KinderKapers and I am ready to get all those little ones up and moving and outside. The book that inspired my blog name says that all the animals were dancing their merry Christmas Capers. I want to see all our kinders out and dancing some merry kapers of their own. But how do you do that in the winter?
You model, model, model. If you want your kids (students or your own children) to be active, you have to be active with them. No groaning or complaining when it is time for outside recess duty. Dress for the weather and show the kids how fun it can be.
Let's start with how to dress for the weather. Layers. That is the key. If you are in a very cold and snowy place allow extra time in your schedule for getting those layers on. Snowpants and boots are a must if you live where the kids come to school with snow on the ground. Your students also need a good coat, hat and gloves. Is it hard to keep track of that stuff?....yes. Is it hard to keep it dry?....yes. Is it healthy for kids to be outside in the cold?....YES!!
It is a little different dressing your own children for outside play, but the general rules are the same. You can't control what parents do, but you can encourage. For school time clothing, layers are nice because when you are in the classroom you can let your students shed a few layers during the day and they can put them back on for recess, outside activities, and the walk home. Yes....I did say outside activities. You can and should encourage outside learning opportunities.
As you think about outside learning activities you need to be aware of the preparedness of your students. Don't go beyond their readiness to be comfortable in the cold. If I can count on there being snow, I plan ahead and send home a note telling parents I need them to send their kids with boots and gloves and warm clothing. They will be going outside. If you need to, help teach your parents how to be happy and safe. KidsHealth.org has good information to share here and here.
How can I help those who don't come prepared? I have a few pairs of extra gloves and plastic bags over shoes, and then we hurry through activities and break them up if students are getting too cold.
What activities can we do?? Some are planned out ahead. I usually know what we will be doing and when we will:
build a snowman,
|Build a snowman. Then write a simple how to story.|
|My favorite book to act out.|
|No snow for us yet this year, but here is a picture from Ezra Jack Keats' The Snowy Day|
|Better picture to come after we conduct our experiment on Monday|
Other activities I just need to be ready because you need fresh snow to catch and observe snowflakes, you need lots of fresh snow to make snow cream. Those activities come up sort of on the spur of the moment and I want to be ready to take advantage. I have magnifying glasses in my classroom and you just need cold dark paper or fuzzy fabric (like hats, gloves, and coats) to catch those snowflakes....but look fast!
For snow cream I bring sugar, vanilla, and evaporated milk from home and just keep it in my closet.
What can you do if you have no snow?? WHAT???? NO SNOW!!!! Easy....make your own.
I learned of this great recipe just before Christmas. You can bet we took advantage of that!
|Our elf brought this in December.|
website for information on the science of snowflakes.
It is always good fun to throw in some snowy art.
And a poem or two.
|This wonderful rhyming poem is from my favorite author (my mom).|