Enjoy Winter” ) do not currently apply to me. It’s getting harder every day to enjoy winter. But I enjoy drawings of winter, which is something that is also featured in this post. But first the Valentines.

Danielle, the classroom teacher, told her First Graders the she only required that the students use a doily and that they were to keep their designs symmetrical (I wonder if she used the word symmetrical with her first graders.  I’ll be she did.)

She put out a selection of materials and then stood back and watched.

Students came up with a wide variety of designs. Each one of different and lovely.

In the nest classroom over Karen’s class had wonderful winter drawings mounted on the walls in the hallways.

When my children were little the art of children as a whole didn’t interest me because it seemed to be ordinary and everywhere. But as my children got older I began to miss seeing the wonderfully expressive work that children do, and realized children’s art is a world that is hidden away from anyone who is not a teacher or parent of young children.

Now, whenever I somewhere that children’s work is on display, I stop and drink it in.

Notice how different the snowmen are: it’s pretty clear that the children were instructed to give the snowman a black hat, a charcoals smile, and stick arms. Even so, each snowman has his own look. And each child expresses a different sort of interaction with their snowman.

These drawings almost make me like winter again. Almost.
Now time to get to making my own valentines….while my husband shovels snow.

Decoration · folding · How-to

‘Tis the Season to Make Paper Snowflakes

How to make a six-sided snowflake/  helpful  60 degree triangle included

Addendum, 2016: This page has gotten about 35,000 views so I’ve decided to update this post with a slightly better set of directions on how-to-make-a-snowflake than the tutorial page further down in the this post. I’d be grateful to know if you’ve found these directions helpful.

This evening I tried, through two thousand miles of phone wire, to explain to my friend Cynthia how to make a six-sided (six-pointed?) snowflake using dinner napkins. I failed. So here are the directions, with visual aids.

Begin wiith regular dinner napkins. These are just about always square, folded into fourths. Perfect. Also, get a pair of scissors, and have at the ready a triangle that has at least one 60 degree angle on it. An equilateral triangle has three angles that measure 60 degrees, so this is the best one to use. And where can you get this triangle? Well, right here.

Print this out then cut it out.

Next, open up a napkin so that it is folded in half instead of fourths, From the middle of the folded edge, fold the bottom up 60 degrees. To get just the right angle, use the 60 degree triangle, placing the point of the triangle on the bottom of the middle fold on the napkin. See the picture below.


Now here’s how my snowflakes looked after I made cuts.

And here they are hanging on my front door.

If you want to attach snowflakes to a window in such a way that the tape doesn’t have to be scraped off, use Scotch Magic Tape. This is the only tape that I have found that comes off of glass when you want it to come off.

Addendum! If you want your snowflake cutting to make more sense, take a look at https://bookzoompa.wordpress.com/2014/12/02/paper-snowflake-cutting-tips/