Activities to get you outside in the snow!

20160114_130516In these winter months, you may find that your kids are more enthusiastic about any pending snow than you are. Snow, however, can make a great theme for activities either in the classroom, in after school programs, or even at home.

Here’s a small round up of the snow-related activities we explored while creating our Explore Club curriculum.

1.  Salt+ Watercolor: Sprinkling salt on watercolor is a great way to talk about crystals. Plus, the final products wind up looking very cool. We used our watercolor paintings to make our binoculars too. For more information, this website has a good overview: KinderArt.com

2. The Story of Snow, by Mark Cassino. This book is a wealth of information, and you can pare down the book for use with younger kids, or read the whole thing with upper elementary. The real life pictures are absolutely incredible. You can find it on Amazon.

3. Making paper snowflakes is a classic way to talk about the idea that no two snowflakes are exactly alike, and also to talk about symmetry. Want to get even more complicated with the snowflake patterns? You may inspire your kids by showing them some templates to make ever-more intricate snowflakes. There are some great templates on FirstPalette.com

4. If you’re blessed with a lot of snow, utilizing that natural resource is always an option. Some of our favorites include:
Make a winter shelter. Everyone thinks of an igloo, but you may want to try building a quinzee.

Make maple snow candy. We tried this at one of our community programs, and it was challenging to get the popsicle sticks to work particularly well, but the candy tasted just as great picked up whole from the snow. Receipe at Backtoherroots.com

Tracking animals becomes much easier in the snow. Paul Rezendes’ book Tracking and the Art of Seeing is a classic, and very in depth. Mass Department of Fish and Wildlife has a very handy pocket guide to animal tracks, which you can pick up through them, but it is also online here.

Insta-snow can be a fun way to have the sensation of playing with snow even if you are not blessed with snow around. It is a super absorbent polymer, and in addition to just being a fun thing to play with, can be an excellent way to introduce that topic. You can find it here.

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