Thursday, January 14, 2010

Angels in the Snow

Growing up in the Midwest, snowy days provided us with winter fun and entertainment in the form of making “snow angels” or “snow fairies.”

A snow angel is created by lying down on your back in powdery snow and moving your outstretched arms on the snow, going from head to waist in a sweeping motion while also moving your legs apart as far as they will go and then bringing them back together.

Keep repeating these motions (it’s like doing jumping jacks while lying on your back) until a large enough indentation has been made. You’ll see the shape of an angel or fairy (a body with a skirt and wings) when you stand up. We would try to make several angels in the snow, always looking for the perfect angel (one without foot prints or handprints in the middle of it).

I didn’t grow up having Liquid Watercolor but wouldn’t it be fun to put some Liquid Watercolor™ into a spray bottle and spray the finished angels different colors to make them stand out?

Making snow angels can be great fun for the kids in your care. Mastery of angel-making in the snow is a fine example of building physical coordination (parts of the body moving smoothly together.)

The best news is that kids don’t have to live in snow country in order to make snow angels/fairies. These can be made on tall grass, in sand, and invisible ones can even be made on classroom or home carpets or on tumbling mat . Making snow angels can be a good cool-down activity to conduct after active play as it helps the heart and body to return to its normal resting state. To create a calm and relaxed mood, a teacher or caregiver can put a CD such as Putamayo “Dreamland” CD in the CD Player. As the soothing music plays, lead the children in the activity of angels in the snow.

For the developing young child, this activity may be harder to do than it looks.

Provide direction and guidance by following this procedure:
1.Child lies down on back.
2.Staying in contact with the surface of the floor, mat, snow, ground
or carpet, the child opens and closes legs. Arms are kept down to sides of body.
3.Child practices opening and closing legs, keeping legs in contact with floor.
4.Once a smooth, sustained legs-apart, legs-together movement is mastered, instruct the child to move arms away from sides of body to shoulder height and then return them to side of body, keeping arms in constant contact with floor.
5.Now instruct the child to open and close legs while moving arms.
6.Emphasize that the arms and legs stay in touch with the surface of the floor while there is movement.