We had such fun on our woodland walk today. The girls relished having so much space to run in. They gathered lots of natural materials on their treasure hunt: leaves, seeds, fircones, moss. They used them to make some nests and also to make some jewellery too. We brought some small lengths of wool with us and use them to tie together some jewels – favourite leaves the girls chose from their treasures. We tied the brooches on to their coats and they pretended to be forest fairies off to a party in their finest clothes.
Where I live we hardly ever have snow, but today we do! So much, that school is closed for the day. Children love being outside so when the heavens give you a beautiful layer of sparkling white snow to explore you’ve got to seize the day, wrap up warm and get out and play. Here are ten top tips for enjoying the snow (outside and inside) – and getting some learning in at the same time.
1. Build a snowman, of course. My daughter drew out her design before she started (what a planner!), gathered her materials and directed her team of sculpters to bring her design to life. Great chance for team work and to use problem solving skills (trying to figure out how to make a carrot nose that didn’t keep falling off).
2. Small world play construction site. We raided our sandpit for trucks and lorries and used them to transport snow over to our snowman site, imagining we were builders.
3. Experiment with the science of snow. Put some snow in a few bowls and conduct your own melting test. Where does it melt the fastest – on a radiator, in the fridge, under the bed? How long does it take to melt in each location? Once it’s melted, what happens if your put it back outside or in the freezer? Maths and science in action.
4. Get creative and make some snowmen pictures. You know how much my kids love cottonwool to make snowmen like this and this, but what about a white chalk picture on a blackboard or piece of black card?
5. Get some target practice. Draw a chalk target on an outside wall, line up some snowballs and shoot to score. Award different points for hitting different areas and keep tally with a score chart. Lots of adding up practice.
6. Get baking. Make gingerbread into snowflake shapes and ice them with some white writing icing like the decorated cookie,.
7. Paper snowflakes are easy to make using only white paper and scissors. Cutting helps develop fine motor skills and hand-eye co-ordination. The Crafty Crow has a guide to folding your paper to make snowflakes.
8. Make some virtual snowflakes at snowdays. Using the computer mouse develops IT and hand – eye co-ordinations skills.
9. Ever had snow ice cream? A Modern Mother has the recipe.
10. Enjoy some snow dough using the recipe at Praying for Parker. This is wonderful sensory play using touch and smell, and nurtures nimble fingers.
The snow looks like it’s here to stay for a while so have you got any more ideas for snow filled learning for me?
happily shared with Creative Connections for Kids
Do you remember playing ‘What’s the time Mr. Wolf?’ when you were a child? Great fun and a nice way to incorporate counting into a game. Best played outside where there is lots of space to run.
One person – Mr. Wolf – is ‘on’ and stands facing a wall or tree. The other players stand a few metres away and shout ‘What’s the time Mr. Wolf?’ If Mr. Wolf answers ‘Three o’clock’ the children have to take 3 steps towards Mr. Wolf – counting each step out loud. Repeat the questions and counting, with Mr. Wolf saying different times and the children getting closer and dangerously closer to Mr. Wolf each time. But watch out – when the children are very near and ask ‘What’s the time Mr. Wolf?’ he shouts ‘Dinner time!’ All the children run away (with much shrieking!) and Mr. Wolf tries to catch someone. Whoever is caught becomes Mr.Wolf and the game is repeated.