The science corner during winter months
During winter, Mother Nature forces us to spend more time inside. Winter is therefore the perfect occasion to try new activities with your group and give children the opportunity to discover new textures and sensory experiences.
This text offers ideas that will help you make your science corner attractive throughout winter. Let your imagination guide you and try to think like a child who has an entire world to discover.
Sensory bins make manipulating a variety of materials and discovering new textures and sensations possible.
During winter, snow and ice can inspire several different bins. Fill a container with:
- Powdered potatoes
- Artificial snowflakes
- Pieces of Styrofoam (used for packaging)
- Crumpled pieces of white paper
- Water and ice cubes
Add small buckets and shovels, toy cars, tiny white items that can be hidden among the contents of the bin, etc.
Provide mittens or gloves children can wear to manipulate the contents of the bins.
Have children fill several balloons with tiny objects or arts & crafts accessories (such as metallic confetti). Show them how they can stretch the opening with their fingers. Once the items are in the balloons, insert one end of a ribbon, letting the other end hang out (it will be used to hang the frozen snowballs). Fill the balloons with water so they are about the size of a tennis ball. Tie a knot.
Deposit the balloons on a tray and leave it outside (or in the freezer) for approximately 48 hours. Once the water is completely frozen, cut the balloons. Children will love to discover the frozen snowballs. Hang them in a tree and admire them... until the temperature outside warms up and they melt away.
Here is another way to take your science corner outside during winter. Collect several spray bottles. Fill them with water. Use food coloring (beware of stains) or old felts from washable markers to tint the water. Give each child a spray bottle and encourage them to spray the snow in your yard. They will love to see the snow change color before their eyes.
Fill a container with snow and let children manipulate it. You may choose to have them wear mittens or let them touch the snow with their bare hands for short periods of time. Provide small magnifying glasses they can use to observe the snowflakes. Show them how each snowflake is unique and help them notice tiny specks of dirt present in the snow that they cannot see without the magnifying glasses. This may discourage those who have a tendency to eat snow when playing outside. After a while, show them how the melting snow is causing an accumulation of water in the bottom of the container.
After naptime, show children how the snow has completely melted away, leaving just water behind. Repeat the process the next day or take your container outside on a cold day and show them how the water turns to ice when the temperature is below freezing to take your observations to the next level.
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