We finally had a decent snowfall on our playground a couple of weeks ago. We had so much fun playing in the snow our first morning back that we stayed outside for almost an hour and a half. It was a beautiful sunny day and the children, teachers and working parent were all dressed properly for a long time outside. Luckily the parents of our students know that we go outside every single day, twice, unless it is below 22 degrees or pouring. They are terrific about dressing their children for the weather AND packing extra clothes as we get wet and muddy!
One of the many things the children did during this time is to build snow creatures on top of our snow covered picnic tables. I think it was sparked by the mother who was working that day as she started playing in the snow with them, but then their imaginations took over and they started really embellishing their creations.
They hunted for nature items and used objects from our outdoor kitchen to decorate their creations.
Then I brought out a collection of materials from our art center; pipe cleaners, feathers, marker tops, buttons, wooden sticks, mosaic pieces, and more.
We had a snow pig.
A snow deer.
Some snow friends.
A snow princess with a beautiful dress,
A snow bunny with his fluffy tail.
It was wonderful how the children built together on top of the tables and made such different creations despite working so closely to each other.
It was also interesting to see them creating tiny sculptures so different than the large typically built snowmen. I think this was due to working on top of a table.
When we went back inside, I tried to find one of my favorite snow stories, Snowballs by Lois Ehlert, as this would have been a perfect tie in to what they had just done, but the book had been borrowed and was not in the school.
This long morning outside was not in my plans; that story was not planned for that day; but when an opportunity for learning, discovery, exploration and enjoyment of nature comes along, we need to be flexible and seize the day!
I hope that you are able to experience snow where you are this Winter. If so, be flexible and embrace it, play in it, celebrate it, create in it and enjoy it. It melts all too soon.