Thursday, December 22, 2011

Footprints in the Snow: A Movement Exploration Inspired by Winter

Winter Movement                                                                         
Hello EC Community,
It has been amazing to see the collection of ideas on this site, from so many different experts in the field.  One of my favorite things about movement is designing activities around different themes.  Winter provides endless inspiration for imaginative movement ideas.  The activity below addresses science, encourages creativity, and nurtures large motor skills.  Click here to go to the Rainbows Within Reach blog for my recent entries on the benefits of movement.

Footprints in the Snow is a movement exploration that can be done all at once for a 30-minute activity, or used in sections.  For example, the first part, walking in the mud and snow, makes a great transition activity.

A Movement Exploration Inspired by Winter

What You Need
1.               Space:  This activity is best done in a large, unobstructed space.  It also works in a smaller space with the children staying in a home spot while they respond to the movement prompts (if you have limited available space).
2.             Music:  A lively, upbeat musical selection, such as an excerpt from Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite, or similar selection
                Snowflake PropsMake snowflakes, one per child, out of white netting fabric:  Cut strips about 10" long and 4” wide.  Tie two strips together in a knot in the middle. You have a very simple prop, yet one that is fun for children to manipulate while dancing.
What You Do
To begin the activity, say to the children:
Have you ever seen the footprints you make with your boots when you walk in the mud or snow? Let’s imagine we are putting on our coats, hats, mittens, and scarves. We’re going to pretend that we can make footprints while we are walking. Try to follow my exact steps by imagining they are footprints.

While the children are following you, prompt their creative movement responses by suggesting different images:
  • ·      Let’s imagine we’re in the mud. I have to pull hard to get my boots out of the squishy mud!  Can you pull your boots out of the mud?
  • ·      Now the mud isn’t so squishy, and there are lots of puddles. Let’s stomp in the puddles! Look how much we are splashing!
  • ·      Uh-oh!  It is very cold and all of the puddles have turned to ice. Let’s ice skate!  Can you skate forward, backward, on one foot?  Can you turn? What patterns can you make on the ice with your skates?
  • ·      Now we’re in the snow. It’s slushy—slide your boots through the slush!
  • ·      Let’s imagine now that we’re in very deep snow. Can you lift your legs high each time you take a step?  Now let’s see what kinds of patterns our feet can make in the snow.
  • ·      Imagine you have a saucer sled.  Sit down and twirl around on your sled.  Now twirl the other way.  Here we go, down the big hill!
  • ·      Fall out of your sled, lie down, and make snow angels!  What other shapes can you make in the snow?
  • ·      Now, let’s each roll a snowball to make a giant snowman.  We will stack them one on top of the other.  Look at our giant snowman!  What should we do for his face?  Will he be a happy snowman?
  • ·      Let’s imagine now that we are all snow people!  What do you look like?  How does it feel to be a snowboy or snowgirl?
  • ·      The sun is coming out!  What will happen to us if the sun shines strongly on us?  That’s right – we will melt!  Everybody melt very, very slowly.  Imagine that you end up as a puddle on the floor!
   Reinforce the Ideas with a Dance to Music:  That was a fun journey outside through the snow.  Let’s finish this activity with a snowflake dance.  I will give everyone a snowflake, and you may dance with it.  Think about all of the things we have talked about while you dance:  footprints in the mud and snow, ice skating, sled-riding, snow angels, making and being a snowman, and melting.  Here are some new ideas:  When you dance with your snowflake, think of how a snowflake swirls through the air before it falls to the ground.  The wind takes it in many different directions -- up, down, sideways, swirling and twirling.  There are big, heavy snowflakes, and light, feathery snowflakes.  Which are you?  Dance about all those ideas!  (Pass out the snowflakes and play the musical selection).

Conclude the Lesson:  To finish the activity, tell the children that you will all make a blizzard by throwing the snowflakes up in the air on the count of three, and they will try to catch them.  Repeat this several times.  Ask them to each make their body into a final snowflake shape, and then slowly drift to the ground trying to hold that shape as long as they can.


 Stay warm, and keep on movin’!
Connie Bergstein Dow
I look forward to your visit to my website
Moving is Learning!


  1. I love that! Thank you. I'm going to try it in January.
    Grade ONEderful

  2. This is wonderful, Connie! I love creative movement activities, and your ideas and prop make for an awesome winter movement experience! I pinned your post to my Kids' Winter Activities Pinterest board at

  3. So fun! I can hardly wait to do this with my class! They love music and movement.:-)

  4. Love these ideas to get the little ones moving and creating interest in dance!


We would love to hear from you! Please feel free to leave a comment below....

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...