Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Tot School Tuesday: Snow Days! (Part 1)

One of the advantages (and I supposed disadvantages) to homeschooling is that it can go on regardless of the weather.  Rain, snow, sleet, and hail... school must go on!  But, we do try to have some fun on crazy weather days.  We do not see snow too often here in Arkansas, but when we do the kids are VERY excited.  So, we like to take a break from "business as usual" and do some special activities.  (I have to admit, sometimes we have a "snow day" just because Mommy declares so!)  I keep a bin of "snow day, school day" activities on our shelves, that includes some of the following:

Sensory bins are a great activity, especially on "snow days" when children have so much energy!  It is wonderful to be able to turn that energy into some creative, learning play.  This sensory bin includes:
Psyllium Husk (for the snow)
Beads (that I cut off of broken play necklaces - to be hail, snow balls, etc.)
Cinnamon Sticks
White Cups
Winter Stickers
Pipe Cleaner Snowflakes
Vocabulary Words
I have found a great selection of printables at:
You can also find printables and lots of ideas at Education.com.

I try to print off and laminate different tot packs and printables as I have time so we always have an assortment on hand.  I like to laminate them so we can use them again and again.  Sometimes I can use the same printables for different activities.  "M" used to use the snowman letters to learn her alphabet.  This year I could put some of the snowman letters together so she could practice sounding out words.

Sometimes I make up my own printables and activities to match a skill we have been working on.  I printed out a picture of a snowman (that was missing buttons).  For "M", I had her add together two numbers to place the appropriate number of buttons.  "Boo" just placed as many buttons as the number I gave her.
 Our favorite rhyme is "Snowy Snowman".  The girls just love melting to the ground!  I like to use the "Penguin Family" to teach signing the numbers 1-5 and family relationships (brother, sister, mother, father).
"Snowy Snowman"
(Author Unknown)
I am a snowman made of snow (stand still)
I stand quite still at ten below.
With a big long carrot for a nose (point to nose)
And worn out shoes to make my toes (point to toes)
I have two apples for my eyes (point to eyes)
And a woolen coat about this size (measure with hands)
I have a scarf that's warm and red (grab neck)
And a fanny hat upon my head (tap hands on head)
The sun is coming out... Oh dear! (look worried)
The sun is melting me I fear (slowly sink to floor)
Oh my, I was so nice and round,
Now I'm just a puddle on the ground! (sit or lay on floor)
"Penguin Family"
(Author Unknown)
One royal penguin feeling very blue (hold up one finger)
Called for his brother then there were two (hold up two fingers)
Two royal penguins swimming in the sea (swimming motion)
Called for their sister then there were three (hold up three fingers)
Three royal penguins waddle on the shore (waddle)
Call for their mother, then there were four (hold up four fingers)
Four royal penguins learning how to dive (Make diving motion)
Call for their father, then there were five (hold up five fingers)
 I collect some books from around the house that are winter/snowman/penguin related.  Some of these are cute baby/picture books geared towards our youngest, and others are more scientific.  We love reading books with puppets!


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