Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Let It Snow!

Last week, we did a fun snow program with homeschoolers at my library!  This was part of our Fantastic Friday monthly program for homeschoolers.  The bulk of the kids that attend are 5-8 years old, so we aimed the program at this age group.  And here's what we did:

We started off with a few stories.  We shared The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats and Snowmen at Night by Caralyn Buehner.  Since the craft we had planned was pretty involved, we only ended up sharing those two stories.  Others you might share include Winter Woes by Marty Kelley, Snow by Uri Shulevitz, All You Need for a Snowman by Alice Schertle, The Biggest Best Snowman by Margery Cuyler, and poems from Snow, Snow: Winter Poems for Children by Jan Yolen or Winter Eyes by Douglas Florian.

We also showed the kids photographs of actual snowflakes from the books The Story of Snow by Mac Cassino and The Secret Life of a Snowflake by Kenneth Libbrecht.  These books are great to have on hand because they show large photographs of beautiful snowflakes.  It's so neat to see them close up!

After the stories, we led the kids in making their own styrofoam snowman.  Each child got a 3"x4" styrofoam square (cut down from one big slab), 2 balls (one 3" and one 2" I believe), wiggle eyes, an orange "carrot" pipe cleaner, and 3 toothpicks.  We had all of that waiting for them in an individual baggie set out on the tables. 

Then on tables at the side of the room, we set out all kinds of STUFF.  Pipe cleaners in different colors, buttons, cloth pieces (cut up from flannel shirts donated by Goodwill for a project long ago), felt, cotton balls, paper scraps, string, and glue.  And we let the kids go to town.  They could design and decorate their snowman however they wanted.  I am a bit fan of setting out STUFF and letting kids be creative!  They used the toothpicks to put their snowman balls together and attach it to the base and then used pipe cleaners or glue to stick on clothes, appendages, etc.

This was a fun, creative craft that cost approximately 20 dollars for our crowd of 16 kids.  All we purchased were the styrofoam pieces and we used Junk From Our Craft Room to fill in the rest.  (I am also a big fan of using up Junk From Our Craft Room whenever possible.)

We've taken to putting together take-home packets for our homeschooler programs and this program was no exception.  In the packet, we included a recipe for snow ice cream, an internet article about the world's tallest snowman, and facts about snow from the National Snow & Ice Data Center.  I love giving them a take-home packet because if they want to expand on anything that we talked about in our program, they have some resources to get started!

And that was our snowy homeschooler program!  Anyone else done anything fun with snow this winter?  Have a favorite snow book that I missed?