R was 17 months old at the time of this activity
Weather Words and What They Mean by Gail Gibbons – Gail Gibbons writes many informative books on scientific topics and this is another great one! R liked to point at different pictures and would say stuff to me in her baby talk. I would name the object she was pointing at for her.
1. A Cup of Rain
I used two simple ingredients to make the snow! I used one box (4 lbs) of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda from my fridge and slowly added vegetable oil to it until the baking soda started holding form. I then stored it in the fridge until R was ready to play with it. I gave her an ice cream scoop and rubber spatula to explore with and promote motor skills. She loved scooping the snow from one bowl to the other and squishing it between her fingers! After the child is done playing, store the snow in a ziplock bag to use again and again!
a. Encourage Imaginative Play. Set up an ice shop with the child. Ask the child the following open-ended question: What do you need to start an ice cream shop? Have him/her add appropriate items and then use the snow as a part of the ice cream store.
b. Develop Literacy and Numeracy Skills. With the ice cream shop, encourage the child to label different flavours of ice cream with their names and add a price as well.
2. Resisting Snowflakes
I made snowflakes on white water colour paper with a white oil pastel (can also use wax crayons) and R painted over it with the blue water made by adding blue food colouring to water. This activity was met with lots of “wows” and “oohs” by R as the snowflakes revealed themselves. I encouraged R to make long brush strokes and brought her attention to areas that still needed to be painted.
a. Allow the child to draw his/her own snowflakes before painting with blue water.
b. Play a guessing game. Draw an object with white oil pastel onto a white sheet of paper. Slowly start revealing parts of the object and have the child guess what it is before it is all revealed. Take turns being the drawer and the guesser.
3. Snowy Sensory Tub
I used to use this tub with my kindergarten and grade one students and they loved it! The snowy filler is cotton balls and included in the tub are a variety of wintery items. Some of the items included are: plastic bulbs, plastic ornaments, jingle bells, plastic candy canes, wool mittens, and mini woollen stockings. R brought over her plastic bucket and she collected her favourite items in there. As she picked out items, I would name them for her and repeat the word a number of times.
a. Sorting practice. Add some non-winter items (such as leaves, sunglasses, a plastic flower, etc) into the the bin and have the child sort the items as winter items and other season items.
b. More Sorting Practice. Begin by asking the child to sort the objects in the big by size (or whatever feature you choose). Then have the child sort the winter items from the bin into two or more groups and have him/her describe his/her sorting rule. Did the child sort by colour, shape, or weight, for example?
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