Friday, January 24, 2014

What Crazy Weather We're Having!!

Happy Purple Friday everyone!!  In my little corner of the world, this week has been FULL of snow, ice, and freezing temperatures.  Due to the weather, our district had three days off this week!  Yesterday was our first day back with a 2 hour delay, and today there is another 2 hour delay.  I love snow days as much as the next teacher, but I am ready for some warmer weather!!  Since our area has been a Winter Wonderland lately, and since we're very close to switching marking periods, my very Pinteresting team mate Heather found some awesome Center ideas themed around winter.  So for the next few weeks, until we switch themes, there will be some really cute and fun winter centers in my room.
  At the Sensory Table, my Pinteresting team mate found an awesome idea to fill it full of 'snow'.  More specifically, Diaper Snow!!
I bought some generic diapers (when did diapers get so expensive??) and then took about ten of them out of the package put them into a dish pan.
I filled the dish pan full of water and let the diapers soak for a while so they could absorb all the water.  Then, I used scissors to cut each one open and dump out the gel-like snow into the sensory table.
This is a very sensory-based activity, as the wet gel feels a lot like snow.  It kinda grossed me out a little bit when I was filling up the Sensory Table, which meant my littles would LOVE it! 
After I had emptied all of the diapers, I threw in some small toys and some cups and spoons.  So far, my kinders have been OBSESSED with the 'snow'...I haven't told them yet where it came from!!  Oh, and we did have to have a class chit-chat about how this isn't real snow so we DON'T eat it!!

Another center in my room that has been visited by Jack Frost is the Dramatic Play area.  Soon I'll turn it into a farm, but for now it has become a Winter Wonderland.  This was another awesome idea my Pinteresting team mate Heather found, that took a little prep work but the kiddos are IN LOVE!  First, I took a large piece of white bulletin board paper, cut it into fourths so it would fit in the laminator, then reassembled it when it was laminated.  I taped this down to the floor, and it became  an 'ice rink'.
The students take off their shoes and they can 'ice skate' in their socks.  It has been SO FUNNY to watch them 'skate' and then pretend to slip and fall, just like they would on a real ice rink! 

Next, I had our totally awesome Cafeteria Manager save me three boxes of varying sizes.  I covered the boxes with white bulletin board paper and made some pieces out of craft foam.  Using this, the students can build a snowman.
The foam pieces include an orange carrot nose, two black coal eyes, a red mouth, and three green buttons.  My team mate Heather used Velcro to attach her pieces to her snowman, but she said that the paper rips when trying to take the pieces off.  So I thought about it, and remembered I had some 'ticky-tack' (I don't know it's real name, but it's that sticky putty stuff that resembles gum), and if you look closely in this picture you can see the tiny blue-blob of it.  The students put the ticky-tack on the craft pieces and can then stick them on the snowman once they've built him, and then they can remove them easily for the next group.

By far the most favorite part of this center was definitely the easiest to make!
I crumpled up some of the extra white bulletin board into 'balls' and the students can use them to have a snowball fight.  This part of the center can be tricky to manage because they get SO EXCITED that they can migrate out of the center and all of a sudden there is an all-out snowball war going on in the classroom.  So we had to have a class chit-chat about the best way to have a snowball fight inside. 

Changing centers takes a lot of prep work and we spend a lot of time changing them around, but the students totally love getting to go somewhere new.  What are some Pinteresting ideas for center activities that you have found?  I would LOVE to hear about them (and probably copy some of them too!!)


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