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Oh, Snowy Day!

School canceled? With a little planning, and an eye on the forecast, you and your children can turn a day off into a themed learning adventure!
 

Learning Benefits

Hover over each Learning Benefit below for a detailed explanation.
Creativity

THEME: BLANK CANVAS

All that white stuff inspires creativity in your little artist.

7:00 A.M. - Using a dry-erase marker, window markers, or lipstick, draw a snowman on the bathroom mirror for your little one to wake up to.

7:30 A.M. - Whip up tortilla snowflakes for breakfast. Warm flour tortillas in the microwave and fold them in fourths. Cut a snowflake pattern in each, then crisp in a pan with a touch of canola oil until lightly browned. Then remove from heat and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar or powdered sugar.

8:30 A.M. - Make rainbow crayons! Gather old crayon bits and peel off the paper. Randomly mix the bits in a muffin tin and bake in a 200°F oven for 10 to 15 minutes. Place the tin in the freezer for about 20 minutes and then pop out the multicolored crayon chunks and start drawing.

10:00 A.M. - Read Snowflake Bentley by Jacqueline Briggs Martin, the biography of a man who spent his life photographing snowflakes under a microscope, or go to snowflakebentley.com to see some of his incredible close-ups.

10:30 A.M. - Pretend to be Snowflake Bentley. Chill black paper or fabric in the freezer for a few minutes, then take it outside and let snowflakes fall on it. Use your camera to capture the snowflakes before they melt. While you’re outside, take pictures of the scene around you. Look for things that stand out against the white — a tree or a brightly colored jacket, for instance.

12:00 P.M. - Prepare Bento box lunches by packing small servings of different finger foods, each in a small box or bowl. Chat about what each food looks and feels like. It’s a tasty exercise in color and texture.

1:00 P.M. - Make ice suncatchers. Fill a pie pan with water and put one end of a sturdy piece of yarn in the water, which you’ll use to hang the craft later. Add a few berries, evergreen twigs, or drops of food coloring. Put the pan in the freezer, or outside in a sheltered area. When the water has frozen, carefully remove the suncatcher and hang it from a tree. Watch it sparkle in the light!

2:00 P.M. - Watch the Harold and the Purple Crayon series on DVD or online.

BEDTIME - Read The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds, a book that celebrates the artist in everyone.

 

THEME: BOOK LOVER'S DELIGHT

Storytime from dawn 'til dusk!

7:00 A.M. - Ask your child to read Sugar on Snow by Nan Parson Rossiter, a picture book about maple sugaring, to you while you make breakfast. (If she’s not yet a reader, ask her to describe the images.)

7:30 A.M. - Cook Green Eggs and Ham, the most famous storybook breakfast of all! Add a bit of pesto to your eggs as you scramble them, and crisp up a few slices of bacon.

8:30 A.M. - Write a snow haiku, a three-line poem with a 5/7/5 syllable format that evokes the sensations of the season. (Examples at kidzone.ws/poetry/haiku.htm.)

9:30 A.M. - Read The Three Little Kittens, They Lost Their Mittens (find it at poetryfoundation.org/poem/176347) together. Then pretend you’re kittens as you search for your mittens. When you find them, go outside!

10:30 P.M. - Read Oliver Jeffers’s The Incredible Book Eating Boy, a goofy story about a boy who gets smart by swallowing books. Which would you gulp down?

12:00 P.M. - Have a picnic in your living room. You might base the dishes you prepare on those served in a book like The Teddy Bears’ Picnic by Jimmy Kennedy or We’re Going on a Picnic! by Pat Hutchins.

1:00 P.M. - Digitally record your child reading a favorite book and send it electronically to a grandparent or special friend.

2:00 P.M. - Head outside again and build snowmen based on your favorite storybook characters.

3:00 P.M. - Find as many words as you can in “snowstorm.” The winner gets to help make hot chocolate for everyone.

BEDTIME - Together make up a story about a skunk that gets lost in a snowstorm. Illustrate it together as you go.

 

THEME: LITTLE ENGINEERS

A yard full of snow brings out the builder in all of us.

7:00 A.M. - Invite your child to help you prepare “construction materials” (ingredients) with which he’ll build breakfast. Offer him a pencil and piece of paper so that he can draw up the blueprints for the English muffin snowman he’ll soon create.

7:30 A.M. - To make English muffin snowmen, toast muffin halves and place them on a plate like a snowman. Spread with cream cheese, add raisins or blueberries for eyes and buttons, a carrot sliver for the nose, and mini pretzel rods for arms.

8:30 A.M. - Build a bridge out of craft sticks and glue. When it’s dry, balance it between two chairs and see how much weight it can hold by stacking change or small toys on top of it, one item at a time. Make predictions first about how much it will hold — whose guess is the closest?

10:30 A.M. - Using boxes — shoe, cereal, etc. — and paint, design a village. Decorate the boxes to look like homes and shops, and make a base for them by painting a larger, flattened box with roads and parks. You can glue the buildings in place or leave them loose for rearrangement.

12:00 P.M. - Construct a pizza together, using store-bought or homemade dough and sauce. Can you put the toppings on in patterns?

1:00 P.M. - If the snow’s sticky enough, head outside and erect a fort. Try to include a few rooms and entrances. Otherwise, make an indoor fort using a table and a few blankets. Create dividers between “rooms” using pieces of cardboard.

2:00 P.M. - Read Katy and the Big Snow by Virginia Lee Burton. One small, brave plow saves Geopolis.

3:00 P.M. - Sculpt cookie bowls! Press cookie dough into the cups of a muffin tin and bake according to dough instructions. Then make ice cream together to serve in your bowls.

BEDTIME - In the bath, build a snowman out of bubbles. How tall can he get?

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