Friday, January 25, 2013

Winter Theme Snowman Exploration

Science & Sensory

Our exploration of melting snowmen began with snow dough.  Each child was given a container of baking soda and shaving cream, a polar animal (which acted as a transitional tool for those not wanting to get their hands too messy), and a small bowl of materials for building a snowman should they choose to make one.  I used small pieces of brown & orange pipe cleaners for the arms and carrot nose, miscellaneous buttons, and fabric for a scarf.

The purpose of this activity is mostly science and sensory but can be considered creative art as well.  The children were immediately interested in the materials upon arriving and cautiously explored the ingredients in the container until Miss Niki (that's me) came over and got messy and mixed it all together and squished it, mashed it, and talked about how it felt.  Then...the fun began!  I did not pre-mix the ingredients in the containers so that the children could explore taking two ingredients and mixing them together to form a new texture and material.  I also did not tell the children what to do with the materials, I simply guided exploration by talking about what I was doing then left the rest up to them.  This activity was available throughout the day and children revisited often.  Here are a few pictures of the project for inspiration!

Music & Movement
At circle time we practiced a new snowman song with the actions that follow.  The children love the rhyme and repetition as well as the gross motor movements.  I love that it helps the children practice their counting skills from one to five!  Here is the song with a link back to the original source:

Five little snowmen sitting on the ground, (stomp feet on floor) 
The first one said; 'oh my aren't we round' (make circle with arms) 
The second one said; "'there are snowflakes in the air"(point and wiggle fingers) 
The third one said; "but we don't care." (shrug shoulders) 
The fourth one said; "lets run and run and run. (Run in place) 
The fifth one said; "I'm ready for some fun." (Smile Big) 
Whew went the wind (blow) and out came the sun (point) 
And the five little snowman knew their fun was done. (Hang head sadly)

Language & Literacy
We explored the story Snowmen at Night by Caralyn Buehner.  This is a very fun book which explores a child's idea of what snowmen do at night while he is sleeping after discovering his snowman in a droopy, dreary state in the morning after he built it.  We wrapped up the story by making pretend snow angels on the floor!

Creative Art

Creative Expression
To compliment this story we followed up with a melting snowman creative art project using clear contact paper, opal glitter, and construction paper snowman collage parts.  I set up stations for the children at the art table 
for the children to make their "melting" snowman.  Set the contact paper 
sticky side up on the table and provide each child with a selection of snowman collage materials.  Once the child is finished seal it with another piece of contact paper.  I hung ours from the window in the classroom to display.  The opal glitter looked a little pink hanging in the sun so you may want to use another material that is only white like clear glitter.  Don't use powder-like materials though or the contact paper won't seal properly.  

The children explored and learned about the properties of snow through the variety of multi-sensory activities that spanned across the curriculum.  

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