How do you keep little people happy when it is -20 degrees?
Bring the snow inside to them – and let them play! Watch as they discover what interests them most, and then develop your lesson. Last week in the Fletcher Preschool, the hot topic was the COLD – COLD snow, COLD fingers, and COLD weather in the Arctic.
“Due to our cold temperatures, we brought the snow inside to encourage exploration and conversation about snow and cold places,” said Preschool Teacher Nancy Hurt.
Each morning fresh snow was placed into table-size sensory bins, and warm mittens were set nearby. Teachers strategically added things you would find in the Arctic to the snow. No surprise, many children were drawn to the penguins in the bin, and then they found a penguin poster nearby.
Discussion took off as children made discoveries while comparing different size tracks in the (white paint) “snow” and found the variety of penguins illustrated in non-fictions books and a classroom poster.
Children’s drawings emerged from their ideas, particularly their interest in the penguins. Their language focused on warmer and colder, bigger and smaller, shorter and taller, faster and slower. Their questions tumbled out.
Soon, the children’s interest in the Arctic became the curriculum and they got to play in the snow as well! Teachers listened, questioned, and discussed children’s discoveries. New drawings and new ideas emerged.
That’s how preschool classrooms work – if you can’t go outside, bring that snow inside and see what happens!