Exploration time: Winter sensory tub
In ours I put white packing peanuts, sparkly snowflake confetti, foam snowflakes, scoops, white spoon, laundry lids, plastic chopsticks, two snowmen, small pinecones, a stick here and there, and small light blue pompoms. At first he didn’t know what to do and kept asking, “why is this in there? what are these?” But after 5 minutes or so he was engrossed and exploring and pretending. I don’t usually give him the sensory tub because I think he is too old for them but read recently on http://www.notimeforflashcards.com/2011/01/best-of-2010-2.html that many people felt that way as well and then when they set them out for their older child they loved it just as much as the younger ones, so I made it for him as well this month.
So, now to begin our morning……
R1 read, The Snowman by Raymond Briggs. Then we dressed our own snowman. I had a large cut out of a snowman (why it is green, i cannot remember. It is from my teaching days.). I took several ribbons, pom poms, large eyes, and hats and placed it beside the snowman and asked my five-year old to dress the snowman as many different ways as he could.
He did and found 6 different ways. This idea came from: http://www.first-school.ws/activities/seasons/snowman.htm. I chose to make it hands-on instead of just using a printout.
Then we came to the table and did a watercolor/crayon art project as inspired by: http://frugalfun4boys.com/2010/11/28/snowman-watercolor-painting/. Before I gave the white paper to him I had drawn some snowflakes on the top of the page. He then drew more snow and snowmen. Then, together we painted over it in blue watercolor. We are running out of watercolor paints so that is why I helped him because we were down to the bottom on both paint containers. I then sprinkled some salt for a fun sparkling effect.
Now time for cutting. We made snowflakes out of cupcake liners. I had white and silver liners. He folded and cut and I had this brilliant idea to put a pie pan under him to catch on the snips so we would have less mess. It worked great. He had never, completely on his own, cut out snowflakes so at first it was overwhelming and scary that he’d mess up. But, after doing his first and seeing how it turned out and he can’t really mess up, he was excited to try more. We then strung them together on a silver ribbon and we have a lovely line of snowflakes to display in our window.
These links inspired this craft: http://www.makeandtakes.com/coffee-filter-snowflakes-on-a-string?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed:+makeandtakes+(Make+and+Takes) and http://activitymom.blogspot.com/2009/12/paper-snowflakes-using-cupcake-liners.html
Then on to some experiments. We made snowflake crystals. I saw these a long time ago and thought they looked cool. Then I saw them again recently and knew I wanted to give them a go. The key is wait for OVER an hour and you will see crystals form. We pulled ours out at about an hour and nothing but thirty minutes later and they were forming and it was cool. Now hours later and they are still soaking and now loaded with crystals.
Don’t leave them in hours, though, because it took a lot of maneuvering to get it out of the jar. How to: http://jennwa.blogspot.com/2010/01/make-your-own-snowflakes.html
As I gathered materials for our final experiment, R1 had fun doing a problem solving activity. I had him count out 15 mini marshmallows (large white ones would have been better because they would have looked more like snowmen but we used what we had). I put a container of toothpicks beside him and said, “three marshmallows makes up a snowman. how many snowmen can you make out of 15 marshmallows?” He thought for a moment and guessed, “6.” Yes, that was a close answer and he was understanding. So, I said, “ok, make your snowmen and see if you are right.”
As he was making them he would change his answer to “4” and then when he was done and counted he realized the answer was 5. Then I asked, “how many marshmallows would you need to make 6 snowmen?” He thought and said, “18.” Yes! Then he gobbled them up.
Our last experiment was from Science Mommy. http://www.thesciencemommy.com/2011/01/robot-snowmen.html in this post she teaches you how to make home-made clay. We made ours but I don’t think we stirred long enough because it was pretty mushy. We molded it and formed it into a snowman but he looked like he was melting immediately and it greatly frustrated R1. So, we’ve left the clay out while they nap and the boys will return and play in their clay in hopes of making a marvelous creation…
UPDATED/FINISHED SNOWMEN: check out these cute snowmen the boys made yesterday late afternoon. R1’s is top and R2’s fella is the bottom photo.
I ended our snowman fun with a super simple snowman snack. I saw the Ritz crackers laying out and took those, some butter, and raisins and told them to make them into snowmen. They did and they were pretty cute and fairly nutritious.
There are so many fun snow activities. Tomorrow is R2’s day with exploring “snow” so I won’t post the rest of my links until then.