Kid Activities
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Winter Inside Fun!

November 28, 2010 14:20 by Barbara Shelby

 

 

 Ideas for where it snows and where it doesn't snow!

IS IT SNOWING SOME WHERE --- BUT NOT BY YOU ???

You don't live in a snow-belt? Create your own arctic blast with movies and activities where you can pretend the world is your snow globe.

PLAN A SNOW THEMED DAY... 
     • Watch a movie that splashes snow across the screen: Snow Dogs, The Gold Rush, March of the Penguins, Groundhog Day (If kids are older)...Or any of the Disney Type snow movies...
 
     • Read snow-themed stories to the kids such as Mr. Popper's Penguins, The Snowy Day, The Snow Queen, Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs or The Snow Geese: A Story of Home.

     • Buy some fake snow to pile on a table so kids can create wintry scenes with tree branches, play figurines, and miniature houses.
 
     • Turn up the air conditioner and make some hot cider or cocoa to drink while decorating cookies with a winter theme. 
Read about Hot Cocoa Party Idea here!
 
     • Play a game such as in the
WINTER GAME CATEGORY...or some of the winter activities from this site!

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BRING THE SNOW INSIDE!

  • When you have a lot of snow and it's too cold to play outside, have the children help you fill large tubs with new snow and carry it in!

  • Fill your sensory table, large tubs, or a sink with the snow. The children can use gloves to play in it.

  • Variations include filling the empty sand table or other large containers with snow and then ADDING pre-made colored ice-cubes of different sizes.

  • So the children won't soil their own mittens, collect old mittens for them to wear while they play with the snow and the melting colored ice.

  • Another idea is to use water color sets and have the children use them in the tubs of snow. As the snow is painted the colors will blend!

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When working with younger children and using a sensory table try this fun idea for a winter theme!
FREEZE SMALL TOYS  IN ICE-CUBE TRAYS, and in various size containers; place them in the sensory table. Give the children plastic and wood mallets and have them chip away the ice to find out what is inside! Great fun and they'll be sure to rush to you to show you their "prizes"!

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DRIVING ON ICE
(This could be a winter science activity for young; however, the novelty of playing with cars on indoor ice is fun for many ages!)

Directions:
Fill three jellyroll pans with water and freeze.
Gather small match-box cars. You'll also  need spoons, salt and sand.

Have children try to drive the cars over the ice.

What Happens?
 
Spoon salt over one sheet of ice and sand over another.

     • What happens when the children try to drive the cars over these surfaces? 
     • What implications can be drawn for driving on ice?

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THE GOOD ELF! (A  WINTER 'RANDOM ACT OF KINDNESS' ACTIVITY)

1. Challenge children to do random acts of kindness for others for one day.
2. Advertise, post info, and make a big deal about the day!.
3. Tell youth that they are not to reveal that they have done these nice things and if someone should ask them, "did you put away the dishes...or games..or whatever..."? They reply, "Must have been a good elf".

This activity helps children realize we don't always have to be recognized when we do something for someone else. If playing with preschoolers or kindergarteners, you may want to send a note home explaining how parents can help.
I can't remember where I first saw this, but we do it every year! Cassie/Mi.

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HAVE A WINTER PICNIC!
 
This is a good idea for a full day program. Take lunch and blankets to a room where you usually don't eat. Play a Nature-Sounds or Winter Music CD.

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MAKE AN ICE MAN

Fill three balloons with water (one big, one medium, and one small). Let freeze overnight. Peel the balloon off and stack the balls (use salt between to help them melt and stick together. If you can keep him outdoors--- have kids clothe him, put a carrot nose, stick arms, etc. If it's warm, place him in your sink. Can you refrigerated him in-between?

 

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A SNOW DAY IN FLORIDA!

Living in Florida the children do not get to see snow. In our class though, snow arrives in January via potato flakes.

We suspend a tarp from the ceiling filled will potato flake (25 pounds.) As the teacher is telling the snowman story which she draws on the chalkboard, I slice the tarp at the appropriate time and it snows on the children. They each receive their own pail & shovel. Each child is dressed like a snowman by wearing white Glad garbage bags with the red draw string. The kids wear their gloves and hats and we turn the air conditioning on as low as we can. They have a ball! (A clever idea posted at  perpetualpreschool.com) 

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 CRYSTAL SNOWFLAKES (Science) 
1.  Cut a white pipe cleaner into 3 equal sections and twist it together to make a six-sided flake.
2.  Tie a string from point to point to form the pattern.
3.  Also, tie a piece to the top of one of the pipe cleaners and tie the other end to a pencil (This is for the snowflake to hang from)
4.  Fill a wide mouth jar, cup or glass with boiling water.
5.  Mix in Borax one tablespoon at a time (3 Tablespoons per cup of water) and stir it until it’s dissolved. (It’s alright if there is some settling.)
6.   If desired, add a little blue food coloring at this point to tint the snow flake.

Totally immerse the snowflake in your solution. Rest the pencil on the top of the container letting the flake suspend freely in the solution. Wait overnight and the next day the children will have a snowflake covered with tiny crystals.

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FAT KEEPS ANIMALS WARM! (Young Children's Science Idea

1. Fill a bucket with ice water and have the children stick their hands in it. They'll see that it is cold.
 
2. Put shortening (Like Crisco) in a plastic bag.

3. Place the shortening bag into another bag so that the children's hands don't actually touch the Crisco.
 
4. Have the children put their hand in the bag and stick it back in the ice water. It won't be cold because the Crisco serves as a layer of fat.
 
5. Talk about how the fat layer keeps animals -such as polar bears warm

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SING...


If you've spent some time on this site---you've seen the Hokey-Poky adapted to many seasons and themes.
Here is the "WINTER POKEY"!

Put on the children's winter clothing and do the
WINTER HOKEY POKEY DANCE...
 
Verses are:
1
. You put your mitten in, you take your mitten out
2. You put your boots in, you take your boots out
3. You put your coat in, you put your coat out
4. You put your hat in, you put your hat out
5. You put your scarf in, you put your scarf out
..........And that what it's all about!

Tip! This would make a great transition game before you leave for outside!

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Not quite sure where to place this idea...it's done inside~but gets you ready to go outside! Great for Pre-K and K...

PUTTING ON OUR WINTER CLOTHES
Sing to One Little, two Litttle Three Little Indians

First come your snow pants pull them on,
First come your snow pants pull them on,
First come our snow pants pull them on,
Are we ready to go? No!

Next come the tall boots put them on,
Next come the tall boots put them on,
Next come the tall boots put them on,
Are we ready to go? No!

Now comes your warm coat put it on,
Now comes your warm coat put it on,
Now comes your warm coat put it on,
Are we ready to go? No!

Next is your fuzzy hat on your head,
Next is your fuzzy hat on your head,
Next is your fuzzy hat on your head,
Are we ready to go? No!

Last are your warm mittens put them on,
Last are your warm mittens put them on,
Last are your warm mittens put them on,
Are we ready to go? YES!

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Read...SNOWBALL
by Shel Silverstein

I made myself a snowball
Just as perfect as could be.
I thought I'd keep it as a pet
And let it sleep with me.
I gave it some pajamas
And a pillow for it's head.
Then, last night it ran away,
But first it wet the bed!

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(A fun decorating idea)

FOOT PRINTS IN THE SNOW

  • Cut several of each child's foot shape out of black construction paper. 
  • Place white butcher paper on the floor and have children attach their foot shapes to make "footprints" on the white paper "snow". 
  • Leave "snow" attached to the floor for a path--or put up on wall and onto the ceiling!

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FOOD FUN!

FROZEN KOOL-AID

Give each child a gallon Zip-Loc bag filled with crushed ice. Then give them liquid Kool-Aid in a smaller bag. Add ice crème salt to the gallon bag and put the smaller bag in it. Zip up the large bag. Mush around the small bag... the Kool-Aid will freeze quickly.
When removing--be sure not to get any salt as you take out the frozen kool-aid.

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MAKE SNOWFLAKES TO EAT!

Ingredients: 
  • Flour Tortillas 
  • Oil 
  • Powdered sugar
Warm the tortillas slightly in the microwave so you can fold them. Next fold the tortilla into half, then half again. Cut out designs just like you were making a paper snowflake.
Put a small amount of oil into a skillet. Fry the tortilla in hot oil until crisp. (About 30 seconds on each side) Absorb extra oil on paper towel. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. (Note from Barb: I just made the three in the image. My husband R loved them! They would also be great sprinkled with cinnamon sugar or drizzled with chocolate syrup over the powdered sugar. Children would not be able to fry them- but they could fold and cut them into 'snowflakes'. They could also sprinkle on the sweeteners. R has asked me to make them again! Grandkids also love them...)

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SWEET FLOUR TORTILLA SNOWFLAKES (Bake Method)

1. Depending on the size of the flour tortilla..(this one is large and the above were smaller) Fold it in half--and then in half again.
2. Cut out a 'Snowflake shape'--just as you would using paper.
3. Place on non stick cookie sheet and lightly brush with melted butter.
4. Bake in a moderately hot oven for 10 minutes for a sweet and crispy treat.( (If the snowflake is large and a little thicker--it may need an extra minute. Take out of over when starting to crisp and look golden.
5. Sprinkle generously with powdered sugar. My grandchildren and husband like them also sprinked with a cinnamon/sugar mixture-- over the powdered sugar. Image by KidActivities.net)

NOTE: These can also be made using a snowflake cookie cutter! 

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IGLOO BLOCKS (OUTSIDE POPSICLE STICKS)

A fun activity during winter. Have children pick their favorite drink (fruit punch, apple juice, etc) and then pour this into an ice cube tray. Have kids write their name on a popsicle stick and place it in the tray. Last, put this outside and let it freeze (if it is not cold enough you can put it in the freezer) The children then have an igloo block for snack.

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FOR THE ANIMALS!


A TREE FOR THE ANIMALS

Decorate a tree in the woods or around you program property for the animals. Use fruit, vegetables, nuts and peanut butter on pinecones so the animals will have food to eat when it gets colder.

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WINTER NECKLACE AND ANIMAL FEEDER

You'll need:
Large needle
String or fishing line
Popped corn
Dried fruit; raisins, cranberries, apple and apricot
Pieces of orange peel (optional )

How to Make It:
Measure the length of line that you need to fit the necklace over a child's head. Don't forget to leave enough for tying off. Thread the needle and string the popcorn and other items alternately.
Children can wear their necklace for a while and then hang the necklace onto a tree or shrub for the local wildlife.

Tip: The orange peel adds a very pleasant scent. Put a bit of all natural peanut butter on the necklace before placing it outside. The oils and protein are great for the birds!

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OUTDOOOR CREATURE POPCORN WREATH

Cardboard wreaths
Peanut butter
Birdseed
Popcorn

Cut wreath shapes out of cardboard. Give each child a wreath and a plastic knife to spread peanut butter over the wreath shape. Put birdseed over the peanut butter covered wreath. Use spots of peanut butter to "glue" pieces of popcorn onto the wreath in a bow shape. Hang the wreaths outside where they will be seen---good for birds and other outdoor creatures... 

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FEEDER Materials: Lard, String, Pine cone, Birdseed
Tie a piece of string around the widest part of the cone.
Mix the lard and seed together, then press the mixture into the branches of the cone.
Use the string to tie the cone up in a tree pr bush for the birds to enjoy.

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FEED AND OSERVE WINTER BIRDS

What you need: An empty plastic milk or water bottle, or a milk carton, scissors, string, bird seed

(1) Wash the bottle or carton and rinse it well. Cut several small (2-3") holes in the sides, about 2" from the bottom. Cut or poke two small holes near the top and thread a long piece of string through them.
 
(2) Fill the bird feeder with seeds and hang from a tree or shrub. Scattering some seeds on the ground can help the birds find the feeder. Watch the birds. Be patient. Try different types of seeds and different locations. Record your observations.

 There are 17 Bird Feeder Ideas in the Bird Theme! Click Here...

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MEDIEVAL WINTER CELEBRATION

from Giraffe Lady in Saginaw, MI.

(Although Giraffe Lady celebrates this as a prelude to Christmas, this would be a great winter celebration theme in general!)

Instead of having yet another generic Christmas party, my students and I have a Medieval celebration. For the two weeks prior to the last day of school before winter break, we build castles out of boxes (and anything else we can find), decorate plastic goblets with jewels, make medieval style hats and brown butcher paper tablecloths that look like wood, and talk about life in the middle ages. (Last year we spent an hour and a half talking about the plague and what silly things people believed to be medicinal.) I even got brave last year and showed them bits and pieces of "Monty Python's Holy Grail" because it depicts the attitudes and customs of the day in a humorous way that (I was somewhat surprised to find) the student related to well.

Then, on the day before we break for Christmas, we have our "feast". We turn off all the lights and use battery-operated candles for light. We lay down the "wooden" tablecloths over the cafeteria tables and put some natural looking garlands down the centers of the tables. The students get a hard roll torn in half as their charger, and we serve them torn up roasted chicken (Meijer's are good, and they're only about $5 each), hunks of cheese, and oranges for dessert. They drink sparkling grape juice from the goblets they've made, and wear their medieval hats. The students get a somewhat healthy meal (or enough to serve as a snack) and they love the novelty of the entire set up.

 The first year we did this, it was supposed to be a week-long project for the 6th-8th grade group. They enjoyed building the castles so much that they spent two weeks on just that! I have done this every year since. 

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HAVE FUN WITH OTHER WINTER PAGES!

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