Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Fun Things to do With Toddlers - Snow Theme Activities

My husband and I have decided that we will most probably be home educating Boris and Biscuit in the future.  Of course home education doesn't start when a child turns three, or four or the term after their fifth birthday or whenever the local authority says it should,  Home education happens all the time and we are already doing it every day of the week. 
Sometimes, however, I get a bit overwhelmed and worried about the responsibility.  I don't want to let my boys down; neither of them go to nursery at the moment so their education is already solely in my hands, and I get all panicky that I am not doing enough and I don't know where to start, so I have joined a ton of Facebook groups for support and encouragement and to ask questions (What would I do without my beloved Facebook?).  One group I recently joined is called "Weekly book and activity challenge for HE".  Every few weeks they have a new book/theme to follow and members share photos of what they have been up to. I liked this idea because it gave me something to focus on with the boys, I was getting myself into a bit of a muddle. 
The first theme was The Snow Queen/Frozen.  So I borrowed a copy of the Snow Queen from the library, we watched Frozen and we did some snow themed activities.  Here are some of the activities we did.  This theme is totally still relevant, I was so hoping it would snow, but it wasn't to be, but it would be awesome to do some of them if it was also snowing outside. 

1. First we made little plasticine snowmen from plasticine that Boris got for Christmas, I did most of the building here, but Boris told me what colours he wanted for what and what clothes he wanted his snow people to wear.  I love that he made me make babies for them.

2.  The old corn flour and oil snow activity which we have done before only this time I used baby oil instead of rapeseed oil so our snow was white rather than the slightly peculiar looking yellow snow we had last year!
The mixture of the two ingredients (1 cup of each I think) results in a snow that is crunchy and mould-able, just like real snow, you could even put it in the fridge to make it chilly for the full sensory experience. 
I am not going to lie, this activity ended up with shouting and hoovering.

3.  Plastic snow confetti.  I bought this from the supermarket a while ago, not really knowing what to do with it, but thinking it might be fun for something, so just put it in a bowl and let the boys have a dig around, it did make a bit of a mess and had to go away when Biscuit started eating it. 

4. Snowmen skittles, what fun!!  Boris helped me to draw on some of the faces (cue Tim Burton style snowmen) and he stuck the noses on.  We stacked them up then sent them flying with a plastic "snowball".  A fun game for a while, but Boris found it more fun to break the polystyrene cups into bits when I was out of the room. 

5.  This was a pretty awesome activity, Boris and I dipped cotton wool balls in equal parts flour and water then baked in the oven for 45 mins.  He then hammered them to crack them open and broke the the coating with his fingers.  The sensory experience of opening the crunchy hard coating and revealing the soft fluffy centre is out of the world.  I am tingling just thinking about it, and even took some to my Bible study group, so they could share in the sensory wonderment.  I was hoping they would look more like snowballs when they came out, but they were a little browned.  (Again, called time on this activity because of eating)

6. Puffy Snowman painting - I made a mixture of shaving foam and a dollop of PVA glue and mixed it together to form the base of the "paint".  Boris scooped the mixture onto the black paper into some circle outlines I made and then we added the embellishments on together, buttons, bow, beads, boggly eyes etc.  The snowman looked great when it was finished, really fluffy like meringue.  Fascinatingly the next day the snowman had continued to puff up under the dried outer layer so began to look like he had gained a few pounds and even had some stretch marks!! Boris asked why and I replied "science".   When I was out of the room, Boris used the foam that was leftover to sty his hair.  
Four days later and much poking from Boris and it looks more like a sorry burns victim,and a little bit creepy.  We are still waiting to see if it goes crusty. 

So there you have it, four fab snow themed activities.  This week our theme is Space. 

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