It’s the first snowy day here in Nashville. Well, we got about three quarters of an inch of snow last night and it seems like most of it blew away while we slept. Nashville has pretty unpredictable weather when it comes to snow, so this may be it for the winter. County schools are called off. Feel free to laugh hysterically if you’re from up north. Because of the small amount of snow we get here, the county doesn’t invest in snowplows and only puts down de-icer on major streets, so to keep school buses from jack-knifing on black ice, they let the kids stay home. We’ll be having school today, but when that’s done, here’s some ideas to keep everyone busy.
My kids have already requested maple snow candy, which I’ve talked about before, but they still don’t get tired of it. It’s fun to read the Little House in the Big Woods chapter on making maple syrup and the sugaring off dance. This link has a little info about how New Englanders eat it and a cute picture of some little old ladies eating maple candy, dill pickles and donuts. I tried to collect a big bowl of snow last night for making the candy, but the wind was blowing so much, a good bit blew out of the bowl. I’m doubting my kids will be able to make any today, but if you thought to collect snow and put it in the freezer last night, good for you!
Something we made the other day that my kids really enjoy is goop or ooze. It’s easy to make, but it fascinates the kids. Here’s a link that gives more precise instructions. Add the water slowly; you may not need as much as it calls for. We made ours white, but then added a few drops of food coloring. After the goop was make it was difficult to get the coloring to mix in, but it was neat to play with the goop while it was all stripey. When you finish with this, please DO NOT pour down your drain. It can clog it up. Put it in the trashcan.
Something else to keep everyone busy would be making snowflakes. Yes, there are some outside, but everyone loves the surprise of white paper and scissors and what their design will turn out to be. This site shows the best way to fold the paper and gives some instructions for specific patterns. This site has patterns for preschoolers on up to very proficient scissor users, and even using coffee filters instead of regular paper. After your kids have burned up some energy cutting tiny paper shapes and getting them all over the floor, have them sweep them up with a broom and you can use them to make other art projects. A blue piece of paper covered with glue stick makes a great background to sprinkle those tiny paper cuttings on. Hang up the snowflakes and pictures and have an art show for Dad when he gets home.
Here is a melt the ice-cube game from a Montessori site I enjoy. This was for preschoolers and maybe kinders. Or head on over to Deep Space Sparkle, a site full of art projects from an art teacher. I’ve marked the page that lists all the “winter art.” She also lists by grade level, so check that before you start. A kindergarten aged child will get frustrated with a 6th grade project and a 5th grader may be bored by the kinder lesson. we did the white birch painting a few weeks ago and all the kids loved it. I had to help my 5-year old, but he still enjoyed it.
After that, read up on Snowflake Bentley, and look at his amazing work. Here’s a more modern photographer’s work. Marvel at the God who created each and every one of these snowflakes and created us too!