It may be snowing in some parts of the country, but in our little neck of the mid-west, it’s mid-December and we are sans-snow. Christmas trees are up, Menorahs are lit, and the grass is greener than it was here in June (thanks to a summer drought). Since the snow hasn’t come to us yet, we decided to bring a little winter to the babies.
Our book this month was Welcome Winter, a Little Scholastic book by Jill Ackermann. This is a simple book with touchy-feely and lift-the-flap aspects. The book is one of a four-part series that introduces babies and young toddlers to the basic elements of each season. When I picked out the book, I had no idea that the babies would actually need a little instruction about what winter is SUPPOSED to be like in our part of the country!
Since snow is usually an important characteristic of winter, we made that the theme of our book club meeting. To make pretend snow (also called snow dough), we combined cornstarch and vegetable oil according to the recipe found at this link: http://www.theimaginationtree.com/2012/11/snow-dough-recipe-for-winter-sensory.html. We increased the quantities listed on this website because we filled an entire tub for all of the kids to play in. The original recipe (as found on the linked site) for this snow dough called for glitter, but since some of our kids still experience things by occasionally putting them in their mouths, we decided to leave it out. The glitter wasn’t missed and we made plenty of a mess without it! And I do mean, we made a MESS! We anticipated the messiness of this activity, however, so it was actually contained very well (I highly recommend a large tarp underneath the snow dough and stripping the kids to diapers if you choose to do this activity with young toddlers). Everybody brought some plastic cars, animals, or people to throw in the tub to make a little snow scene. The kids liked the plastic toys, but just enjoyed playing in the powdery mixture. The texture was so much fun that a few of us admitted that WE were excited to dig into it!
After all of that playing in the “snow”, several of the babies had worked up quite an appetite, so it was time for a snack! We made “snow balls”: bananas dipped in vanilla Greek yogurt and un-sweetended coconut. Personally, I love coconut on just about anything, so I thought these were very tasty and in general, the kids seemed to agree! No source to site for this recipe. I had seen several snowball recipes that involved scoops of ice cream rolled in coconut and just brainstormed how we could make a healthy, toddler-friendly variation of that concept.
Check out the photos of our snowy-book club meeting in the slideshow below.
We’ll see everyone again in January when we read, How to Dinosaurs Count to Ten? by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague. We wish everyone happy holidays and a wonderful new year!