Read Sing Play

Adventures in early literacy

Explore! Let it Snow

3 Comments

Yesterday was the last Explore! for the year and the last Monday session ever. 2pm on Mondays does NOT work for our community. So, we’re (read: I’M) letting it go and my co-worker will continue Explore! on Thursdays.

Eventually, I will catch up on all my sessions (there are several I haven’t blogged yet) but this latest was SO much fun and perfect for this time of year. It even snowed last night! Which hardly ever happens!

Theme: Snow

Opener: Hello song with blocks

Book: Snowballs by Lois Ehlert

We had a lot of fun talking about all the supplies used to make the snow people and animals in the book.

Station #1: Paper Snowflakes

Supplies: copy paper, scissors and an example snowflake

Skills: scissor practice, engineering (where can I cut without my paper falling apart?), math (shapes), art, talking (LOTS of talking about what was happening, where to cut, how to cut, what shapes to cut, etc.-mostly between child and adult)

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Parents were instructed to experiment with folding and cutting and see what they come up with. Kids were totally blown away watching their parents unfold the paper to reveal a snowflake. I have to remind myself sometimes that these are 3 and 4 year olds and may have never seen a paper snowflake being made.

Station #2: Make a Snowman

Supplies: marshmallows, cotton balls, glue sticks, markers, toothpicks, cardstock

Skills: art, engineering (how can I get these marshmallows to stay in a stack? toothpicks!)

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Make a snowman using the supplies on the table. Some used only marshmallows and toothpicks, others glued things to the cardstock to create a whole winter scene.

Station #3: SNOW

Supplies: trays or bowls for mixing snow, corn starch, shaving cream, aprons/smocks

Skills: sensory, science (what is happening?), play (Look! It’s snowing! as he sprinkles snow on his tray) and talking (lots of conversations during this activity both parent to child and child to child)

explore1  explore4

Start with some shaving cream on the tray. Kids add corn starch until it reaches the consistency they like. I had a bowl of pre-made snow on the table as well so they would have an idea of what they were aiming for. After they get a good consistency they could mold it into snowballs and everything. It even felt a little cold! Most wanted to take it home so you might want to have baggies on hand as well. This was the most popular station for all but one little girl who just cannot tolerate messy hands.

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Author: Kendra

Children's Librarian in the Northwest. Lover of toddlers, twitter, and TV (T's, too, apparently!).

3 thoughts on “Explore! Let it Snow

  1. Kendra, I was just experimenting with your shaving cream and corn starch snow idea. I didn’t seem to be able to get it to snowball consistency. I may have added too much corn starch-it seemed to just disappear. Could you give me an idea of the amounts/ratios? I have planned a “It’s Winter” storytime over the holiday break and this idea would be a perfect activity if I can get it right.

    • Hi Vicki! I didn’t measure for my sample snow but I’d say it was about 1/4 cup shaving cream and 2 or 3 tbsp corn starch. When the kids made it I put a good size squirt of cream on their tray and they used a tbsp measure to scoop starch on the tray to mix with the cream. They just kept mixing until it was the right consistency. That was the science part of the project. :) Some kids ended up with snow that was softer. I’m not sure you could get it to a place where you could build anything big with it. They were putting it in their hands and squishing to make a ball and then breaking it up again. Does this help?

      • Thanks for the tips Kendra, I’ll give it a try. I wasn’t at the point it would make a ball. Maybe my shaving cream was too old also, I have had this can awhile in storage.

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