Ooooh! Too freezing cold and blustery today for outdoor play.
Ooooh! Too freezing cold and blustery today for outdoor play. A perfect day to bring winter inside to the little guys with a dancing, moving, talking Snow Story. All that is needed is a little space, loosened-up bodies and free spirits. No props or costumes are necessary. In all the stories I share with children, no parts are chosen. We are EVERYTHING and EVERYONE in the story. The story? The simpler, the better. Here's an example of one that I shared with my students at the Leo Yassenoff Jewish Community Center's Early Childhood Program. Once upon a time while everyone was asleep, (kids love to lie on the floor pretending to be asleep) snow was falling outside. Snowflakes twinkled in the moonlight all night. (any peaceful music can accompany quiet snowflake movement with twinkly fingers moving around the room) The sleeping children woke up, (snowflakes turn back to sleepers) opened their eyes and saw SNOW! They jumped up and down excitedly. (any jumpy rhythm will do!) They shouted, "Can we go out and play?" (a lovely chorus of voices) Their grown-ups said, "First, get dressed…then, wash your faces…brush your teeth…comb your hair. Then, eat breakfast.Then pull on your winter clothes: sweaters, jackets, snow pants, hats, scarves, boots and mittens…NOW you are ready to go play in the snow!" (this last series of movement ideas delights children who easily mime dressing, washing, eating, etc.) It's hard to walk in the snow. Heavy boots and lifted feet are part of "snow walking." (clump clump around the room) Snow can be slippery. Careful! Whoops! All fall down! The kids fell in the snow, stood up and fell again! (young children love to fall down!) "Let's make snow angels!" the children said. (back on the floor with snow angel movements) "Let's make snowballs!" the children said. (bending down, packing invisible snow, throwing imaginary snowballs is so much fun) After their snowball game, the children said, "Let's ice skate!" (any delightful, easy-to-move-to music accompanies ice-skating movements) "Look! Animal tracks!" the children noticed. Rabbits and squirrels make hopping, scurrying tracks. Horses make galloping tracks. (nothing is more fun than dancing animal movement) The children had played all day in the snow that soon it was almost night time. They clumped home with their heavy boots, covered with snow, and they took off their winter clothes. "How about a nice warm bath and a cup of hot chocolate before you go to bed?" their grown-ups suggested. And that's just what they did! And when they went to bed, what do you think they dreamed about? You're right! SNOW! After a fun, indoor snow story full of action and movement, children love a real warm bath, real hot chocolate and then markers, crayons and paper to write and create their own snow pictures and stories. Keep it simple. Keep it fun. Make lots of room for the children's ideas and suggestions. Your role: the narrator, director, participant and audience. ENJOY!