Thursday, June 6, 2013

Three for Thursday

The week is winding down. The school year is winding down. And, quite possibly, the kids are winding up. The early days of summer vacation are exciting for children. The three activities listed below, a continuation of the Sizzling Summer Snow Day Unit, are great ideas for helping them wind down a bit during the afternoon.

Please check back for the final activity to be posted next week.

Activity 5—In the summer you see this, but in the winter you see that—
The This and That Game

This activity is a fun way to cool down after the mitten relay (previous post), but will still keep the little one’s brain circuits warm and humming. Play the This and That Game-a comparison game. Accept reasonable answers that can be explained.

Ages: 5-10
Time to complete: 15-20 minutes


Index cards with printed summer-themed words/phrases
Sand pail or other container to hold the cards
Answer sheet for moderator to use
Sample comparison item (ex: a snow shovel and a sand shovel)

1. Explain to the children that they are going to play a game where they will compare and contrast items from two different seasons, winter and summer. Discuss how the two seasons are different.
2. Show the children the sand shovel and the snow shovel. Discuss the purpose for each item.
3. Ask a child to pull a card out of the sand pail. The child (or parent) reads  the summer item on the card.
4. Children take turns stating the item or activity that is similar but used differently in the winter.

Baseball gloveFuzzy glove
Fire pitFireplace
Sand shovelSnow shovel
Flip FlopsSnow boots
Chocolate milkshakeHot cocoa
Build a sand castleBuild a snowman
Baseball capSnow hat
Ice HockeyField hockey

(and a hot cup of cocoa)

After a fun morning of activities, the kids can wind down while they sip a cup of hot cocoa topped with marshmallows and listen to a story about how it can snow in the summer time.

Ages: 5-7
Time to complete: 15-20 minutes

Read Sometimes Snow Falls in the Summer by Deb Troehler—a story of a child’s visit to her grandmother’s home. When the kids hear about the imaginative way that the grandmother helps her granddaughter create a summer snowstorm, the kids will definitely want to create a snowstorm of their own. That, however, may require a trip to the back yard when the sun dips low in the sky and the heat of the day has faded.

Once the children have rested, it’s time to get them moving again with a fun game of winter-themed charades. This activity taps into their imaginations as well as their inner actors.

Ages: 4-10
Time to complete: 20-30 minutes


Index cards with printed winter-themed activities
Sand pail or other container to hold the cards
Stopwatch and paper (optional)

1. Prior to the game of charades, discuss what type of things the children remember doing last winter. For example: If the winter was snowy, did they get to go sledding?
2. Write those activities on cards and place into the sand pail.
3. Ask a child to pull a card from the sand pail with a winter-themed activity listed on the card and read it.
4. The child then acts out the activity while the other children guess what the activity is.
5. Take turns acting out the rest of the winter activities.

Activity List:

Shoveling snow
Skiing or snowboarding
Making Snow Angels
Putting on outdoor wear to play outside (hat, gloves, and mittens)
Building a snowman
Having a snowball fight

Modification for older children:

To reinforce concepts of telling time, designate one child the job of time keeper. Record the amount of time it takes for the children to identify the activity. Place those times in order to determine which pair of charade players had the fastest time.

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