Winter brings with it cold, snow, and sometimes, cabin fever. Despite the frigid temperatures, it’s important for children of all ages to stay active and get lots of exercise and fresh air. First grade bodies are full of energy, and it’s important that they get a chance to get the wiggles out!
In first grade, children are introduced to fractions. This is a new concept for them, and one that takes lots of practice to fully absorb. Following recipes with simple fractions is a good way to give your first grader some practice with this new concept.
Here’s a recipe that combines fraction practice with winter fun!
What You Need:
- Plastic spray bottles, one for each color
- Dry erase marker
- Food coloring
What You Do:
- Fill each spray bottle ¾ full of water. Have your child complete this step, and review the concept of fourths in the process. Have him use the dry erase marker to mark lines on the spray bottle so that it’s divided into four approximately equal parts. Then remind him that the fraction ¾ means “three out of four parts.” Ask him to point to the line that represents ¾ before filling the bottle with water.
- Add drops of food coloring to tint as desired. (The darker the color, the better the effect in the snow.) Make one color of water for each bottle.
- Bundle up for some outdoor fun! Take the spray bottles outside and test them to be sure they are working well. Then have your child use the snow paint in a variety of different ways for some great exercise and fun. While you are playing, have your child keep an eye on how much water is left in the spray bottle. When does it get down to ½ full? What about ¼ full? To get started, here are some wintry day activities to try with your snow paint:
- Dress the Snowmen Relay (for two groups of players): Make two plain snowmen, side by side. Divide into two groups, and line up opposite the snowmen, the spray bottles at the front of the line. Race to see who can “dress” the snowman (paint him from head to toe) first!
- Springtime Wishes: Anxious for Spring to arrive? Why wait? Paint a Spring scene on the snow bank, complete with a warm yellow sun, green grass, and red and blue flowers.
- Pattern Block Snow Fort: Pack containers full of snow to make snow bricks. As you stack each brick, spray its side with paint. Challenge your child to create a pattern of colored bricks as she builds a wall in her snow fort.
- Frozen Painted Butterflies: Lay in the snow with your hands at your sides and your feet together. Fan your arms up over your head to create butterfly wing imprints in the snow. Stand up, and decorate your butterfly with paint!
Liana Mahoney is a National Board Certified elementary teacher, currently teaching a first and second grade loop. She is also a certified Reading Specialist, with teaching experience as a former high school English teacher, and early grades Remedial Reading.