Monday, January 3, 2011

Indoor Snowball Fight

Indoor Snowball Fight

If you live in the midwest as I do, you know about cold temperatures and snow during the winter months. Children need to move their bodies throughout the year, but a park is not very accommodating during the winter. Here's an idea of a fun AND educational way to play together on a cold winter's day.

An Indoor Snowball Fight

You can make "snowballs" with various items:

* White socks that have lost their mate
* White paper
* Cotton balls or pom poms
* Panty hose stuffed with paper or fake snow or anything else lightweight (you will tie off the panty hose in a knot and cut off the extra hose to create a "ball").

Children receive developmental benefit in almost any sensory activity - enhanced even more with parental involvement. As you are having your snowball fight, think how you are preparing your young child for life as a learner:

1. Planning: Involve the child in preparing for the snowball fight. They will need to think about the needed items and plan accordingly. They mig
ht want to take out blankets or sheets to cover furniture as a fort. They will also need to make an adequate number of snowballs. You might discuss how many they think they will need.
Simply seeing a project from start to finish will help a child understand a process, and gain the perseverance and patience to see a project to completion.

2. Math Concepts: As you make your fort, the child will need to find the appropriate-sized covering for the table/furniture. Comparing pillow cases and sheets will give children an idea of area and a concept of size.
Additionally, while making snowballs, you can count the snowballs. You can also make snowballs of different sizes and categorize them in your forts - making sure that each competitor has an equal number of snowballs.

3. Fine and Gross Motor Development: Whether you are stuffing stockings or wadding up paper, children will need to use their hands to squeeze, stuff, rip, shred and cut. They will definitely use their bigger muscles as they run around the house throwing the snowballs. For an added element of fun and development of eye-hand coordination, you could have
children hit the snowballs with their hand or a racquet.

4. Creativity: The open-ended play of the snowball fight is limited only by a child's imagination. You could make igloos, plan creative forts, make different types of snowballs, etc. You will also be increasing your child's awareness of the world as you talk about eskimos, igloos and arctic habitats.

The benefits of play are immense. Enjoy making a dreary winter day into a day of fun and learning!

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