Tracks in the snow

Tracks in the snow

Recently we’ve focused on tracks.  Its been so cold here (like -40C) so we’ve been a bit confined to the house, maybe not the best time to be looking for animal tracks but fun none the less.

Child Tracks

To start we made our own tracks.  I set up a sort of foot print making assembly line and had the kids take turns going across it.  I placed a bucket with black paint at the start, followed by a long sheet of paper and then a damp towel at the end for clean up.  The kids had a blast and have asked to repeat the activity since then.  My daycare families really appreciated the finished products as well.

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Animal tracks in play dough

I made a batch of my usual cooked play dough and left it white to resemble snow.  I then had the children flatten it and make marks with some little toy animals.  What was really cool is that some of the animals actually made accurate tracks.  Once the kids were done exploring the prints they went on to some imaginary play- creating homes for the animals and people, and starting up a bit of a dialogue and story line.

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Matching Game

There are so many great resources on-line and so I searched around and found some animals and their matching prints.  I glued them onto construction paper and shuffled them up creating a matching game.  You could also have the kids make a little book with one or two animals per page.

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Animal Track Painting

Using the same animals as the above play dough activity we made paint prints.  I set up a tray of paint with the animals and let the children explore.

Nature Walk

The best activity is a walk if the weather permits or you live somewhere that animals cross often.  We have found the usual cat, dog and people tracks so far.

Well it was a pretty fun week spent indoors, hopefully things will warm up soon.    Happy tracking!

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Winter Crafts

My December was quite busy with work and other obligations and I found I didn’t have the time to blog, so here are a few things we worked on that didn’t make it to my site earlier this winter.

Paper plate Snowman 

This is a pretty quick craft to set up and you most likely have all the materials at home.  I stapled two plates together and pre-cut some arms, nose and hat.  I also found some buttons and yarn for a scarf.

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Snowy Tree

This is another easy one.  I pre-cut a tree, glued it to a plain paper and gave it to the children with a pile of cotton balls and a small dish with liquid glue.

 

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Snow Clay Ornaments

I found the recipe for the clay over at Growing A Jeweled Rose and after making the clay I gave the children some cookie cutters and some random things to decorate with.  I used a straw to punch the holes and then we waited a few days for them to dry.  After they were dry I painted them with a coating of glitter glue and glued on any decorations that fell off.  They really made beautiful Christmas ornaments but really this recipe could be used for any holiday.

 

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Gingerbread Men Ornaments

A fairly similar activity to the above is our gingerbread men.  I used our chocolate squirrel dough but found I needed to add a bit more flour as it was pretty wet.  You could make and remake as many people as you wish but we were making gifts so we were looking for a finished product.  Again use some cookie cutters and decorate with whatever you wish.  We used beads and buttons.  For the youngest of our group I left the dough in the cutter as she pressed a little too hard/deep with the buttons and lost the shape of the man altogether.  You could air dry the men but I ended up speeding up the process by placing them on a lined baking sheet at the lowest temp of my oven for about 30mins, it didn’t fully dry them but at the same time it also didn’t melt the plastics.  I didn’t poke holes this time, instead we hot glued some rope at the top.

 

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Bubble wrap snow painting

This is a pretty fun craft using bubble wrap, of course you may want to pop all the bubbles first for double fun.  I cut the wrap into chunks and then formed a little ball so the kids would have something to grasp, and used an elastic to hold the shape together.  We dipped the bubble wrap into some white paint and then made it snow on some paper.  If you switch the colour of paint this could easily be adapted to an underwater theme as well.

 

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Coffee filter snowflakes

We used to use filters but replaced them with a reusable one and so have a whole pack left over, instead of throwing them out I’ve been looking for ways to use them.  This craft is the perfect opportunity and is a great way for the kids to get some scissor practice.  With regular paper it can be hard to make snowflakes as you have to cut through so many layers of paper, the filter is thin and so it becomes easier to cut.

Fold the filter in half, and then again and again till your desired level of thickness.  Then cut shapes out on each edge and unfold

 

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Cheers!

 

 

Snow Day

Snow Day

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We had our first snow day this week and my girls and I were thrilled (no rushing around to get ready for school and a whole day to enjoy the snow and each other).  Since I run a little home daycare I knew I would need to find some things to do to keep the whole gang busy and here are a few of the things we did besides roll around in the snow.

  • played in the snow
  • made a snowman
  • sled ride around the neighbourhood
  • played at the park (the slides are fast when full of snow)
  • shovelled the back yard
  • painted indoors
  • painted the snow

For our indoor painting I gave the children blue paper and white paint with pom poms and clothes pins as a brush (simply clip the pom pom with the clothes pin).  I asked the kids to paint snow falling everywhere.  This is a great activity for the little ones to work on their fine motor skills.

 

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For our outdoor painting I prepared some paint by putting water and food colouring into some bottles from our recycling bin.  I had a spray bottle, some salad dressing bottles and a dish soap bottle.  The easiest for the kids to use ended up being the salad dressing bottles as they poured freely without much squeezing, the spray bottle was too hard with the big mittens.

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It ended up being a great first snow day, hope there are many more!!  What special activities do you do when there is a no school bus day?