Let it Snow!
My in-home Preschool is located in Central Arizona where I assure you it does not snow. Or maybe it did that one year for 23.4 seconds at 2:00 in the morning and we all missed it because it was gone before we woke up. And don't get me wrong, I love living here. I hope I never have to move. I think snow is pretty but I have zero desire to deal with it or live in it. I can however, teach about it! And here is how.
As you may have already noticed, I love to teach and develop a lesson plan around a book as my theme. For this week our book was "The Snowy Day" by Ezra Jack Keats. Here is a recording of one of our 5 Circle Times in a somewhat bilingual version.
For our extension activities I had to of course use cotton balls right? Because would it be fair to even call myself a Preschool Teacher if I didn't provide cotton balls in the art center during our snow theme? I also provided white chalk on darker shades of construction paper. I had some pine tree shapes and some of the children found the stickers for extra pizazz.
But hold on.... I found another use for the cotton balls. I took a giant bag of them (I think there were 400 balls in the bag) and at outside time I threw them up in the air and yelled, "It's snowing!" Honestly, I did not expect this to go over as well as it did! The children almost in unison, picked up the cotton balls and started pelting each other (which of course I allowed, Hello! It's cotton!) and yelling, "Snowball FIGHT!!!!!" It was a huge hit! Pun intended! The next day as soon as we went outside they asked, "Can we have another snowball fight?" And you know that I said yes.
The fun didn't stop here. I came up with many other ideas of how to incorporate snow into our learning environment. During one of our Circle Times we had a lesson on weather and geography and brought out the globe. I explained seasons and day and night for different parts of the world.
One of my favorite pre-writing exercises is to practice with salt trays. I purchased these amazing lower case letter stones at Kaplan Early Learning a few years ago and I combined them with a homemade salt tray for some letter practice. OK, so salt and snow feel nothing alike but hey, they are both white so it's related to the theme. Just go with me on this one! https://www.kaplanco.com/product/62962/feels-write-lowercase-letter-stones?c=5%7CLT1041
We had no shortage of music to use throughout the day and week. We played Vivaldi's Winter from the Four Seasons, Ingrid Michaelsons, "Snowfall," "Snowflake" by Greg and Steve, "Snow" by Bing Crosby, Hap Palmer's "Snowfall" and "Snowfall" by the Monkees, and some other fun snow songs for preschoolers on Spotify.
Some of these songs we had on in the background during our sensory play or during our art creativity time. And other times I played the music and encouraged the children to pretend they were either building snow people or they were snowflakes falling from the sky.
For sensory experiences we played with shaving cream which to quote one student, "never gets old." And every day to end our time together we made Insta-snow which will forever be one of my all time favorite sensory experiences. https://www.lakeshorelearning.com/products/sensory-exploration/sensory-play/speedy-snow/p/DS483
Overall, for desert kiddos some of whom have never even seen snow, I think we brought the experience to the dry, hot December to life!
Keep learning and keep playing!