I am excited to share a series of guest posts with you by other Artful Parents and teachers while I step back from the blog a bit this month! I hope you enjoy the new perspectives, different ideas, and fresh energy that each brings to this space. And I encourage you to leave a comment after the post to continue the discussion, add your own viewpoint, or simply say thanks!
Guest Post by Gabriela Klimes
We live in Winnipeg, Canada. Winters are cold in these parts. Really cold. So it is admittedly quite an effort to get my preschooler and toddler outside this time of year. But I think it's important and so I try to find fun ways to get fresh air, sunshine, and exercise outdoors, even in the dead of winter. This led me to plan an outdoor, snowy scavenger hunt for my two girls.
(Full disclosure: This sort of play is almost always followed by steaming homemade hot cocoa.)
One morning a couple of weeks ago, we gathered up 3.5-year-old Sadie's summer sand toys to use as molds for ice sculptures. We colored water using Wilton’s Gel Icing Colors (though any food coloring would work) and then poured the colored water into the molds. Next, we put the molds into the freezer and went about our day. By late afternoon, the molds were ready.
During the girls’ nap, I removed the molds (a little warm water helped) and hid them throughout our backyard. Once the girls were up, I got them bundled up and out we went for our Great Ice Sculpture Scavenger Hunt!
The hunt was a hit. Sadie had a blast running around the yard looking for our sculptures. She delighted in uncovering the bright and bold the shapes against crisp, white snow. I loved that the activity combined a little craft and exercise. There’s no doubt we’ll do this one again before winter’s end.
For a delicious warm-up after your own hunt, try homemade hot cocoa. My recipe calls for 3 cups of milk, 1/3 cup of water, 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder and 2 tablespoons of honey. I finish it with mini marshmallows and a sprinkle of cinnamon. The kids love how rich and chocolaty it is. I love that I can control the type and amount of sweetener. Enjoy!