FROSTY THE SNOWMAN
- Make a snowman outside if you can. If not, make one inside. Stack three different sizes of white boxes; stuffed, white garbage bags; rolls of white play dough; balls of snow made from two cups of laundry soap and 1/2 cup of water; or even balls of ice, which you can stick together with salt or sand.
- Have students practice their shapes by decorating paper or doily snowmen.
- Have a "Dress the Snowman" relay race, hold a snowman fashion show, or play Frosty Frisbee by trying to land a hat on a snowman's head. Any of these games can be played outdoors or indoors. If indoors, the kids themselves can be the snowmen.
- Make a snowman with glue (put the glue on wax paper if you want it to peel off), white pom-poms, or three large marshmallows.
- Watch or read The Snowman.
- Take a field trip to Snow School.
LET IT SNOW
- Brush a mixture of water and glue on real pictures of outdoor scenes without snow, then sprinkle them with iridescent white glitter to watch a simulated snowfall. Or brush a mixture of water and salt onto painted scenes to make them sparkle, glisten, and shimmer. (To make three-dimensional snow, use 1/2 cup flour, 1/2 cup salt, and 1/2 cup water.) Make a picture with ice and powdered tempera paint, or paint the snow outside with colored water from a spray bottle.
- Make an igloo or snow castle. If you don't have real snow, make igloos with sugar cubes. Then have a snowball fight with styrofoam balls or balled-up paper.
- Read The Snowy Day. Paint rulers white, add circles for snowman heads, decorate, and plant in the snow to measure the depth. (Check out Webbing Into Literacy for The Snowy Day lesson plans.)
- Catch snowflakes on black construction paper and examine them — quickly, before they melt! — with magnifying glasses. To examine snowflakes under microscopes, catch them on frozen slides covered with "Crystal Clear" spray. For a keepsake, catch snowflakes on pieces of frozen glass covered with hairspray.
- Have a sled-pulling race, outdoors or in!
- Go ice skating. If you live in a climate that doesn't have snow and ice, turn your classroom into a skating rink and let your students ice skate inside by gliding along on pieces of wax paper. For an ice skating craft, make a pair of skates with popsicle sticks.
- Put water in a bucket along with some plastic fish. Freeze the water, and when it's time to play, melt the middle of the ice with hot water. Have the students go ice fishing.
- Hide toys in ice, and have your students pick away at the ice with a toy chisel to get the toys out.
- Make ice sculptures, either by carving ice with a plastic hammer and chisel, or by sticking ice cubes together with salt. You could also add food coloring or have the children paint the ice. (Take a look at the St. Paul Winter Carnival's past ice palaces.)
- Make ice crystals with beads and pipe cleaners, or glue sparkles to pine cones.
- Play ice hockey. If you don't have ice, play air hockey.
BABY, IT'S COLD OUTSIDE
- Make eskimos wearing coats with fur collars, and have them lead candy cane dog sleds. Learn about all the Inuit words for "snow."
- Paint water bottles white and decorate with construction paper to make penguins. Watch the movie Happy Feet.
- Explain that arctic animals have blubber to keep them warm in the winter. Have the children put their hands in an empty plastic bag (to keep them clean), then in a bag of vegetable shortening, then in a bowl of icy water to see how they stay warm protected by a layer of fat.
- Talk about animals who have to hibernate in the cold winter weather. Blindfold the students, hide stuffed teddy bears, and then have the students search for the hibernated bears. Or make a large mitten and put stuffed animals in it as you read the book The Mitten. (Check out this teacher's guide for The Mitten.)
- Read the story The Three Little Kittens. At math time, have the children put the kittens' mittens in a lidded box decorated to look like a washing machine, close the lid, and shake the box to "wash" the mittens. When the mittens are clean, the students can remove them and set them out to dry in matching pairs. (The washing machine idea came from The Mailbox.)
MMM, MMM, GOOD!
- Make snow ice cream! Scoop fresh, clean snow into bowls and add sugar, milk, and 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract. To make snow cones, put snow or crushed ice in a paper cone and cover with flavored syrup, Kool-Aid, or juice. For a cool store-bought treat, have Eskimo Pies or Klondike bars.
- If you have an electric frying pan, warm up with grilled cheese finger sandwiches. For a toasty treat in the microwave, have s'mores, or cups of hot chocolate or chicken soup.
- Make a glacier with graham crackers, blue Jell-O, and whipped cream.
- Use Scholastic's Snowy Day lesson to make snowflakes with tortilla shells and cream cheese.
- Put white materials in your art center.
- Put snow or crushed ice and mittens in your sensory center.
- Put Styrofoam blocks and packing peanuts in your blocks center. (Use indoor ice blocks made of foam to build a polar paradise.)
- Put winter clothing and accessories in your housekeeping center.
- Put an igloo made of stacked milk cartons or jugs in your reading center.
- Make a snowstorm with shredded paper or white confetti.
For more winter theme activities, DLTK's has winter-themed alphabet tracer pages, writing paper, coloring pages, and printable games such as bingo, dominoes, memory, tic-tac-toe, puzzles, and mazes.
Do you have seasonal themes in your room? If you live in a warm climate, how do you teach about winter?
Have a brr-illiant weekend!
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