I hope that everyone is staying warm where they are! As I sit in my living room watching the snow continue to fall, it got me thinking about what a wonderful language opportunity this is. As all of you know, I’m all about using every day situations to foster speech and language rather than structured activities. There’s no better way to learn than to dive right in! So, as everyone on the East Coast hunkers down, I thought I’d leave you with a few snow day activities.
1. Build a snowman. Encourage your child to use their imagination as they pick out different parts of the body. What can they find in the house that is round like eyes or long like a nose? Does their snowman need ears to hear? Or a mouth to taste? Use this opportunity to work on identifying body parts and adding descriptors (cold, red, soft, hard) to words. Once you’re outside, talk about rolling and patting to work on following simple directions.
2. Create Snow Angels. Talk about how cold it is to lay down. Once you lay down, move your arms and legs up and down and in and out. Does your angel need eyes and a nose too?
3. Have a snow ball toss. First build your arsenal! Count your snowballs as you roll them up. Add the piles of snowball together for a quick math activity. Too cold outside? Have a snowball toss inside. Use imaginative play with cotton balls for a much warmer battle!
4. Make hot chocolate. Including kids in the kitchen targets a variety of skills. Following directions and use of verbs such as rolling, mixing, cleaning, opening, closing, just to name a few. Also, research has shown that having kids help you prepare a meal or snack increases the likelihood that they will eat or drink it. This is great news for picky eaters or kids with a limited list of accepted foods. Read more about this here.
5. Cut out snowflakes. Make sure to have adult supervision while using scissors. Patterns for snowflakes can be found here and here. Use this activity to target following directions and talking about how each snowflake is unique.
6. Snow ice cream. Yumm! Find a recipe here.
7. Snow art. While I love looking outside and seeing all white, I also miss the bright colors of summer. The white canvas is a great background for snow art. Mix food coloring and water in a spray bottle and go to town outside! How does the picture look different if you spray close to the snow vs. far away from the snow. Will the colors change as the snow melts and they mix together?
8. Bake cookies. Here is my favorite cookie recipe. Don’t have all the ingredients? Make some pretend cookies. Cut out “sugar cookies” from construction paper and decorate away with markers. Prefer chocolate chip cookies? Use brown construction paper and draw on some chips. Whose cookie has the most chips?
9. Build an igloo in your living room. Pillows and blankets and sheets, oh my! Once you build your fort, you can sit inside with a flashlight and tell stories or play a board game.
10. After a busy day out in the snow, all those little brains (and parent brains!) need some rest. Snuggle up with a good book and take a nap in your igloo! Here are two of my favorite books that talk about snow.
Remember, always have fun and keep talking! What are your favorite snow day activities?