Sunday, January 10, 2010

Snow and Ice

As our dear friends back home in Washington, DC contend with this winter's second "snowpocalypse", I am feeling really grateful for our sunny, warm days here in central TX. But since it is winter, we've certainly had snow on our minds and featured on our bookshelf.

We have so many great choices when it comes to children's books about snow. Here are just a few we're reading right now... Snow by Uri Shulevitz is a beautifully illustrated book that tells the story of a small boy who's optimistic about a snowfall, despite the towns people's cynical attitude towards such a snow storm. We're also enjoying Hello, Snow! by Hope Vestergaard which describes a little girl's excitement about a fun snow day that includes such classics as sledding, snowmen, and hot cocoa.
1. Snowball Roll
The boys wanted to do an art activity, and I had white paint sitting on the counter piled up next to some boxes left over from Christmas that I needed to put away. So we tried a snow paint experiment that was lots of fun. First we took a small bouncy ball and coated it with white paint. Then we placed a sheet of dark construction paper in an old shirt box. We dropped the ball into the box and shook up the box to watch the ball roll around and make a picture. It was fun, and we did it several times.
2. Ice Bowling
After a few freezes this winter, I thought it would be fun for the kids to put some water out one night to wake up to find ice. This is when we decided to try setting up an ice bowling set. We filled some small plastic cups for the pins and several water balloons for mini bowling balls. They sat out all night, and in the morning all was frozen. The kids were excited to set up an ice bowling lane and give it a try. I simply slid the ice out of the cups for the pins and gently cut the balloons off for the bowling balls. After two rolls down our bowling lane, the balls started to fall apart. But this experience was more for the novelty of it than the sport. Afterwards we had fun just throwing and smashing the ice.

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