Saturday, January 28, 2017

Wonderful Winter Activities and a FREEBIE!

Winter can sometimes drag on, but I try to capitalize on the wonderment that snow and ice hold for most little ones.  Here are a few of our wonderful winter activities that also sneak in learning fun!
After reading "Snowballs" by Lois Elhert, each little one decided what type of snowman he or she wanted to make.  They then chose from a whole host of collage materials to help create their masterpiece. Sometimes preschoolers get caught up in wanting to add as much stuff as they can without planning out their project, and that approach is perfectly fine.  After all, it's the process and not the product that is important.  But, before I let them loose on their snowman, I tried to talk through what I would be looking for if I were making a snowman.  For instance, what would I use for eyes?  Do I want my snowman to have arms or hair?  If so, I need to find something those items?  I let them come up to the table that held the collage materials as many times as they wanted to exchange, to get more things, or to get different materials to use.  They absolutely loved the activity and could have spent hours and hours creating.  Some of my little friends did exactly as I expected and loaded their snowman up, but many thought out and planned what they wanted to use and where.  I thought I had more pictures to share, and I promise I will post them later.  However, I did want to share what I have now.
I am absolutely in love with this snow baby!  Check out the face, the hair, and he even made a heart by cutting up straws.  I wish I could keep this masterpiece, but if I were the parents I would want this at home with me.  :)
Here are more snowmen on my door.  I am bummed the picture is blurry, but you might be able to make out a snow boy, snow dog, snow cat, and a snow mom, along with the snow baby.  L.O.V.E.
If you would like the snowman body pattern, click HERE  Clipart is courtesy of Creative Clips.
To add a fine motor element to this fun snowball activity, tongs were used to pick up white pompoms that represented snowballs.
Two students at a time each had a pail and tongs.  The rest of us counted to 30, which helped with our rote counting to 30 (a kindergarten objective for first quarter).  While we counted, the two students used their tongs to pick up one snowball at a time to put in their pail.  The objective was to get as many snowballs as possible.
When we stopped counting, each little learner dumped out their snowballs, lined them up, and then counted them.
Lining them up and making sure to touch each one while saying the number helped them with one to one correspondence.  
 Young learners often rush through the counting process.  This helped them slow down enough to count each object.
After each learner counted their snowballs, the pair had to choose which sign represented their numbers correctly.  I made sure to use the correct terminology of "greater than", "less than", or "equal" to expose them to this concept.
The next day in my small groups, we completed this cut and glue student sheet to reinforce what they learned the day before.
 Who knew so much could be learned with snowballs? ;)
 I filled our sensory table with Insta-Snow and added cups, bowls, spoons, and arctic animals.  This is the most requested activity in the room!  They love playing in the snow.  Little do they know how great pouring, dumping, and scooping are for their motor development.  Plus, there is the added benefit of working on language skills, social development, and intellectual development by fostering imaginative play.  :)
We have also done some super fun painting with ice.  Also a great fine motor, creative activity!
Besides the book "Snowballs", we have been reading LOTS of other snow themed books.  We did this student comprehension sheet after reading "Snowmen at Night".  It's from this pack.
It's available HERE.
The other pack used in this post is available HERE.
If you want to find more ideas and read about other bloggers' week, be sure to check out Doodle Bugs Teaching and Five for Friday.
Thanks for reading!  Have a great day.  :)


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