Sunday, June 2, 2013

Snow in May?~No Way!

This year our weather on the east coast has been anything but typical. We had many sunny and warm days in January and a heavy frost in mid-May. In parts of New York they received close to three feet of snow on Memorial Day. As Memorial Day is now known as the unofficial beginning of summer, I guess you can say that Sometimes Snow does Fall in the Summer. Yesterday the temps were in the 90s and the humidity turned the air into thick steamy soup.
What a difference a week makes.

However, whether you are experiencing the real snow- fluffy, frosty, and fun, or creating a snowstorm of your own—soft, squishy, or solid, the activity posted today will encourage your little ones to ponder the delights of physical characteristics. Below you will find the second activity from the Sizzling Summer Snow Day.
Activity 2—Snowball Sort and Snow Wall Fort

This activity is an extension of the preceding marshmallow sorting activity. It provides a terrific opportunity to explore texture, density, and other physical attributes of common objects found in the home.

Ages: 3-6, with modification

Time to complete: 15-20 minutes

Materials: For this activity, gather various sized and textured round objects in your home that are white or mainly white. Suggestions include—play balls, cotton balls, foam balls, bath scrubbers, rolled socks, home d├ęcor, etc. Use your imagination and let your little ones help find the objects with you. You will also need a container that is large enough to hold your collection of ‘snow balls’ and sorting containers. Optional: Flash cards with physical attributes written on them.


1. Gather the objects to sort. This is a great opportunity to reinforce the concept of roundness with the children.

2. Place those objects (the ‘snowballs’) into a container.

3. Ask a child to randomly pull one of the snow balls out of the container.

Ask: Is this snowball hard or soft? Squishy or firm? Heavy or light? Etc. Can you find another snowball that is similar? (Select an attribute for them)?

4. Ask another child to pull out a snowball that is different from the first one. For example, if the first snowball is hard, the second snowball could be soft.

5. Sort the remaining snowballs by the two chosen attributes.

6. Count how many of each type of snowball there is in each pile.

Follow-up Frosty Fort Fun

After completing the snowball sort, play a game of topple the snow fort. This activity reinforces fine motor and gross motor skills as well as teaches children about balance and gravity.


1. Stack 10 foam cups, as shown.

2. Take turns tossing the snowballs from the first part of this activity to knock down the cups.

Ask: Which snowball was the best for knocking down the cups? Why do you think it was the best choice?
Are you ready for a snowball fight, summer style?

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