Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Surviving the Polar Vortex while single handedly treating articulation AND language disorders.

It's been a little chilly here the past few days.  As I write this the temperatures is -17, which is better than yesterday morning when it was -22.  We don't get this cold very often.  It's the kind of cold that makes your feet cramp up if you don't have good boots.  When you go outside to start your car, your nostrils freeze together.  But you put on your long underwear, bundle up and make sure to not be outside longer than a few minutes in case your face freezes off.  We still function when it's this cold out, even though we all wish we could just cuddle up in bed with a good book until the frigid temperatures past.  The good thing about super cold temperatures is it makes the rest of Winter look easy as pie.  On Saturday, I was running some errands with my little one, he said, "Oh mom-it isn't cold at all.  I agreed, thinking it felt pretty warm.  We get in my car and the temperature reads: 14 degrees.

Schools were closed yesterday and today but the clinic where I work is open.  Here are a few super fun activities you can do to celebrate the frigid, arctic temperatures.

Snowman Face Cookies:   

I made similar turkey cookies for Thanksgiving.  I was able to pick these cute snowman ones up at Michaels for 50% off after Christmas.  I think it would be fun to read books about snowmen and then make these snowman cookies for a treat afterwards.  With my social language kids, we can work on matching the correct snowman emotional face to the situation.  We will work on following sequential directions when completing the activity.  

Snow Angels:

I was thinking that snow angels would be a good cross body movement activity.  I tried it outside this weekend and learned 2 things.  First, it is really cold when snow gets in the sleeves of your coat and falls down your pants.  Second, you have to be a master ninja to get out of a created snow angel without damaging most of the creation.  I recommend "pretending" to make snowman while lying on the ground-this is a fun activity for the PreK crowd.  You can talk about streeeeetching your arms, long arms and legs and moving or waving your arms back and forth.  

Snow in a Can:  

When it's too cold to go outside or when you live in a warmer client, just bring the snow inside.  .  You can purchase your own snow on stores like Discount School Supply.  Just add water and you make some fluffy snow.  You can practice your synonyms for cold while you play.  It's fun to drive your vehicles through, or play "bury" the speech card.  

Frozen Bubbles and Steam Making:

Have you seen the pictures from photographer, Angela Kelly?  It's making the rounds on the internet-She has taken GORGEOUS photos of frozen bubbles when temperatures dropped below zero at her home.  I did this experiment with my little guy on Sunday before the temperatures really dropped.  Still we were only able to stay out for a few minutes at a time.  Right before we went in, I couldn't blow bubbles, because they kept freezing on the wand.  It. was. awesome.  Check out this recipe using Karo syrup that I found online.

The other super neat thing you can do when it is super cold outside is make fog.  We boiled water in cups and then I stood outside and threw the boiling water into the air.  Half of it went up as steam!  The other half crashed down to the earth as hot water so be careful not to aim at anyone you like during this activity. 

Another crazy trick I read about online was called "Banana hammer."  Basically, you put a Banana outside to freeze and then can use it inside to hammer a nail into a piece of wood.  Perfect for when you forgot your tools in the freezing cold but just happen to have a banana you forgot to eat.  We tried it tonight at home, but I ended up impaling the knife turning it into some form of banana weapon.  The Biscuit was excited about that though.  I'm going to try again tomorrow-maybe I didn't get the banana cold enough.  

Those are a few ideas to celebrate all of the snow and cold temperatures we've been getting.  I heard on the radio that the nationwide average temperature was 19 degrees.  What about you?  Are  you surviving the cold?  Getting snow in?  Experiencing some of your first freezes?  Let me know below. If you think this post was entertaining or helpful, please consider sharing with others by posting on Facebook, pinning or sharing this on Twitter using the buttons below.  

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