Circle time, sledding, and kitchen fun...
Remember when I mentioned that the kids have two favorite circle time activities this January? Here's the second one the daycare children were giggling about this morning:
The day is (insert weather) and the wind is bold;
Bundle up tight, you don't want to get cold!
Put on your coat and zzzzzzip it up tight.
Put on your left boot and put on your right.
Put on your scarf and put on your hat.
Now put on your mittens and clap, clap, clap!
Go outside and play, play, play,
Come back in and then we'll say:
Take off your coat that was zzzzzipped up tight.
Take off your left boot and take off your right.
Take off your scarf and take off your hat.
Take off your mittens and take a nap!
I think this circle time movement rhyme is a fun way to reinforce all the items you need to go outside and play in the snow (minus snowpants!), and the kids love the idea of putting on imaginary clothes, and most especially zzzzzzipping up the zzzzzipper! This poem is also nice because it helps the kids remember in what order to put their winter gear on.
After performing this poem, one of the children asked to do "Ring Around the Rosy," and everyone worked together so well I was able to step back and take a few pictures:
Speaking of winter gear, the temperatures finally allowed us to get back outside! Yay! The kids all enjoyed being out- they wandered all over the yard and investigated the variations in snow height.
Some of the snow has formed deep drifts and the bigger kids enjoyed the challenge of wading through them. Some of the drifts were about thigh-deep to the big kids. The smaller people focused on learning to walk over the snow where some of the grass was peeking through.
After a few minutes of exploring, I brought out the sleds and the children took turns riding in the sleds.
Riding in a sled is more of an acquired skill thank adults often realize; the littles need to learn to lean against gravity if the sled is moving over uneven terrain. Sledding is a great way for the children to learn more about where their bodies are in space- gravity pulls against them in ways they don't normally experience. I wish I could've snapped a picture when all three little people rode in the sled at the same time, but I wanted to stay in the moment with them. Some of the bigger kids got to do some solo rides down the hill. I guided them on how to position the sled, how to sit in it, and how to push off.
Once we came back in, we were ready for some quieter play. Our collection of kitchen accessories recently grew (thanks to the kindness of a neighbor whose children had outgrown these particular toys), so the children had lots of fun discovering new items. The children seemed to find a kitchen scale of particular interest, so we focused on it and had some early math fun. I asked the kids to find one heavy thing and one light thing in the room, and once we picked the items, we weighed them. We discovered that a bigger number on the scale means the object being weighed is heavy and a smaller number means the object is light. Interesting stuff!
Later in the day, we read one of my personal winter favorites, The Missing Mitten Mystery by Stephen Kellog. The pictures are detailed and vibrant and the story has just the right mix of relatable experience and imaginitive flight for a read-aloud. It was a super-fun day with just the right mix of active and restful activities!