Friday, December 28, 2007

Winter Wiggle Breaks


Got a storytime to do for preschoolers or kids who have been trapped indoors too long?
Storyteller Karen Chace asked for ideas for an upcoming winter program. I brainstormed a little and came up with these. Remembering the snowy days with my grandchildren in December prompted some ideas.

Snowball Patch
Have the children pick up imaginary snow, make snowballs, and then build snow forts. Have children form a circle. Put "Susie" in the center and circle around as you sing this song, modified from Paw Paw Patch :

Where oh where is dear little Susie
Where oh where is dear little Susie
Where oh where is dear little Susie
Way down yonder in the snowball patch
Stop the circle, and start making imaginary snowballs

Picking up snow and making snowballs
Picking up snow and making snowballs
Picking up snow and making snowballs
Way down yonder in the snowball patch
Start stacking snowballs to make pretend snow forts.

Stacking up snow balls, gonna make a snow fort
Stacking up snow balls, gonna make a snow fort
Stacking up snow balls, gonna make a snow fort
Way down yonder in the snowball patch
Get back in the circle and go around again, putting another child in the center.

Come on boys, let's play with her
Come on boys, let's play with her
Come on boys, let's play with her
Way down yonder in the snowball patch
Continue for as long as you can stand it!

Another activity is to have children stand up, then pretend to "slide" on ice

Sliding
You're going to fall!
(have them sway back and forth, waving their arms like they are trying to regain balance).

Slide on one foot!

Slide on two feet!

Slide backwards!

Slide bent over!

Slide with a partner!

Slide in a circle!
(join hands and "slide" around in a circle)
Sit back down!


Build a Snowman
This game relies on imagination. Have children pretend to:

Roll the snow to make the BIG bottom ball of the snowman.

Roll the snow to make the second ball of the snowman.

Roll the snow to make the snowman's head.

Now:
Stack the snow
Smooth the snowman
Stick in eyes, mouth, and carrot nose,
stretch tall to put on his hat.
Do the activities slow first, then fast, then faster.

(That is a big snowflake on my camera lens, not a hole in the picture. Our snowman looked mildly manic by the time we were through with him--then the next day we found that their dog had practiced his aim on our creation, leaving yellow snow!)
You could add a song to this activity, based on the melody of Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush

This is the way we roll the snow, roll the snow, roll the snow
This is the way we roll the snow, we're making a snowman!
This is the way we make his body, make his body, make his body
This is the way we make his body, we're building a snowman!
This is the way we make his head, make his head, make his head,
This is the way we make his head, we're building a snowman!
This is the way we stack him up, stack him up, stack him up
This is the way we stack him up, we're building a snowman!
This is the way we make his face, make his face, make his face
This is the way we make his face, we're building a snowman!
This is the way we put on his hat, put on his hat, put on his hat,
This is the way we put on his hat, we're building a snowman!

Websites:
Author Jan Brett offers stories, games and activities about snow on her fantastic website for children.
Links to all sorts of snow information and activities at Kennesaw State University's snow page.
Books about snow activities:
Winter Day Play! Activities, Crafts, and Games for Indoors and Out by Nancy F. Castaldo offers all sorts of fun for snowy days.
ISBN-13: 978-1556523816
The Kids Winter Handbook by Jane Drake, Ann Love , and Heather Collins (Illustrator) has more things to do and see in winter.
ISBN-13: 978-1550749694
Discover Nature in Winter: Things to Know and Things to Do by Elizabeth P. Lawlor and Pat Archer (Illustrator) introduces children to the wilder side of winter--stargazing, winter shrubs and trees, animal behavior and more.
ISBN-13: 978-0811727198

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