When the weather turns colder and there is some snow on the ground I like to schedule a Mitten Day for my class. The students bring a pair of mittens or gloves (I have extras on hand for any students who forget) and we do fun activities with ice and snow – Ice Cube Painting, Ice Cube Games, and Igloo Building.
Ice Cube Painting
Pour different colors of tempera paint in an ice cube tray (each square would contain a different color). Cover with saran wrap and insert toothpicks or popsicle sticks into the paint and freeze. Give each child a piece of white construction paper and let them paint with the ice cubes!
Ice Cube Race
Ask the children if they know how to make ice. Explain that ice is actually frozen water.
Tell the students you are going to have an ice cube race where they will try to melt their ice cube (turn it back into water) as fast as they can. Have the students put on their mittens and then give each child an ice cube. On your signal have them try to melt the ice cube any way possible (rub it in their hands, sit on it, step on it, rub it on the floor, rub it on their desks or tables, etc.- allow them to be creative!). The first one to melt their ice cube is the winner. For younger students you may want to start with small ice cubes.
Pass the Ice Cube Game
This game is played similar to Hot Potato but the children wear mittens and pass around an ice cube instead of a potato.
For this activity you will need a few bags of ice along with a few buckets of snow. Have the children put on their mittens and then allow them to build igloos using the snow to hold the ice cubes together. Take a picture of each child with their igloo as a keepsake. Have students estimate how long they think their igloos will last. Observe them throughout the day and have the students record (or take pictures) of how they change.
Snow Ice Cream
If you have freshly fallen snow you can make ice cream with it using this recipe!
These ice and igloo activities are also a fun way to review the letter I. I love providing hands-on activities that the children will remember when learning concepts. Projects like these are included in my letter units to help students learn and remember the letters and their sounds. Here are a few other letter I activities:
Finding insects for Iggy Iguana – students hunt for insects that either have a letter i on them or a picture of an object that begins with i and feed them to Iggy Iguana.
Go ice fishing – I cut a hole in a white shirt box to resemble a block of ice, place blue tissue paper on the bottom to resemble water, and place fish with letters written on them and large paper clips attached to them inside the box. The students use a fishing pole with a magnet as “bait” to fish for letter i fish or fish that have pictures of objects beginning with i.
Build ice cream cones and make our own ice cream from snow – We make a “super duper scooper” ice cream cone by piling “i” scoops of ice cream on a cone. When we have freshly fallen snow we make snow ice cream.
I have students with a wide variety of motor skill development levels so I use differentiated letter pages when teaching how to write the letter I.
We also use the PicKids or Pic Collage app, Hello Crayons and ChatterPix Kids apps to review the letters and make posters of our activities.
You can view my letter I unit here.
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