Saturday, 9 January 2010

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!

The snow this year has been as thick as I've ever known it (I think it was this deep down south in '81). Consequently, I decided to concentrate less for the moment on the "Where do I live?" unit and improvise one on "Snow" (although I've not really planned it).

To begin with, I helped Iona make snowflakes out of pipe cleaners and wool, as we did last year at Sunshine Club. I twisted 3 pipe cleaners into a 6-pointed star, tied some white wool at the centre, then got Iona to help me wind it round and round them, tying it off at the top. After that, I squeezed PVA glue over it, and Iona shook blue glitter over it (while it was inside a box to reduce mess). She loved the shaking, and got upset when it was time to stop! The end result now hangs up in her bedroom, helping to make up for having to take the Christmas decorations down.

We have walked in the snow, with me explaining how the snow sounds and feels crunchy, and Iona has played a little in it, although at its thickest she didn't like falling on her hands and knees in the cold!

One of our most successful activities was making meringue snowflakes. I got the idea from the Disney FamilyFun website (, and while the mix was a bit too liquid to do more than simple 6-pointed star shapes, they were fairly easy to make, and very nice for us all to eat. Iona helped me to beat the egg whites (we don't possess a mixer, so it all had to be done by hand), and loved saying she was "mix"ing and also learning the word "whisk".

While doing this unit, I've taken the opportunity to expand Iona's counting from "one, two" to up to 6. She can't go beyond 3 yet, but it's been a good numeracy opportunity.

The unit has also gone well with the book I've started reading Iona at bedtime, which is a much simplified version of one of my all-time favourite books: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. The start of it features a lot of snow, so I'm able to refer her back to what we've seen and played in during the day.

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