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Weekend Links: screen-free winter fun activities and reading

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Blustery skies and cooler temps seem to be blanketing the U.S which mean people are spending more time indoors instead of out. If your youngsters have you frustrated by their version of boredom busting (electronics) maybe it’s time to introduce some screen-free, book-inspired winter fun activities. Enjoy!

There is nothing better than a message crown to make one feel like winter-y royalty. Check out this message crown activity I posted a few years ago that is still a popular one!

message crown

Educator’s Spin on It has a great post on Winter Activities for Kids 

winter activities for kids

Living Montessori Now has some great January Themed Activities for Kids 

montessori-inspired-winter-themes-and-activities

The Story of Snow by Mark Cassino celebrates the magic of snow through science, math, language arts, music, and visual art activities.  The Story of Snow uses a brilliant balance of incorporating photographs of crystals, pen & ink drawings, text for 3 different reading levels, and uncovering the mystery of snow. It serves equally as both a fascinating non-fiction journey and an inspiring nature art book. For those who love snow, The Story of Snow opens the door of awe and wonder of the magnificent wet stuff and takes us on a personal journey and loads of ideas for fun things to do.

Paper Snowflakes

paper snowflakes

When I think of snowflakes, I think of being a small child and cutting my very own out of paper. As a family we’ve spent countless hours doing the very same thing.

A Resource of snowflake patterns:

For small children who are learning how to use scissors or have just learned how to use scissors go to the snowflake creator here.

Here are eight simple snowflake patterns for ages 7 and up.

Here are 5 snowflake patterns good for ages 8 and up.

Here are 10 complex snowflake patterns for ages 9 and up.

Affirmation Snowflakes:: Letters from the Sky

 

Affirmation Snowflakes:: Letters from the Sky

snowflake affirmations

The Story of Snow ends with a quote from Japanese scientist Ukichiro Nakaya: “A snow crystal is a letter from the sky.”

Scientifically this is a true statement. Each snowflake will tell you what the temperature was when it was formed. How much moisture is there, and how it grew as it froze etc. All of the these great details are in The Story of Snow.

The ides of messages or letters from the sky got us thinking,wouldn’t it be great if we could catch snowflakes and save them for later ?

If we could, what would our messengers from the sky tell us?

Cut a few snowflakes from the instructions and templates above. Open up each snowflake and write a little message on it. I’ve given you some ideas below. Next fold them back up and put them in a jar. Each day pull out a snowflake and read it’s special message. You can also do this in reverse. Each day cut a snowflake and write a message then put it in the jar to pull it out again one day.

Affirmation Ideas:

  • I am awesome
  • I am very intelligent.
  • Learning is fun and exciting.
  • I have many gifts and talents.
  • I am unique and special.
  • My family, friends, and teachers love me for who I am.

Telling Time With Snow

snow clock

  • 12 x 12 white or  off white scrap-book paper or a paper plate.
  • Pencil and Ruler
  • Puffy Paint
  1. If using the scrap-book paper, trace a dinner sized plate onto the paper.
  2. Starting with the number 12 and then moving onto 1, draw the numbers like a clock in the circle.
  3. To make a 6 sided snowflake we need to draw 6 guide lines. Draw one line from 12 to 6, another from 10 to 4, and the last line from 8 to 2.
  4. Using puffy paint in the color of your choice.  Draw over the guide lines. Cover the ends of the lines in the center by making a little circle of puffy paint. Make a triangle at the top of each one and then some snowflake like designs working towards just under the triangle.
  5. Let dry.
  6. Hang on the wall, bulletin board, or fridge. Now we can honestly say it’s snow time.

Catch Your Own Snow Crystals

snow crystals

“Once a snow crystal lands, it starts to wither away. Snow crystals can’t keep growing after they fall from the clouds and soon breaks down. This means if you want to see a snow crystal, you need to catch it in the air,….”

You will Need:

  • A piece of dark cardboard of foam board. It should be about 8 x 10 inches. Make sure the cardboard is stiff enough to stay flat when held by one edge.
  • A magnifying glass so you can see the snow crystals better.

During the Snow Crystal Catching

  1. Put the cardboard or foam outside for at least ten minutes before catching snow. The board needs to be cold or else the snow will melt the second it hits the board. Make sure the board stays cold and dry.
  2. Gripping the board by one edge, hold the board out flat and watch as snow lands on it. If it’s snowing hard stand under a porch or patio so less snow falls on the board.
  3. Look at the smaller pieces of snow that land on the board. This is where you’ll find individual snow crystals. Use your magnifying glass to look at them closely.
  4. Once you’ve looked at them, shake off the board and try again.

Snow Storm in a Jar

snowstorm in a jar

What happens when you get a lot of snowflakes? A snow storm. Doing all of these snowflake activities had a wishing for a very large snow storm. Since one isn’t in the neighborhood, we decided to make one in the kitchen instead.

What you’ll need: 

  • A tall or fat glass jar or something similar
  • Baby oil
  • White paint
  • Water
  • Iridescent glitter
  • Alka Seltzer

Fill the jar 3/4 of the way with baby oil. In a bowl mix together very warm water and white paint to make white water. In a bowl place enough warm water that will almost fill the top of the jar. Add white paint to the warm water and stir well.  Once mixed pour the white water into the jar. Sprinkle in the glitter. Then wait for the glitter and water to settle at the bottom of the jar.

Once the water is settled it is time to make a snow storm! This is our favorite part !!! Take an Alka Seltzer tablet and break it into pieces. Have the kids drop the pieces into the jar and watch what happens.

Stay warm and read lots!

 

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