Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Nurturing Acorns--Winter

We started up our Nurturing Acorns preschool nature program this morning at Woodlawn Nature Center again. I volunteer with this program, along with some other great women. We started with sensory play in the shaving cream "snow". It was so interesting to see how the children interacted with the shaving cream. One would just put one little finger in it . . .

Eventually, we spread it out more and more. My idea was to write letters of winter words in it, like sled, snow, etc. We did our names and a few letters, but also created "snow tornadoes", snowmen, snowflakes, and just generally enjoyed playing with the shaving cream to see what it does.

Happy with her snowperson! 

Later, we read some snow stories, sang "Once there was a snowman, and did a mitten fingerplay, but no pictures because I was in charge. We read these selections, though there are many other good books out there! (Meaning, I wish I could find my library card!)


We explored different ways of making snowflakes with nature and recycled objects. We tried pine needles, sweetgum balls, and cut paper towel tubes. Each had a different effect. 

We also made plastic bag snowmen . . .

We filled these with snow when we went outside.

And watched to see what would happen.

We "painted" the snow with squirt bottles and colored water . . . 

The kids enjoyed their art! If the snow weren't all melting, you could drive by to see it!

We also filled up a bucket with snow for an activity inside later. I grabbed the plastic serving spoons on the way out the door, yet they were a BIG hit. Interesting how a tool can make such a big difference!

Then, we went on a winter scavenger hunt, finding melting snow . .

berries . . .

shadows . . .

footprints and tracks . . .

a frozen leaf . . .

"spray on" look . . .

icicles . . .

Inside, we made snowpeople out of bananas, pretzel sticks, raisins, and sprinkles.

After our edible snack we had "free time" to explore several activities and make them our own. We have new sensory bin items . . . what a winter wonderland!

Some even got a little silly!

I loved watching these two work together . . . they are probably 2 1/2 years apart in age, but in this multi age class, they could learn and work as a team. They were looking for snowperson parts in the snow.

The spoons were still fun with the snow inside.

This is a snow alien, but I also saw a snow pirate . . . they definitely made these their own!

We did a winter match up and "rolled" a snowman.

And made winter scenes with pattern blocks.

What a fun morning! We made new friends and were happy to see old friends. We missed other friends that couldn't make it back. The children made such interesting observations and told us how they enjoy winter, like ice fishing! I'm glad to hear that kids are getting outside on a regular basis, even though it's cold.

We had plenty of inspiration (or should I saw PINspiration?). Find our sources of inspiration collected on this Pinterest board. I am grateful for bloggers that share what they're doing! Feel free to try some at home OR come on out to Woodlawn Nature Center. We have a couple of spots left in our Nurturing Acorns group. Contact Woodlawn Nature Center or me if you're interested. On some Friday mornings (this one!), we'll also have an open play and story time with many of these activities available ($2/child, free for members). Hope to see you there!