Monday, January 19, 2009

Paige's Wintry Morning

Paige and Noel enjoyed a winter hike together at Lapham Peak (part of the Kettle Moraine State Forest out towards Delafield). She's walking now, so it won't be long before Dad has her on cross-country skis!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Jelly Bean Eyes

Look who's enjoying inside snow play! Kay emailed me this photo of Peyton and his mini snowman! Jelly beans for eyes, push-pin buttons, that a Mr. Potato Head hat??? Great ideas! With our latest mini snowman, we used whole cloves to make a mouth and toothpicked-raisins for eyes. If you have any interesting snow play photos or ideas to add to the mini snowman concept, be sure to email me!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Inside Snow Play

With more snow on its way, I wanted to share a fun activity my daughter and I have enjoyed since she was a wee babe...

Playing outside in the snow is ideal. However, there are those days when you may not have the time or energy for the big bundle-up. So, bring the snow INSIDE! Fill a large shallow container with snow, gather some cups and spoons; and allow your little one to scoop, fill, and dump. Babies will enjoy the simple activity of touching and squishing the snow. A great sensory experience for all ages, and a wonderful way to reinforce the concept of MELTING! Susan and Nile tried it, and give it their endorsement!

As an extension of this, bring in a fresh batch of snow and quickly form it into a mini snowman. Put the snowman in the freezer while you find fun things from inside to decorate him: scraps of felt or material to make a scarf, cut the toe part off of an old colorful sock for a hat, ball-up small pieces of aluminum foil for eyes, widdle a tiny piece of carrot for its nose. Place him outside on a windowsill or in a window box where it will be easy for you and your little one to view him from inside.

Then cuddle up and read a great snowman book such as Snowmen at Night by Caralyn Buehner. What a magical, imaginary explanation for why snowmen look different the following morning! Be sure to check on your mini snowman daily to see how he has changed. Something about the small size and close proximity make for a much more intimate child/snowman relationship than the traditional version!

Enjoy the snow!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Winter Warm-Up!

Rage against what is potentially the bleakest month of the year by joining us for some rhythm, rhyme, and repetition. All through January we'll celebrate the joy of winter by...

On a Wintry Morning by Dori Chaconas
The First Day of Winter by Denise Fleming
When Winter Comes by Nancy Van Laan

Our counting song, "Ten snowflakes floating to the ground...icicles melting in the sun... snowballs flying through the air..."
For some active fun, get ready to march and bounce to "Knees Up Mother Brown!"

FINGER PLAYING: In honor of snowmen everywhere...
"Three Balls"
Here's a ball, (make ball with thumb and index finger)
And here's a ball. (make ball with arms stretched out in front and fingertips touching)
A great big ball, I see! (put arms up and touch fingers over head)
Shall we count them?
Are you ready?
One, Two, Three! (make all three balls in succession)

Finally, available after our group session, we'll have plenty of winter themed books for you to read with your child including, one of my favorites from childhood, The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats.

Looking forward to seeing everyone!