Hopefully you've been able to dig yourself out from the blizzard by now... If you're looking for a break from the cold, wet snow outside or just experiencing some serious cabin fever, here is a snow-filled activity made for indoor play that will be sure to keep your kid's busy and entertained for some time.
Cotton Ball Snowman
Fake or real snow
Large container or bin
Optional: tweezers or tongs, large spoon, tape
There are a variety of ways to begin your cotton ball snowman. Ask your child to draw his own picture of a snowman, copy a snowman that you draw first, or use one of these snowman templates from childcare.com. Encourage your child to color the snowman’s accessories and feel free to add their own creative spirit to the template.
Then, put together your snow sensory bin – your choice whether you’d like to use fake or real snow. I found some great fake snow at Michaels that can also be found at other craft stores or on Amazon. Once you have your snow sensory bin set up, add in cotton balls and any other tactile items you would like. Try to bury the cotton balls so they are not just lying on the top to increase the challenge level and fun.
Once the coloring and snow sensory bin are complete, have your child dig around the snow, using hands or utensils depending on their tolerance, to find and collect cotton balls for the snowman. Depending on the snowman template you choose, place the cotton balls wherever you would like or address fine motor accuracy by placing a cotton ball into each designated circle on the template.
Here are some ways to adapt the activity and address different skills dependent on your child’s needs and interests.
Fine Motor Adaptations:
Put a thin layer of snow on a cookie sheet and practice drawing letters, words, and shapes using the eraser of a pencil or your finger.
Use spring-loaded tongs or tweezers to pick up and release cotton balls onto the snowman to increase hand strength.
Tape the snowman template on the wall while your child colors in the standing position. This helps to increase shoulder stability needed for improved fine motor output
Gross Motor Adaptations:
Have your child color each circle or section of the snowman a different color and assign a different motor movement to each color. Prior to putting a cotton ball on that color, they must complete the assigned motor action. Have fun with these movements! You and your child can each think of some different ideas. Some of my favorites are: yoga poses (down dog, tree pose, warrior), jumping jacks, and ski jumps.
Do some animal walks to retrieve cotton balls from the snow sensory bin (located a distance of 10 feet or more away) to take to the table where the snowman is waiting. Here are some visuals with good ideas for animal walks.
Play a Simon Says Snowman game where you make a snowman with different cotton ball designs and have your child copy the same design. Then switch and copy their design next round.
Add a figure-ground task by hiding some cotton balls throughout the room so your child must scan and attend to the environment in order to locate them to complete the snowman.
~Thanks for letting us help you spread your wings!
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