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!
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)
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!)
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)
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.