These hot chocolate cutting strips are a great addition to your winter activities for preschoolers and kindergarten kids. Such a fun way to practice important early learning skills in an engaging way.
You can use the hot cocoa tracing trips in a multitude of ways, depending on your preferences and the needs of your students. And the best part? They’re super low prep! Versatility, easy set up, and fun? That is definitely a recipe for success!
I think the cocoa cutting practice can be integrated into a variety of units. If you teach a hot chocolate theme, these would be the perfect fit. But they’d also work well during a general winter unit, or even as part of a hot chocolate stand dramatic play invitation.
Related: Free Preschool Printables
There are so many ways to promote fine motor and math skills in preschool and kindergarten. Adding a theme can shake things up a bit. The hot cocoa fine motor strips are just the ticket during the chilly winter months!
Scroll down to the bottom of this post to get your own copy of the free printable cocoa cutting strips. Print them out, set up the activity, and watch as the kids have fun honing those fine motor skills!
Hot Chocolate Cutting Strips
If you’re a regular reader of Fun-A-Day, you already know that I’m not a huge fan of worksheets in preschool. But I do love having a variety of hands-on activity ideas at my disposal. And even though they are printed, the hot cocoa cutting strips fit into the hands-on category perfectly.
How to Prep the Hot Cocoa Fine Motor Printables
As I mentioned earlier, the fine motor strips are super low-prep! You can have them ready for your students to use in just a few simple steps.
First, you’ll need to gather all of the materials necessary to prep the strips. Here’s what we used (I may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post):
- Hot cocoa cutting strips (at the bottom of this post)
- Adult scissors or paper trimmer
- Children’s scissors
And that’s it – just three items, which you likely already have on hand, and the hot chocolate cutting strips are ready to use!
Related: Hanukkah Cutting Strips
Perhaps you’re using the hot cocoa tracing sheets for a few different activities. I definitely encourage that! But your materials list will change based on the activity. Here are a few suggestions based on the activity recommendations listed below:
- Adaptive scissors
- Dry erase pockets
- Dry erase markers
- Laminator and laminating pouches
- Mini marshmallows
- Play dough
- Sensory tray
- Play sand
- Candy canes
The sky’s the limit when it comes to the items you can use with the hot chocolate cutting strips. I’d suggest taking a look in your supply closet and using what you already have. Unless, of course, you just want a trip to the craft store. In that case, you definitely need to go!
Now, onto preparing the fine motor strips. All you have to do is print them out, cut the individual strips from each page, and pass them out to the kids. You may need to pop them into a dry-erase pocket or laminate them, depending on how you have decided to use them. Super simple!
Ways to Use the Hot Chocolate Cutting Strips
Now that you’ve got all your materials and the fine motor sheets are prepped, it’s time to let the kids use them. As I mentioned before, they are pretty versatile. So, I’ll go over a few different activity ideas for the hot cocoa cutting strips.
- First, use the strips based on their namesake – cutting. Children can use scissors to cut along the paths on each hot cocoa strip. If any students struggle with regular scissors, they can use an adaptive set.
- Pair the strips with a shallow sensory writing tray. Students can use their fingers (or candy canes!) to draw the patterns in the sensory material, using the strips as visual cues.
- Next, try using the strips with math manipulatives, like buttons, mini marshmallows, or themed erasers. Children will use the manipulatives to line the path on each of the hot chocolate cutting strips. Have them count how many manipulatives it took to outline each path for an added challenge.
- Students can use a dry-erase marker to trace the paths on each fine motor strip. I would suggest popping them into dry-erase pockets or laminating them for this activity. Then they can be erased and retraced for even more practice!
- Teach the kids how to roll out play dough snakes. Then, have the children use them to outline the paths on each strip.
I’ve listed just a few to use the fine motor strips in the classroom. But I know there are so many other learning activities they can be used for. If you come up with any other ideas for them, please let me know in the comments below!
Why Use Cutting Practice Sheets with Kids?
So far, we’ve talked about how easy it is to set up the hot chocolate cutting strips. And we’ve touched on how many different hands-on activities they can be used in. We also know they can be lots of fun for the kids. But we haven’t talked about how much learning is involved in each activity. And there is an abundance!
Here are some early learning concepts kids can explore while using the hot cocoa tracing printable:
- Fine motor skills
- Left to right progression
- Hand strengthening
- Scissor skills
- Pencil grip
So, as you can see, the cutting strips offer a wide variety of learning opportunities and practice.
The hot cocoa theme makes these strips perfect for wintertime. If this type of hands-on activity seems like it will work well in your classroom, head over and check out my Winter Activities Pinterest board.
More Hot Chocolate Activities for Kids
I love keeping warm with a cup of cocoa. I’m sure it’s a regular practice for many of your students as well. And bringing simple, familiar themes into class activities can be so impactful! Here are some other hands-on hot cocoa-themed activities for the kids:
- Hot Chocolate Winter Craft
- How to Make Hot Chocolate Slime
- Hot Chocolate Playdough Recipe
- Peppermint Cocoa Cloud Dough
- Hot Chocolate Alphabet Matching Game
As you can see, there are lots of hot cocoa activities to try with the preschoolers. Don’t forget to scroll to the bottom of this post to get your own copy of the hot chocolate cutting strips!
Winter Fine Motor Tracing Strips
As a teacher, there’s nothing better than having the opportunity to guide children as they learn and grow throughout the year. But, at times, this job can be overwhelming and time-consuming. And that’s where Preschool Teacher 101 comes in! Let us save you time with printable weekly lesson plans, dramatic play packs, circle time songs, and so many more teaching resources.
If the hot chocolate cutting strips are a hit in your classroom, then you’ll love our Winter Tracing Strips product. It comes with seven themed sets of printable strips meant to help strengthen fine motor muscles. Click on the image below to learn more about this product.
We have several other resources, enough to get you through the entire winter season. Click on the images below for more information about some of my favorite resources:
You should also consider a Preschool Teacher 101 membership. Members have regular access to all of our preschool resources at a steep discount.
Get the Hot Chocolate Cutting Strips Printable
The free printable tracing sheets are available to members of Fun-A-Day’s free email community. If you’re a member, fill out the form below and the download links will be sent to your inbox. If you’re not a member, you can join us by entering your information in the form. Then you’ll receive the printable as a welcome gift!
Be sure to check out my printing FAQ page if you run into any issues.