Thursday, February 26, 2009

Celebrating Snow!

I did promise more details on the "Snow Day" planned for the end of our Catholic Schools Week celebration, so here it goes...

There is nothing more fun than playing in the snow on a snow day! Unless...the temperature is hovering in the single digits and outside your door the prairie winds are making it feel even colder! This fun and educational (shhh...don't tell the kids!) day was great because it combined all things snow with the cozy warmth of indoors!

All of my girls (okay, maybe with the exception of Baby Girl) love to decorate. So, before the festivities began, I gave them free rein with winter colored (dark and light blues, lavender, white and silver) streamers, tablecloths and table glitter. They did a fantastic job setting the scene.

As our guests arrived, we sent a group of adventurers outside to collect a container (labeled in ounces) full of fresh snow.

How much water is in 32 ounces of snow?

Once inside, everyone put their science caps on to try and guess how much water would result when all the snow had melted. Can you guess? It surprised us all. (I'll put the answer at the bottom after you've had a chance to think.)

We created a funny Mad-Libesque "Snow Day " story found in the December/January 2009 Intermediate issue of Mailbox magazine (You can buy these to start your own collection, but your local library probably carries them for free!)

Then, on to the motor skills portion of our program. A few simple (and I do mean SIMPLE) games were planned. The first was the Mitten Relay. Teams were picked and equally divided (not all of the preschoolers on the same team) and two piles of snow gear were set across the room. Racing against the clock, each team member had to get fully dressed in the winter wear and then take all their equipment off and pass it to the next person in line. Such fun!

Naomi and Candace wanted to go first. Not that they're competitive or anything. They get that from their father. Ahem.

Then the big girls had a go of it. Although my Ethiopian born daughter has become well-versed in all things snow, the jury's still out as far as Mr. T is concerned.

Mr. T--and I'd venture to say all the other boys--were much more interested in the next two games: Snowball Throw and Snowball Toss. Rather than unleash a torrent of snowballs flying around the Ark (at least not at my coaxing), we purchased styrofoam balls in a variety of sizes to use as *fauxballs*. A simple line of masking tape on the floor and a similar "X" several paces away marked the first target. The object was to land your fauxball directly on the "X". Not as simple as it seemed, and several children cried foul claiming my floor was slanted.

The Snowball Toss was basically the same game (my creative juices had ceased flowing at this point) except that you had to aim through a hula hoop and then land on the "X".

Mr. T was quite certain he had died and gone to heaven. He was full of his standard sucking up.

After all of our playing, it was definitely time for a fun, winter inspired meal! The girls helped create a menu a few days ahead of time. We decided to serve tacos where each child created their own "snowflake" tortilla (unsweetened) and "snowmen on a stick".

Snowmen and fruit. Who knew?

And finally, for dessert, the girls found a super-cute Snowman Cupcake recipe. I should have better gauged the difficulty level based on the video tutorial accompanying the recipe.

After a valiant try, we decided that this Snowman family would be complete with six members. As for the rest of their family, I am sad to say, they met with milder weather and an untimely demise.

During the apres-party, we finished up with a reading activity using the book White, Wonderful Winter. After reading the book, we brainstormed verbs that might describe winter activities and put them into a poem template. We also crafted a few paper snowflakes out of blue construction paper and after applying a glue-wash, added texture to them with table salt. All of our work graced the "display" area (a convenient wall on the side of the fridge) for several weeks to come.

As for the snow melting? Only 8 oz. of water remained after the snow (with a little help from modern technology) melted. Taking it a step further, we placed the water in an open container and left it on the counter with a sheet for the family to guess how long it would take to evaporate. Mr. T guessed 3 minutes while Candace assumed 100 days. I can tell you it was somewhere in between.

Anyone have a guess how long it took 8 ounces of water to evaporate on the Ark?


Sarah (JOT) said...

What a very fun day you had!!

Michelle said...

Sounds like so much fun! One year we made a skiing snowman cake: take a slice of cake covered with whipped cream, stack 3 marshmallows for the snowman and the skies were two pieces of red licorice.

+JMJ+ said...

You look like the happiest, funnest homeschool!!!!!!

Easter A. said...


coffeemom said...

Wow, next snow day, we are heading to your house!