Friday, January 23, 2009

An Indoor Winter Picnic

If your weather is anything like mine, being outside is no picnic ;-) The arctic breeze is blowing through the mounds of snow. My kids love to have picnics and in the Summer, we eat outside all the time. About a week ago we packed up a picnic lunch, spread a blanket out on the living room floor and we enjoyed an indoor picnic. Part of the fun of a picnic is letting the kids help make and/or pack up the lunch. Having an indoor picnic is always a special treat for my kids because it's not something that we do very often. As we were having our picnic lunch, I had an idea, or as my kids would say, "a GREAT idea". For our next indoor picnic we are going to create Spring. We'll spend the day before making flowers and butterflies and other typical Spring crafts. We will decorate the room with our artwork, spread out our blanket and enjoy eating our picnic lunch inside our little Springtime retreat (as we watch the snow fall outside). It will be fun and something different and my kids can hardly wait. The great thing about our inside picnic is that the paper bugs won't try to eat our lunch! I love how preschoolers find such great joy in the simple things.

Weekly Challenge: Enjoy an indoor picnic with your children and make it extra fun by decorating the area with some fun artwork ahead of time.

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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Indoor Winter Activities

It's freezing cold here so my kids have not been able to play outside in the snow for several days now. I've been trying to bring some of the outdoor fun inside. I thought you might like to try some of these ideas with your kids too.

~ Ice Skating: Use waxed paper and rubber bands or masking tape. Tape or attach a piece of waxed paper around each foot (preferably with a sock on the foot). Put on some music and watch your children skate.

~Fill your sensory tub (I just use a big plastic bin) with snow. Put mittens on the kids, give them a few gadgets and toys to play with in the snow and they will be happy for awhile. You can also provide magnifying glasses for the children to observe the snowflakes.

~Make Snow Play dough: It's actually just regular homemade play dough with some silver glitter but we like to pretend that it's snow play dough because it sparkles like the snow. You can find a play dough recipe on the Lesson Plans Plus website.

~Simple winter science experiment: Bring a container of snow indoors. Once the snow melts, add food coloring to the water. Place the container back outside until the water freezes into a colored block of ice. Bring the container back inside. The children can observe the changes as the ice melts.

~Bird Feeders: Another fun activity for kids is making bird feeders. Roll a pine cone in peanut butter and then roll (or sprinkle) the peanut butter covered pine cone with bird seed. Tie a string around the pine cone and hang it outside for the birds and squirrels to enjoy. Be sure to hang the feeder in a location where your children can easily see it by looking out a window.

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