Saturday, January 7, 2012

baby it's cold inside: winter play

Living at a low altitude in the northwest doesn't lend itself to many snow experiences.  About once a year we may have a snow "event" (and trust me - it's ant EVENT when it happens) but generally, to experience "winter" you have to travel to the mountains.  
Some of my preschoolers have not had that experience so I hope I've enlightened them with some pretend winter fun.

Here's what we did:

*housekeeping, winter dress-up:
I found gloves and hats at the $ store, bought matching colored sets, and added them to our housekeeping  (dramatic play) area.  What fun!
I observed:
  • pretend snowball fights and snow angel making (too bad the carpet doesn't leave an impression!)
  • fingers working hard to fit into the correct holes in the gloves
  • color matching; choosing the hats and gloves that were the same color
  • hats being worn by my lion-headed chairs (wish I had taken a picture!)

*building, felt snowmen:
(inspired by Frugal fun 4 boys)
I went super simple and used felt I had on hand to make the shapes.  The kiddos played on and off at this center, arranging and rearranging all the pieces.

* sensory/science, ice:
We're blessed to have an ice machine on campus : ) in the morning we filled up a bucket with ice to pour into our sensory table.  I added polar bears and penguins for imaginary play.
*gross motor, snowman toss:
I found this activity at the Little Illuminations blog.  Ayn had covered her pieces in contact paper to stick them to the mesh pop-up hamper.  She ended up stapling the face on because the contact paper didn't stick well to the fabric.  I tried a few sticky alternatives without much luck.  
  • First, I tried double-stick tape which worked until they were hit with the bean bag.  The students did their best to reapply the face - it was comical to look every once-in-a-while and see the face rearranged.
  • Next, I tried velcro on the back of the pieces, but they fell off too.
  • I finally put the pieces onto a piece of white paper and taped it onto the hamper.  This worked OK, but I'm still looking for ideas...
One of my students commented that the snowman looked angry... I said "I'd probably look that way too if someone was throwing beanbags at my face!" : )
Any thoughts on how to make the pieces stick better (without being permanent)?

*dollhouse/car table, snow play:
I was planning on making a cute winter village like the one here at Toddler Approved. But, time got away from me so I pulled out our doll house, put it on our car table, and added buffalo snow around the house.  It was a success and I think the snow will stay on our car table through some of our transportation unit too : ).

*play-dough, snow style:
I'm going to start working my way through the Mudworks book - a great resource for all things dough related...

I used their basic, cooked, salt play-dough recipe (it turned out great) and added silver glitter during the kneading process.  We also used these playdough math mats from Prekinders for some counting fun.

*color match, snowman clothes:
I printed and laminated these matching cards from Prek + k sharing- so cute!  Loving the free resources from everyone's blogs - it saves so much time!


  1. Thanks for stopping by and sharing this post! I'm definitely "pinning" some of these great ideas! :)

  2. Make the pieces from felt, glue them to the face and saftey pin them to the hamper