-A cup with an ice cube or two (if your house is drafty and just won't warm up, skip this one!)
-Wax paper (2 shoe-sized squares for each child... and yourself! This activity is best with a carpeted area or rug)
-Some crayons for the snowman mandala (see below lesson)
-A beanbag or soft ball for each child
-A cotton ball
-Some music (my suggestions are listed but feel free to use your own or none)
-A yoga mat or towel per person
Silly Little Story
I found this poem somewhere a long time ago and it usually makes preschoolers giggle (and think a bit--the whole "Frosty the Snowman doesn't live forever" concept plays in a bit! Read it for your child(ren) and talk about what happens to snow and ice when it's indoors:
I made myself a snowball, as perfect as could be
I thought I'd keep it as a pet and let it sleep with me
I gave it some pajamas and a pillow for its head
Then, last night, it ran away--but first, it wet the bed!
Ice Cube (Music: Russian Dance from Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker or something else upbeat)
Just like Hot Potato, but with an ice cube! Pass it back and forth or around your circle until it's too small and slippery to hand off.
Breathing: Warm Up Your Hands/Cool Down the Cocoa
Hold hands cupped together in front of face and breathe in through your nose and then breathe out of your mouth. Can you make your breath hot to warm up your hands? Repeat several times. Now make a little mug with your hands. Imagine it's full of steaming hot cocoa. Breathe in through your nose and out through rounded lips. Feel the cool breath on your hands as though you are cooling off your hot chocolate. Repeat several times. Which type of breathing feels better to you today?
Penguin-Egg Shuffle (Music: Jump N Move by Mark Criss--Happy Feet Sdtrk)
Stand with your feet close together and put the beanbag, soft ball or other small stuffed animal on top of your feet or hugged between your ankles, the way a penguin keeps their egg safe and warm on their feet. Make your arms straight, hands on your sides like penguin wings and try to move around the room without dropping your "egg."
Snow Salutations WarmUp (Music: Snow Day by Toby Lightman)
-Icicle: Stand up tall and reach arms up, palms touching like a sharp icicle hanging from the porch.
-Snowflake: Fingers spread out, hands float and spin slowly to the floor like snowflakes, land in a forward fold.
-Upside-down Snow Angel: On belly, head, arms and legs lifted, move arms and legs like you are making a snow angel.
-Snowball: Curl up into Child's Pose, knees tucked under torso, forehead resting on ground.
-Snow Dog: Lift up into Downward Dog, an upside-down "V" shape, paws on the floor. Lift one leg at a time and shake it off like a dog trying to shake snow off its paws.
(Return to standing in Icicle Pose and repeat sequence as many times as you can, speeding up and then going in slow-motion)
Wax Paper Ice Skating (Music: Skater's Waltz by Waldteufel)
(Works best with shoes or bare feet, and on a carpeted floor or large rug). Stand on two pieces of wax paper that are each just a bit bigger than your foot. Bend your knees and push down into your feet as you start moving your legs to glide around the carpet. Smaller children might need to hold on to a hand! This is great for working balance and strengthening leg and core muscles.
Yoga Poses for Winter Fun (Music: The Four Seasons: Winter by Vivaldi)
Mountain Pose: Stand tall and firm, fingertips pressed together in front of chest like a mountain peak.
Skier (Chair Pose): With feet hips distance apart, bend knees and sink hips back as you lean your chest forward. Pull arms back as though holding on to ski poles. Lean side to side as you "ski," dodging trees and other skiers!
Ski Lift (Boat Pose): Balance on sitting bones and lift legs. Reach arms out to sides and slightly tip from one side to the other
like you are hanging from the ski lift and swaying in the cold breeze as you ride up to the top of the mountain.
Ski Slope (Side Angle Pose): Step one foot as far behind you as you can and bend your front knee, resting your elbow on your thigh. Reach your other arm up over your head creating an angle like the side of a mountain from your fingertips to your back foot. Hold and count to ten--for ten imaginary tiny skiers to slide down the side of your body! Try the other side too.
Figure Skater (Warrior 3): Balance on one leg and lift the other leg up behind you as you tip forward, shoulders and hips facing the floor. Send your arms out to the sides gracefully like an ice skater. Change legs.
Slippery Ice Splits (Wide-Legged Forward Fold): Stand with your feet far apart and drop your hands to the floor under
your shoulders. Let your feet start to slide further apart until you catch yourself with the elbows on the floor (or fall down
onto your bum).
Sledding and Snow Angels Cool-Down (Music: Frosty the Snowman by Ella Fitzgerald)
Sit at the back of your yoga mat or towel and fold the front edge over your feet and shins. Hold on to the edge of the mat as you lean back at the top of the hill and tip forward toward your feet as you zoom down the hill. Lean from side to side to steer your sled.
When you fall off, lay on your back and make imaginary snow angels by moving your arms and legs.
Snowvasana (Music: Still Nacht by Mannheim Steamroller)
Rest on the floor in whatever shape feels cozy to you. You might want to cover your body with your towel or a blanket. Close your eyes while you feel a soft snowball roll across your face (Mom/Dad: gently brush the cotton ball across your child's nose, forehead, ears, fingertips, toes.
Snowflake Mandala Coloring
Mandalas are circular patterns found in nature. They're fun for kids, as they can color the pattern differently or the same each time they rotate the paper.
Snowflake Mandalas(Google search)