Invitation to Play with Snow

Here in Edmonton there’s enough snow right now, so I thought it would be a good idea to add it to some of our playtime.  And what kid doesn’t love to play with snow, in the house!

I created this invitation like so many others.  I set out supplies and snow in a thoughtful way and just sat back and enjoyed watching my child explore, learn and play!  If you are not familiar with what an “Invitation to Play” is, pop over to my Halloween Invitation post here, where I take some time to talk about it.  

What You Need

  • A big tub of snow
  • Sectioned plate (what I usually like to put my craft or invitation to play supplies in, it keeps things organized and is easy for the child to look through)
  • Winter themed big foam shapes (we used, stars, snowflakes, snowmen, gingerbread people, a Christmas tree, and some decorations)
  • Jingle Bells
  • Glitter
  • Christmas Sequins
  • Gloves or Mitts to keep little hands warm
  • Spoons

Parent Prep 

Gather supplies and set them out in a thoughtful way. Give your child access to the invitation for as long as they would like.  Adeline played thoughtfully and independently for 45 minutes with this invitation.    

Observations of Child at Play

Like usual, Adeline spent some time checking out the supplies then she went to town with the glitter, shaking and shaking it all over the snow.  We recently read a book called Snow Princesses and she was quick to point out that her snow was just like the snow in the book, “a glittery blanket.” I love to see her make those connections to literature.  If you child isn’t at that stage yet, or just doesn’t make those connections yet, this is a place where you can help out a bit.  Just say something like “When you shake the glitter on the snow like that, it makes me think of the book Snow Princesses because they have glittery snow too!” That’s it, that’s all!  Your child too will start to make those connections and begin to share them with you. 

She then moved on to the foam shapes, setting up the gingerbread people like they were standing and putting a star on the top of the Christmas tree. 

At first I did not have the gingerbread people or the tree as part of the invitation, but as she looked at the supplies she must have decided they were needed so she asked for them.  Also, the gingerbread people (who she promptly decided would be gingerbread girls) and snowmen did not have eyes, but she also requested that they be given some.

As you can see my girl is a storyteller at heart: you can see her in the photo where she’s holding the two foam snowmen contemplating their story.  She is always giving, or wanting me to give, things a name. 

After some time Adeline’s hands must have gotten a bit cold because she asked that I help her put the gloves on. 

They were a great addition to the invitation because she began to experience the snow in a different way once she had the gloves on.  She began to look more closely at the snow, smell it, and even taste it a few times; that was until she got some sequins in her mouth.

Then as quickly as she got into the Invitation to Play with Snow, she got out of  it.  She announced, “I’m all done playing with the snow, Mommy!” She helped me tidy things up and I put everything away.  Next time we do an Invitation to Play with Snow, I would like to add spray bottles of food colouring. It will add another element of play and give us an opportunity to talk about colours and colour mixing. 

For the Christmas season I have put together an Advent Calendar of different activities. This was our activity for day 10.  We also do 25 Days of Christmas Books and I love to tie the advent activities and the books together as often as I can so our Day 10 book to go with out day 10 activity was Stella Queen of the Snow, a family favourite in our home. If you haven’t read the Stella & Sam books with your kids yet, please do! They are all amazing! My daughter has learned so much through Stella & Sam, but that’s a whole other post.

If you are stumped about books you could read after an activity like this, here is a list of 10 Children’s Books About Snow. Also non-fiction books are always a hit with our information seeking 3 year old!

Kelly Milligan is a former early elementary school teacher turned stay at home mom.  She lives in Sunny, and often cold, Edmonton, Alberta with her husband and two children (students); her daughter Adeline (3), and son Anders (1).

You can find Kelly doing what she loves best: living life with her family and documenting it with photographs on instagram and twitter @themommyathome