Baby, it's cold outside!
Is it 39* and snowing? Turn off that computer, TV or iPad and get those preschoolers outside. It might take you an hour to bundle them up, then grab an extra carrot (or two), hat and scarf--you're building a snowman! I know what you're thinking-- the struggle is real. It takes longer to get them ready than the amount of time you ACTUALLY spend outside trying to keep on their mittens.
Here are five snow day activities that boost language and pre-literacy skills while you're outside, burning off energy and having fun.
1. Build a snowman. A snowwoman. A snow-cat. A snow-octopus. Better yet, a snow-dinosaur. Name body parts (legs, arms, horns, eyes, ears) and use adjectives (big/little/medium) to describe their size.
2. Is snow-cat a he or a she? Let your child decide and reinforce pronouns while you build and talk about your creature.
3. Draw letters in the snow and practice the sounds that go with them. Use a branch or a mitten for fun while your child practices writing their name, letter of the week or saying the sound of the week from preschool.
4. Label your creature with an interesting name and take turns weaving a story about him/her. Continue your story inside over a cup of hot cocoa.
5. Practice naming colors. Color their snow people and animals with the bright, non-washable markers that collect in your home from birthday party goody bags. Bring their creatures to life--who hasn’t heard of a pink cat or a green dog? (You’ll probably have to throw some of those markers away when you’re done--oh darn!)
Additional basic concepts and vocabulary that fit well into this activity include:
• opposites ( big/little, wet/dry, cold/hot)
• prepositions (on/off, in/out, under/over)
• clothing (hat, scarf, boots, mittens, jacket)
Research shows that children learn vocabulary and language concepts through repetition and high-interest, hands on activities. You can expand your child's language skills by using vocabulary and concepts as part of your everyday conversations, modeling targeted vocabulary, asking questions and repeating concepts in different play schemes.
Have fun while boosting language and pre-literacy skills in your own front yard!