Tuesday, January 21, 2014

It's Winter

The arctic blast blew through Georgia and brought with it freezing temperatures.  We were beginning our winter unit, and it couldn't have come at a better time...helping us experience winter in its pure form.  70 degree weather makes it hard to discuss winter. :)

So here are all things winter!


Our first night of below freezing temperatures, we set buckets of water outside to freeze overnight.  I placed a few toys in the water that they would have to "dig" out the next day.  Old Crow and I reviewed the freezing point.  When we noticed that the water had not completely frozen,  Dad reminded us that 32 degrees is the freezing point for pure water.  Impurities in the water can keep it from freezing unless at a lower temperature.  We made an educated guess that our water had some impurities.

They enjoyed feeling the ice and digging for their toys.

This also gave us the opportunity to discuss the states of matter.  We felt the ice and talked about how it was a solid.  We left the container of ice on our counter and watched it melt and turn to liquid.  After it had completely melted, we boiled it on the stove and watched the steam rise...creating our gas.
Solid, liquid, gas...all from one fun experience.

Crazy Horse and I read from an ABeka Kindergarten Science book about the different seasons.  He enjoyed playing a file folder game where he sorted various pictures and placed them in the correct season.

Sensory Activities

Our first attempt at making snow was a lot of fun for the kids...but extremely messy for me.  We made Sparkling Snow by mixing:
2 16 oz containers of corn starch
1 can shaving cream
White sparkling glitter, flakes, or confetti


Our next attempt at snow was much more life-like and MUCH cleaner!!!  We used Insta-Snow that I ordered from Amazon.  You can read more about our fun with Insta Snow here at my previous blog post.

We also made white slime from our trusty recipe that I first used back when we made green slime during our Grinch Unit.  Crazy Horse begs to make slime about every two weeks...that boy loves it!!!  
Directions for slime taken from Grinch Unit:

You mix 1 teaspoon of Borax powder with 1 cup of water.  Mix and set aside.  In a separate bowl mix a whole bottle of Elmer's glue (4 oz.) with 1/2 cup of water.  Add food coloring choice to the glue mixture (dont' add any to make white).  Mix well.  Then combine the glue mixture with Borax powder mixture.  Almost immediately the liquid will begin to form solids...perfect science lesson!  The more you knead and squeeze the more it will turn firm.  Pour out excess water and continue to squeeze!

Reading and Literature

Old Crow is currently reading Stone Fox and it is the perfect addition to our winter unit.  We enjoyed researching dog sled races to give us background knowledge for the book.  More to come on this soon! :)

We created a book basket with all of winter themed books.  We collected winter books from our house and checked out some from the library.  This basket was available so the kids could pull them to read at anytime.


We created our own snowmen art by making a white puffy paint.  We mixed equal parts glue and shaving cream.

I found that the younger two needed help in creating their snowmen.  So I created the 3 circles and then had them move the paint around until they were filled.  This gave them a template of sorts.

Once the paint dried, we pulled out our art materials and they had free reign to create their snowman.

Extra Fun

They loved pulling out the game, Don't Break the Ice, and it is a perfect addition to any winter unit.

Memphis Belle and I also enjoyed creating her snowman for her preschool class.  They sent home the snowman cutout from poster board and then each child could decorate it.  We had a lot of fun with this one.  It was her idea to cover it in the sparkly flakes that we had leftover from our sparkling snow activity. :)

Stay Warm,

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