Winter wonders

Make the very most of the chilly conditions, says Catherine Clark...

Exploring winter’s wonders can yield tremendous rewards – so long as everyone is snugly wrapped up, there are so many magical moments to be experienced.

Try investigating the beautifully frosted branches, cobwebs and criss-cross fence patterns. Using digital magnifiers will enablechildren to see the intricate crystal-like formations. It’s great if each child can have their own magnified digital image of their unique snowflake – it really is an awe and wonder moment.

We all know the joys of building with snow, so ensure there are plenty of spades, scoops and rakes to take full advantage if this natural,messy resource arrives. Pebbles and coloured stones, as well as being useful for snowmen’s eyes, make great snow mosaics. Spray water bottles with a hint of food colouring are great for snow art.

Try taking the Active World Tray outside so that the children can create an Arctic landscape, utilising the resources around them. Add water overnight for an ice rink for small world figures. Try making ice mobiles with leaves and a sprinkle of glitter and sequins. Compare and contrast the frozen ice hands (made from rubber gloves) with one inside and one outside. Measure temperatures and depths of snow. Why not transform yourscarecrow into a glittery Jack Frost?

ICT can also be great in the snow. Hunt for buried coins with metal detectors. Be a detective, capturing images of large and small footprints. Who do the children think has made them?

Of course, simple joys such as running out on a snowy blank canvas, making snow angels or just stamping patterns can be a delight in themselves – as is seeing your breath freeze in clouds before you!

Catherine Clark has worked in early years education for many years. She is the inhouse educationalist at TTS, consulting and advising on how children learn, and has developed numerous award-winning products.