Monday, December 28, 2015

Working in a Theme

In Early Childhood Classrooms I’ve always loved working within a theme format. For students with Special Needs and especially children with Complex Communication Needs a theme-based format ensures that vocabulary/symbols will be revisited numerous times over the course of that theme.

As I gradually add titles to the library of Animated Step-by-Steps™, I’m always looking for content that will pair well with existing content. So you can imagine my glee when I discovered a recipe for making Play Snow ...  the perfect sensory companion for the Snowman Bundle!

The Snowman Bundle includes an ASbyS 
poem (5 Little Snowmen), 
story (Let’s Make a Snowman), 
craft (Bottle Snowmen), and
recipe (Play Snow).

The Snowman Bundle  (4 titles for the price of 3) is available on the Teachers Pay Teachers site in your choice of three versions: Regular, SymbolStix or PCS

In colder climates, children can go outside and make a snowman, then return to the classroom to make a Bottle Snowman. The next day, during morning meeting, they can view the 5 Little Snowmen Poem on the interactive whiteboard then use their bottle snowmen to act out the poem during playtime using the ASbyS on the classroom’s iPad. On yet another day, they can use the Play Snow in a rectangular pan or plastic bin to make a snow scene and use miniature props or make Lego creations to populate their winter scene.

Surprisingly, Play Snow actually looks and feels like snow. You can store it in a ziplock bag in the refrigerator and … wow ...  now it even feels cold like snow! 

Play Snow is made with baking soda and white hair conditioner. As a cautionary note, choose your hair conditioner wisely, as your Play Snow will take on the strong scent of whatever conditioner you choose. Most hair conditioners have a floral scent. I don’t know if one exists …  but I’d love to find a white hair conditioner that has a ‘forest/evergreen’ scent. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Depending upon the consistency of your chosen hair conditioner, you may need to increase or decrease the amounts of baking soda vs. conditioner, slightly.  Personally, I like the consistency to be amenable to making a stacked snowman. Cleanup is relatively easy, but I would still recommend that you put down a plastic drop cloth to expedite the cleanup process.  

As mentioned earlier, the Play Snow can be stored in a ziplock bag … so the fun can continue for the duration of your Snowman/Winter Theme.  "Let it snow ... let it snow ... let it snow!"

…’til the next post …  (new posts every Monday)

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©2016 Carol Goossens’, Ph.D.
Augmentative Communication Consultant
Speech-Language Pathologist
Special Educator