Twirl, leap, coast and spin! The skating rink is open and you’re invited to strut your stuff, courtesy of a magnet attached to the bottom of a toilet paper tube skater. If things start to get a little chilly, glide through our cozy hot chocolate shack for a fill up!
We read Little Red Gliding Hood, written by Tara Lazar, and illustrated by Troy Cummings (Random House, 2015). Little Red is a great skater, but her ice skates have definitely seen better days. When a skating competition is announced, along with a prize of brand new skates, Little Red is thrilled. Unfortunately, it’s a pairs skating competition, and she has no partner. Unfortunately, while searching for a partner, she encounters the Big Bad Wolf! After a face-paced and spirited chase across the ice, he finally catches her. But he’s not going to eat her…he just wanted to tell her that her laces were untied! Turns out the not-so-bad Wolf needs new skates too, and he’s a great skater to boot. The day of the competition, Little Red and the Wolf enter the completion. They put on such a great performance, the judges give them a perfect 10 and the grand prize!
- 2 toilet paper tubes
- 2 circles of tagboard or cardboard (approximately 1.75″ in diameter)
- Construction paper, various colors
- 4 s
- 2 champagne (or wine) corks
- 1 small tissue box
- 1 hot chocolate shack template, printed on 8.5″ x 11″ card stock
- 8 medium craft sticks (4.5″ long)
- 1 skating rink (more on that later!)
- Tape and scissors for construction
- Markers for decorating
- Hot glue
We’ll begin with the skaters, which are toilet paper tubes with magnets glued to the bottoms of them. Later, the skaters’ magnets will connect with a magnet wand held underneath the cardboard skating rink. Move the magnet wand, and the skater magically glides!
First, hot glue 2 tagboard circles to the bottoms of 2 toilet paper tubes. Definitely use hot glue – you really want those circle to stay adhered to the tubes.
Next, use construction paper and markers to turn your tubes into a pair of ice skaters. In keeping with the book, one of our skaters was Little Red, and the other was the Big Bad Wolf. Katie put this adorable duo together, and added a bit of red ribbon for Red’s hood and the Wolf’s sash.
Hot glue a button magnet to the bottom of each tube.The bigger the magnet, the better the results on the rink! Our magnets were 0.75″ in diameter. We tried smaller ones, but they just couldn’t keep the connection.
Next, hot glue button magnets to the bottoms of 2 corks (but test to make sure the skater magnets and the wand magnets attract before hot gluing them to the corks). We used champagne corks because they have a bulge at the bottom that was easier for little kids to grip. But wine corks work too.
Now for the hot chocolate shack! Cut the bottom and 2 sides off a small tissue box. Your shack should have no floor, and the doorways should be tall enough for your skaters to glide through easily.
We used tagboard for the sides of the shack and the roof, but construction paper works too. Cut and color the sign and 2 windows from the shack template and attach them to the shack. We reinforced the sides of the box by gluing craft sticks on above and below the windows and on both sides of the doorways. The final touch – a chimney- is totally optional. Cut a bubble tea straw down to 6.75″ and add a little polyester fill smoke rising from it.
Now for the ice skating rink. We snagged a huge, 3″ x 63″ box lid through this program. Since kids needed to reach underneath the rink, we hot glued four 4.5” X 4.5” x 9” craft boxes in each corner, and reinforced them with packing tape.
Place your skater on the top of the box, then place your magnet wand underneath the box. The magnets will connect through the cardboard, and you can start skating!
Plunk your hot chocolate shack down, crank up the Tchaikovsky, and skate!
We learned that if you tilt the magnet cork juuuust so while you’re pulling your skater, you can actually make him/her spin rapidly. Check out these fantastic moves:
When story time was over, the giant skating rink stayed at the library for a future project. But we did give each kid a 14″ cardboard cake circle to continue the skating fun at home.