Saturday, January 3, 2015


Happy 2015!  Are you ready for a new year?  A brand new slate....fresh, clean and ready to be filled with golden opportunities and wonderful adventures!
This is Terri Izatt from 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. 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.
 act out stories,
My favorite book to act out. 
make snow angels,
No snow for us yet this year, but here is a picture from Ezra Jack Keats' The Snowy Day
 learn about how matter changes by freezing water in a small jar.
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. 
True confessions...this is not my picture, but mine looks just like this when I have enough snow to make it.  Second confession....there is no real recipe.  I just add milk (evaporated, cream, or even regular), vanilla and sugar until it tastes like ice cream.  It is about 1 cup milk, 1/2 cup sugar, 1teaspoon vanilla.  Then I add enough snow to make it the desired thickness.  You really can't go wrong.

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. 
All you need is shaving cream and baking soda.  I gave each student about 1/3 cup of baking soda and covered it with a good squirt of shaving cream.  We tried mixing them in the cups, but ended up finishing it in baggies.  Then just for a little extra fun because this snow is made with baking soda, you can spray it with vinegar and it will fizz.  Exploding fun is that?

You can make your own snowflakes and have an indoor blizzard hanging from your ceiling.  Martha Stewart has some great directions here.
You can also check out this website for information on the science of snowflakes.
You can learn about Snowflake Bentley and how he captured snowflakes with photography.

You can have an indoor snowball fight (and target all kinds of skills).  Just give each student a square of paper and have them write a word, a math problem, a letter, then wad that paper up into a ball.  One, Two, Three....GO!  Have them throw the snowballs at you, each other, a target, or just up in the air.  Now collect the snowballs and take turns reading the words, solving the math problems, giving words that begin with the alphabet letter.  It is all in good fun and it is all about the learning too.
I have a game in my TpT store for free called snowball fight.  You play it with snowballs and a hat, cup, or mitten.  Take your snowballs, count them, then someone gets to hide those snowballs in the hat.  It is the job of everyone else to figure out how many snowballs are hiding.  You can download the game and recording sheet here.

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).
Have fun in the snow and with the snow.  From my class to yours....we {heart} winter!

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