Winter is most beautiful to me when children get excited about the first falling snow, and they begin to anticipate building a snowman, making snow angels or catching fluffy flakes on their tongues. Activities like fingerplays and felt board stories encourage children to use their expressive language skills, to engage their imaginations in creative play, to enjoy the musical quality of spoken words and to become familiar with math concepts such as counting and subtraction. Please enjoy the following language experiences - a snowman rhyme for the felt board, a snowflake fingerplay and a poem to role play with puppets. I hope they invite you to share the joy and fun of winter with young children!
Five Little Snowmen
Simple felt board snowmen can be made by cutting out and decorating construction paper, covering the pieces with laminating film and attaching felt to the back with glue. Use glittler glue to make the red bows! Children can then enjoy this counting rhyme as they manipulate the pieces. With each repetition of the rhyme, subtract one snowman until none remain.
Five little snowmen standing in a row/Each had a hat and a big red bow
Out came the sun and it shone all day/And one little snowman melted away.
Five Little Snowflakes
Though you can recite this rhyme without puppets, it is easy to make your own. Using the instructions for the Five Little Leaves activity posted earlier in the fall, (http://earlychildhoodartsconnection.ca/?p=177), you can make simple snowflake finger puppets to support your enjoyment of this counting rhyme. Many beautiful snowflake pictures can be found in Google Images, but you should also feel free to cut out and laminate your own. The snowflakes provide children with concrete objects to count and can help to reinforce their understanding of the number five.
Five little snowflakes dancing here and there/Until one little snowflake flew into the air!
Repeat the rhyme, subtracting – or removing - one snowflake each time until none remain. The last verse is:
Zero little snowflakes, not one to be found/Because five little snowflakes have fallen to the ground!
Funny Little Snowman
A funny little snowman, he had a carrot nose/Along came a bunny, and what do you suppose?
That hungry little bunny came looking for some lunch/He ate the snowman’s carrot nose…
This rhyme can be role-played using simple props such as a plush snowman toy and finger puppet. Take turns being the snowman and the bunny! To help children learn the poem, leave words out at the end of each line and encourage children to fill in the blanks! This helps them to pay attention to words that rhyme, to predict what will happen next, and to remember the words as you recite the poem.