Here in Florida, exploring Winter Wonders and the joy of playing in snow and ice… well, it takes a bit more effort to create relevant experiences for our children to grasp the concept of what they cannot REALLY experience unless you travel to snow filled territories. As parents, we want our children to experience the many wonders that life has to offer. Through their young eyes, we get to revisit the childhood wonder of winter and the holidays that are woven within its fabric.
Our holiday celebrations can be such a wonder filled part of our culture, along with all of it’s music. Yet, sometimes, it seems that the amazing season of winter, and all it’s wonders, can be overlooked, especially here at home in Florida. Let’s make Winter come to life for our children in so many more ways, (in addition to our FROZEN and Grinch counterparts), with images, songs, local experiences, and playful interactions.
If you are willing to go Out & About, there are several local opportunities to experience Winter Wonders (see the 2020 list of Lakeland and Central Florida experiences below).
Of course, with Music Connections, we have a few limited Winter Wonderland Kindermusik Playdates for your family to join in our “snow” play with just a few other families (max of 8) on our OUTDOOR Deck. OR, you can join our VIRTUAL WEEK of snow play Dec. 8 – 11, 2020.
AND for little, or no cost, you can create your own Winter Wonder experiences in the comfort of your own home so you can enjoy it any time you want throughout the Winter season.
Create your Own PILE of SNOW for your Winter Wonders explorations
What can we use to “play in the snow” at home?
Things you may already have on hand… but is best to use only once, so can be wasteful)
- White printer paper can be torn into smaller pieces for a small pile of light snow
- Big bag of cotton balls (yes, this can be a MESS, but can be vaccuumed up)
- Cotton Rounds used for make up removal
- Box of Tissues (these actually float so nicely to the ground, and crumple up well)
- white Popcorn style packing material (although you may never get rid of it)
DIY Washable and Reusable “SNOW”
- Cut up an old white sheet (cotton or flannel), into 3-4 inch squares for a pile of snow, (although, be aware that the edges will fray)
- White felt pages can be purchased and cut into quarters or eighths, your desired size
- Cut squares out of WHITE FLEECE material, so soft, long lasting & no fraying
I have truly tried ALL of these, and my favorite is the White Fleece, the thicker the better.
Specialty SNOW Options to Purchase
Snowballs from SNOWTIME – ANYTIME. These are a perfect snowball size and you can even HEAR the crunchy SOUND when you squeeze them. These are the ones I got for my family, and are found in our stockings, and often flying around our house all throughout the Winter Season. Sometimes we use them in our ongoing classes or Playdates.
Snow Powder: www.snowonder.com or call 888-487-7669 – See All About Snow. We do not use this in Kindermusik, but you will get a packet of this as part of your Registration in our WInter Wonderland Playdate.
- Children love to watch this snow powder grow and just touch and feel it.
- I use a flat shallow plastic storage container, which is easiest for children to use.
- Instant Snow FAQ LINK
Brrr… are you feeling cold yet? Let’s explore some ways to PLAY together with our “snow”.
EXPLORING the Winter Wonders of “SNOW” Play
What can we do with a Pile of Snow? (These are open ended play questions that I typically use with our snowflakes made from fleece.)
- Let the snowflakes fall down on us from above.
- Scatter snowflakes all over the floor & explore ways to move our feet on or around them.
- Where can you BALANCE the snowflakes on your body?
- How many ways can we STACK the snowflakes, line them up, or make shapes with them.
- How many things can you pretend to make with the snow: snow cakes? snow walls?
- How many ways can you make and play with Snowballs?
- Can you make a snowman?
- Can you put the snowflakes on yourself and BE the snowman?
- How would a snowman dance?
It took me awhile, but I found two great videos to help these students visually experience snow and snow play !!! Enjoy!
The Becoburg Castle in the Snow is a delight with musical accompaniment. The images of snow truly capture the grand scale beauty, as well as the up close clumps and snowfall. About halfway through, the snow play starts. Make sure to have paper and a pen nearby so you can talk about and write down all the ways this family plays in the snow. This is sure to make you smile and want to go on a road trip to see the snow. (And I love the backyard castle!)
This video by the Holderness Family Is a fun take on “Snow Day: The Musical”
Of course, my favorite way to explore SNOW play is to ADD MUSIC. Kindermusik International has some wonderful music you will enjoy listening to again and again.
Build a PLAYLIST with Songs and Sounds of Winter
Your child may be more familiar with a snowman that sings fondly of summer, which is wonderfully silly, and such a delightful character played by Josh Gad. But, now is also a great time for your family to learn and enjoy singing winter songs that are familiar among different generations. This album is filled with bells and sleigh rides, jolly snowmen, and other winter wonders. Steep your family in the beloved music that can help them connect with parents and grandparents.
You can purchase and download this album of 13 delightful songs, or pick an choose a variety of songs from Kindermusik International’s music download site. There are so many songs of winter include the sounds of jingle bells. You can find the link to this, and see many more of Ms Debbie’s recommendations on my article “Building your Winter Playlist“, including songs to download from this site, as well as other favorites of the Mondale family.
An Intimate Winter Experience with Your Family
Music Connections Winter Wonderland Kindermusik Playdates
You’ll love the delightful song to sing while you form your child into a SnowBaby before the wind blows them over, or the sun melts them away. Your child will lie and watch in wonder as “snow” falls on them, then experience the joy of exploring the many ways to play with “snow” without the cold and wet sensations, as we “Let it Snow”, go for a “Sleigh Ride”, dance like a “Jolly Snowman”, and go “ice” skating. You’ll enjoy your new “Winter Wonderland” album and some fresh “snow” for the rest of the season. And will likely create your own Winter Wonders family traditions you can enjoy each year.
Follow this link to learn more and to start: Building Your Winter Playlist
NEW for 2020 is the addition of days, times, and ways to participate. You can choose from one of our OUTDOOR events, on the deck outside our studio. OR your family can join us from the comfort of your own home in ALL FOUR of our Virtual classes, Tuesday – Friday.
Local Winter Wonders in Lakeland & Central Florida if Out & About
Yes, Lakeland has a SNOW FEST in December every year. For a cost (or donated can of Tuna), your child gets to play on a pile of ice, which gets packed down pretty quickly with the weather and weight of the children… and we don’t want them to EAT the snow! It is still fun to slip and slide around on it for the few minutes you get and experience the many other winter themed activities and delights in the downtown area.
You can go ice skating here at the Lakeland Ice Arena (check the schedule for public ice skating hours).
Head to Celebration to catch the train ride and watch for surprise snow falls at their NOW SNOWING 2020.
Did you know Snowcat Ridge, an Alpine Snow Park just opened up, Nov. 20, 2020 in Dade City, with a huge snowy slopes, an Ice Igloo to play inside, and an Alpine Village for shopping.
Gaylord Palms gives children the opportunity to Build Snowballs and Blast switches in their “Factory”, and to slide down “Snow Flow Mountain”.
Winter Wonders Images and Crafts
- Winter Play Sensory Bin – @TrulyMontessori on Instagram (for this and so much more)
- Coloring Page of Snow & snow scenes give children the opportunity to color everything EXCEPT the snow. https://www.bestcoloringpagesforkids.com/winter-coloring-pages.html
- The fun and fascination of cutting out unique 6 pointed snowflakes is engaging for parents and children 4 years old and up. Watch this video: Paper Snowflake Tutorial Personally, I remember many days of finding little pieces of paper everywhere when my son was addicted to making snowflakes.
- Science creates the wonder with these crystal covered snowflakes. Watch this video: Borax Crystal Snowflakes
- How can we make a snowman come to life and dance? Oooh… this one is a surprise… watch for it….
- How can we share the magic of falling snow without a mess to clean up ? Watch the video: How to make a Snow Globe