by Judy Mullican
Everyone knows how much fun it is to build a snowman! But after building a snowman, what are some other fun ways to play in the snow?
1. Play like Peter! Read The Snowy Day or watch this animated version on the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation website: www.ezra-jack-keats.org/the-snowy-day . (Click “Read Aloud.”) Talk with your children about all the fun things Peter does in the snow. Go outside and try some! Explore different ways to make footprints in the snow. Try making snow angels. Have fun!
2. Explore writing! The children may use their hands and feet, wooden spoons, or other tools to write their names or simple messages in the snow. Younger ones may simply enjoy making loops and squiggles.
4. Make designs! The children may press cookie cutters, the rims of plastic containers, pot lids, or other objects into the snow to make designs.
6. Look for Tracks! Look for tracks in the snow made by birds or small animals. The area around a bird feeder is a great spot to check. Try to figure out which creature made each set of tracks.
7. Go crazy with color! Fill trigger-spray bottles with colored water. The children can create a kaleidoscope of colors in the snow!
8. Experiment! Carry out some simple science experiments with snow. For example, fill identical paper cups with snow and place them in different spots. Watch to see which snow melts first and which lasts the longest. You could also pack some snow into different containers and sprinkle on different safe materials, such as salt and sugar. Does the same thing happen? Try dropping different objects onto the snow to see which one makes the biggest hole.
9. Buried treasure! Hide a toy, a water-tight container of snacks, or another object somewhere under the snow the night before more snow is due to fall. When the snow stops, have a treasure hunt. Create a treasure map for the children to follow or just give clues. Encourage them to dig in the snow to find the hidden object.
10. Take pictures! Who doesn’t enjoy seeing pictures of snow-covered trees and shrubs? Show the children how to use digital cameras to take photos of the snowy sights that catch their attention. Print out the photos and create a display.
Are there other fun things you and your children like to do in the snow? Post a comment and let us know! We’d love to hear from you.