Two Ingredient Snow Dough

Winter in our state is incredibly short-lived. For example, it is currently the middle of January and the thermostat in my car claimed the temperature had reached 67 degrees the other day. This is a far cry from the cold, dreary, and very icy Januaries I grew up with in the Chicago area. Here snowfall happens once, maybe twice, a year and lasts about a day. Usually, we can’t even classify the phenomenon as snow. More often than not it’s a sort of sleet that coats our roads with ice, causing everything to shut down.

As I planned our Five in a Row curriculum schedule back in May, I figured I would place the book Katy and the Big Snow at a random week in January. If I were still living in the Midwest, I could easily assume that any point in the winter would be an appropriate time for a snow-themed week, considering that there is almost always a white powder on the ground. Down here in the south, however, I had to take my chances. The best bet would be sometime in January.

Similar to last year when we read The Snowy Day, it just so happened that on the week we were scheduled to read a snow themed book, we received our 24-hour snowfall. I was overjoyed about the timing.

I love snow days, especially now that I’m living in an area where snow isn’t common. The way it softens the loud hustle and bustle of everyday life is dreamy, and I’ll admit that I love an excuse to spoil my kids. When snow happens here, it shakes up schedules and brings a different atmosphere to the house. It’s a special occasion of sorts, therefore rules can bend and we concentrate on making our day cozy and memorable.

To be completely honest I fed my son way too much sugar that day. We began the morning with honey since I normally allow him an activity that involves drizzling the shape of letters onto a plate whenever he is ready to progress in Hebrew. The idea is that we want to instill our children with how sweet G-d’s word is, so we offer them a taste of honey while we learn a Biblical language.

After doing school work, we went outside to play in the snow, where we built Hudi’s first real snowman (usually we don’t get snowman worthy snow, so this was pretty exciting). Naturally, hot chocolate followed after, topped with whipped cream and sprinkles, of course. As a continuation of our  Tale of Peter Rabbit week, we dabbled in English cuisine and baked delicious raspberry lemon scones. To finish out the night we had one last treat that is a snow day tradition in our home: snow cream.

It was a wonderful snow day and perfect for our snow week lessons. When planning a schedule for our curriculum, I can only guess when snow-themed books will work for us, and for two years in a row now I was excited to discover that I guessed right. I was, however, prepared to move forward with or without snow. If there wasn’t snow outside, we were going to make our own snow inside.

Even with the experience of having real snow on the ground, my kids were getting stir crazy once they got tired of playing outside. Having the materials needed for fake snow was a life saver, as it kept both my four year old and one year old occupied for quite a while. Having the real stuff was great, but making pretend snow in your kitchen is pretty intriguing as well.

The directions are simple. In a large bowl or container, mix 1/2 cup of conditioner with 3 cups of baking soda. Include toys such as trucks, cookie cutters, plastic forks, and anything you would normally give your kids to use with play-dough.

This was a fun and relaxed winter themed sensory activity that captured the attention of both my 4 and 1-year-old. They even played together, which I love to see! Clean up was a bit more of a challenge, but nothing a vacuum couldn’t handle.

Definitely worth it for the time it occupied their interests.

 

Window Bag Painting

There are a number of things my son really enjoys. The list includes art, mess, light, sensory play, and looking out of windows (if he’s not playing outside).

I’m going to be completely upfront in saying that today was one of those days where I really, really didn’t want to clean up paint spills. Those who know me can imagine how stressed I must have been, because normally I’m all for at least one messy activity a day.

So how did I handle the struggle of nap time? I combined the art, light, sensory play, and windows that I mentioned above….minus the mess.

It was incredibly simple and kept my son entertained for a good while, which gave me the chance to take a deep breath. The set up was as simple as pouring paint into a zip lock bag (some with one color, others with multiple colors), taping it to the window with duct tape, and letting him squish around the paint.

This project works a lot better when you choose a window that catches the sun well, since the light coming through the paint and makes a sort of stained glass effect.

It was a lot of fun watching him, and even I became enchanted with squishing the paint around to make various designs.

Pipe Cleaner Fine Motor Activity

Once again I was in search for a new activity that promoted fine motor development. In all honesty it’s kind of scary how coordinated my son is when it comes to his fine motor skills (I don’t know how long certain child proof measures will last…), but that’s all the more reason to find something that occupies his little fingers.

Here’s an activity that’s  super easy to put together, appropriate for quiet time, no mess to clean up afterward, and encourages fine motor coordination.

It is as simple as a pile of pipe cleaners and a colander. Not only was my son intrigued by the challenge of putting the pipes through the holes, but he also discovered that it makes a silly hat as well!