During ourFrozen Jelly Olaf was definitely my favorite. We played lots of snowman games and threw a million snowballs. Kids really like to chuck things!
This activity didn't go where I had intended but it was really easy to make and the kids loved it! I used 5mm foam sheets because they float a little better and last longer than the thinner foam.
Potato Head Snowmen
This was my original idea and the kids liked it but it wasn't a huge hit. We put all of the foam pieces on a floating mat in the pool and took turns swimming to retrieve the pieces.
In addition to the traditional snowman attire I made some clothes and crazy hair/arms so that the kids could create a crazy snowman.
To keep students on track, we usually track our progress visually and work towards a reward. "If you work really hard for 5 turns you can choose a game to play". Thanks to Tammy at Swimming with Autism I've been using a peg system. After completing a turn, the swimmer moves a peg from the cup to the peg board.
For the winter variation I set aside the traditional snowman pieces and propped a large mat up on the pool deck. After each turn we added a piece to our snowman (2 eyes, 3 buttons counted as one piece each). When he was complete it was time for a game!
When I was prepping my "Winter Wonderland" toy box I just grabbed all of the white and blue toys that I could find. I threw in some blue foam golf balls without a game in mind, but they turned out to be the crowd favorite. I drew a target on the belly of the snowman and propped him up on the edge of the pool. We threw the golf balls into the pool and after swimming to retrieve a "snowball" we threw it at the snowman. I had the snowman set up right next to the platform to keep the rest of the class occupied while waiting for their turn.
Do You Want to Build a Snowman?
We practiced growing our snowmen by starting off in a small ball and slowly rising into forward fold, halfway lift, chair, and mountain. After we were fully grown we jumped up and tucked back into a ball. The kids thought that the fast tuck was really funny. We listened to the oh so popular song from Frozen and "grew" during every chorus.
After learning the snowman sequence we had a pop quiz. I drew some very impressive stick figures on white foam circles and placed them face down around the room. The kids had to hop, skip or jump to a piece and copy the pose for 3 breaths. They also tried to balance the piece on their head and carry it slowly across the room, but this had less success :).
Hands Free Stemming
After learning about dihedrals, students climb to find a good spot for hands free stemming. They each carry an arsenal of snowballs in a bucket attached to their waist. Climbers play with effective/energy saving body positions to bombard the snowman (taped to the wall) from their perch.
The buckets work well for top rope and auto-belay, but could pose a problem while bouldering. I've been thinking about using wide mouthed chalk bags as a soft & safer alternative.
A lot of young climbers (2-4 yrs) need some motivation to stay on the wall :). You can hide the snowballs in jug holds throughout the gym and have kids climb to retrieve the balls. After performing a practice fall, they can hop/gallop/skip across the room to throw the snowballs at the snowman
Build a Snowman-Earn a Reward
Similar to the snowman reward system used in swimming. For a group lesson you will need one full snowman per student. After completing a climb, they add one piece to their snowman. When all of the snowmen are built the class gets to play a game.
Rebecca & Sarah have been working with children for over a decade. You can find a compilation of ideas for the classroom, home, and athletic fields here.