Winter is here, and with a Wisconsin winter, we can expect a lot of snow! This year kids are inside, learning virtually, and spending more time than ever before in their homes. It’s become more important than ever to encourage our kids to get outside to take a break from screens, express their imagination, and to be kids! As we get into another cold, Wisconsin winter, building a snowman can be a great family activity to do with your kids!
Many of our kids benefit from input to their muscles and joints throughout the day to keep their bodies and minds calm. Here is a great resource for more information about the benefits of heavy work for some of our kids who have challenges with processing sensory information, and how you can incorporate it around your home. Rolling snowballs to make a snowman’s head, middle, and bottom will give many kids what their body needs while pushing and pulling to form each piece, and carrying the snowballs to piece the snowman together. Find more examples of outdoor heavy work in the winter here!
Choices and Decision Making
Give your child the opportunity to dress their snowman! Have your child choose what accessories their snowman will need, and decide which hat, pair of gloves and scarf that they will want. You can give them the choice between two or three options to give them more structure with the activity. Your child might even want to find things in their surroundings to complete their snowman… rocks for eyes or buttons, or branches for arms! They can be as creative as they would like!
Turn Taking and Teamwork!
Take the opportunity to involve the family in the snowman making! In a time when we are limited to seeing people within our homes, we might as well have some fun! Your child can try to work with others to make the snowman or to choose how to style the snowman. Maybe your child decides which hat the snowman wears, and his or her brother or sister may get to choose which scarf the snowman wears. Maybe all of the siblings have to come up with a name together, problem solving how they will make that decision! Get the whole family involved, allowing everyone to have some ownership of the new creation. Once the snowman is finished, enjoy a nice cup of hot chocolate inside!
By: Nicole Schmit, OTR/L