This week as Thanksgiving comes to an end so does our Give Thanks for Dance! Theme and things start to get colder in 'Dance to Learn!'® classes as we prepare for Dancing in a Winter Wonderland our theme for December!
This week we are making snow angles during our stretches.
We are getting dressed to go outside (stretch our hamstrings and reach for our toes) and ice skating on a frozen pond (glide our feet on the floor).
We are making snow and building a snowman as we stretch in our straddle positions grabbing scarves, top hats, and carrot noses.
We have had a lot of fun building a snowman with our arms as we made the bottom, middle and head while practicing our pliés (knee bends) and port de bras (arm positions).
During our Developing Skills portion of dance class we worked on a Glissade (glide) like ice skating and held our arabesque at the end. During our Story Dance Pathway™ we put all those dance movements together in a fun obstacle course complete with snow jumping, building a snow man, glissading on an ice skating rink and making snow angels!
Cognitive and Social Benefits for Kids when Building a Snowman!
Building a Snowman sure is a fun game for kids. Sure it's cold, wet, windy and frigid outside in ideal snowman building weather, but somehow all that melts away when it comes time to making your very own icy friend. Have you ever thought, besides fun, what other benefits could building a snowman bring to your child's cognitive, language and social development?
Here's a few benefits we came up with:
1. Sequencing What happens if you build a snowman upside down? He falls over!
Write down the steps of building a snowman: Step 1: Roll up the large bottom Step 2: Roll up the middle and lift to stack on top Step 3: Roll the head and stack up next Step 4: Add sticks for arms Step 5: Add eyes, mouth and buttons Step 6: Add the carrot nose Step 7: Dress the snowman!
To Do: Try building the snowman you made from the craft following the steps above. What happens to your snowman if you take out a step? How does that affect the other steps? What happens if you do a step too soon? How does that affect the other steps?
2. Basic Concepts
Basic Concepts are the building blocks of language development, size, quantity, location, color, shape, and time. Discuss these concepts with your child:
What is the shape of the snowman's head, middle and bottom? What would happen if they were a different shape like a triangle? Which shape is the biggest Why does the biggest piece go on the bottom?
How many eyes, buttons and mouths should your snow man have?
Why does a snowman need to be built outside in the snow? What happens to your snowman in the sun?
Talk about where the accessories go. Why does the top hat go on his head? Where should the scarf go?
Talk about the snowman's eyes, mouth and buttons. How many should he have? How many pieces need to be used for the mouth? The eyes? The buttons?
3. Teamwork Building a snowman alone can be fun, but building a snowman with a group of friends or family can be even MORE fun!
Sharing- be sure that everyone involved gets to contribute to building the snowman
Helping- help each other roll the snow, lift the pieces and reach the highest parts of your snowman
Patience- Don't rush and be patient with younger kids, remember what happens if you miss a step?