People living in colder climates are often wishing to live somewhere warm and sunny all winter long. I'm not about to lie and say that I LOVE Winter, but here at Little Munchkins we choose to embrace it. We're outside all winter long, snow or shine, providing meaningful moments for the children in our care. Watching the excitement of the first big storm, laughing uncontrollably during an intense snowball fight, and catching snowflakes on your tongue are all things children don't get to experience when living in warmer areas. As you get older, the stress of winter can pay a toll, but if you stand back and watch children outside in snow you can find that magic you experienced as a child creep back.
Here's some of the things we've done throughout this winter:
The children were able to bring their creative side outside, and add some color to our backyard.
Some days it is just TOO cold. Our four year old group used the extreme temperature to try a science experiment to see what would happen to hot water if they threw it in the air! They made their hypothesis as to what would happen and collected their data once their results were in. The water turned to snowy dust as soon as it hit the icy air. Next, they wanted to see if they added food coloring if the dust would turn different colors, but it did not work.
One day the snowflakes were falling perfectly on our mittens! We spent most of the afternoon collecting and comparing them. This led into many discussions of how snow flakes form and how no two are the same.
Elsa doesn't have anything on these snowmen! There has been lots of snowmen brought to life this winter by the Munchkins, and it was no easy task! You need communication, team work, listening skills, & strength to make a snowman this complex!
The perfect protection during a snow ball fight! Snow forts take time, patience, creativity, planning, and hard work!
Apparently Canadians refer to it as sliding but where I grew up it's sledding! Every time the children get outside they run straight to our shed. Sledding allows the children to burn off lots of energy, take turns, share, and is just plain fun!
By mid winter the snow banks in our parking lot are MASSIVE and the Munchkins LOVE to climb them. This is very challenging but so rewarding when making it to the top! Going for nature walks in winter also makes it easier to see animal tracks. We're getting pretty good at identifying the types of tracks around here!
We setup water balloons on our zip line, and launched snowballs from our catapult! The water balloons would not break so they decided to throw the snowballs instead. Still, the balloons didn't break. Finally the children decided we had to PUNCH them down!! As the balloons hit the snow they were surprised to see it was "magic water" inside!
The after school group made monsters, hung them on trees, and used them as targets! The monsters didn't stand a chance!
Spring is finally starting to come our way and the snow is beginning to melt! The children are a little sad (the educators are really happy!) , but we all know what fun is around the corner; MUD!!!!!!
- Leslie Dionne