Discussions Regarding the Preschool Observation Checklist and Evaluation Tool (POCET)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Activity Idea: Soap Snowpeople

Head Start QuickSource® reminds us that "APPROACHES TO LEARNING help all children learn and succeed. Each child is unique and learns in his own way. Young children are naturally curious and eager to learn. You can nurture this curiosity by encouraging children to participate in a variety of activities, make independent choices, and find creative solutions to problems."

Winter is a perfect time to incorporate snow into approaches to learning - and you can even bring the snow indoors! Here's an activity called Soap Snowpeople that promotes fine motor skills and encourages children to approach a task with an increased flexibility, imagination, and inventiveness.

Before you begin gather your materials: paper plates, bowls, 4 cups of soap flakes (such as Ivory), electric or hand mixer, 1 cup of water. You can also replace the soap flakes with Insta Snow™. If you choose to use Insta Snow™ instead, you will not need the mixer. Just follow the directions on the package.

Before You Start:

  • Remind the children that this is soap and it is not for eating. (The same applies if you are using Insta-Snow™.)

  • Make enough "snow" for each child to have 3 or 4 handfuls.

  • If using soap flakes, Whip the soap flakes and water until it is the consistency of thick whipped cream; the peaks should hold their shape.

Let's Begin!

1) Cover the work area with newspaper.

2) Place bowl(s) of the "snow" onto the table and have children scoop it out with their hands.

3) Encourage them to roll, pat, and shape the balls on their paper plates.

4) If desired, provide some small black beads to use for faces and buttons, and toothpicks or twigs for arms.

5) Snowmen will look nice for a day or two, but they do not last. (Just like the real ones!)

Afterward: Hands should be washed immediately after the project so the soap won't get into the children's eyes.

Furthermore, you can read a snow related story to the children, such as The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats, before or after this activity. Talk about the different activities you can do in the snow, and list them on a piece of paper or on the board.

If using POCET™, this activity correlates to Developmental Guidelines: AL2: Makes Independent Choices and Is Willing to Try New Things

For more developmentally-appropriate activities, visit Teacher QuickSource® and browse through all age areas, including Preschool, Kindergarten, Infant & Toddler, and Head Start. Don't forget to explore activities promoting environmental awareness at Environmental

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