It has felt like a really cold year so far. The one advantage to the cold is that we can explore fun ice and snow activities. I am a summer girl and much prefer hot days and sitting in the sun. All this cold and wet and windy weather has been frustratingly long. So, with this cold front coming in (and believe me I’m already feeling it) I decided to show J the fun side of cold days…
Hunt for ice
We went for a walk around the garden to find any ice. With all the rain we’ve been having there was plenty of water in pots and toys. We found it in the washing up bowl on the outdoor kitchen, bottom of the slide, back of the play car. One of J’s favourites was when we found the balls had frozen on top of a tub of water and made funny patterns. It’s a great chance to talk about patterns, shapes and size (all maths based skills).
We talked about the science behind ice. J found a leaf that was trapped in a block of ice. We talked about how to get it out. Once J had satisfied himself that we couldn’t just pull it out he said “don’t know”. I suggested putting it in the sunshine and seeing what happens. After a while of playing Star Wars (we were hunting for the rebels) we went to check and J found “water”. I introduction key words such as melting and freezing. It’s a great concept activity and chance to bring in new language.
I scooped out the ice from the washing up bowl and put it in a tray. Now J usually avoids paint like the plague. I wondered if being outside and in a different form that he might give it a go. He is generally a nosey/curious child. He came over to see what I was doing. He spent about 2 minutes (if that) painting onto the ice. He was silent but looked really fascinated and focused. It’s the most ‘creative’ artwork he’s done in a very, very long time. So I’m pleased and even took a photo so I can put it on the fridge.
I have filled up three pots with water and food colouring. We have left it outside to freeze overnight. Tomorrow I will tip the ice blocks into the tub and we can explore what happens. My aim is for the colours to mix, make patterns etc. We can mix them, feel them and generally explore freely. Sometimes having a fixed ‘aim’ limits the activity so this is truelly open to being anything J wants it to be.
(Edit: here’s today’s update. J loved using hot water to melt holes in the ice)
Snow animals pretend play
Julie over at Pondering Parenthood shared with me her great idea using snow animals and ice. This activity was originally done with ice cubes from the freezer but now we have this cold weather then you either take the animals outside or bring some snow and ice indoors. This game is great for imagination skills and exploring the natural world. There’s opportunity to introduce new words, talk about how animals live etc.
If you need more inspiration for what to do with all the ice and snow then check out my Cold Weather Activities board on Pinterest. What activities are you hoping to ty, or do you plan to hibernate until spring?