I thought since I’d done The Gruffalo, that it’d be nice to do the sequel too. The Gruffalo’s child is set in winter, so the obvious thing to do is snow play. Now, if it happens to be snowing for you, great, wrap up warm, go outside and do this, but if like me there is no sign of real snow, you’ll have to improvise.
Now, in the past I’ve used cotton wool as a fun, no mess “snow” but it’s not terribly realistic, and won’t work for what I have planned as we need to make impressions in the snow. So, you can buy fake snow online, or make your own, now here I planned to link to an online recipe, as I’m sure I’ve seen many, but my internet isn’t working, so I’m writing this offline, and I need to have the snow ready for when I pick up Jumbles from preschool, so I’m just going to have to wing it, so here is my snow recipe:
1. Leave freezer door slightly ajar overnight.
2. Come down in the morning to discover said door is open.
2a. (Optional) blame other half for not closing door properly.
3. Cook, throw out, or deem salvagable contents of freezer.
4. Scrape ice with a knife into a containter.
5. Freeze until needed
Estimated cost: 0-£1000 depending on how much food you have to throw away and whether you damage the freezer whilst scraping off the ice. Plus potential marriage counselling costs for repeated blame of other half for incidents such as this.
Alternatively, you could probably make ice cubes, and stick them in a blender. Or, if you don’t want to be quite so realistic and don’t want something that will melt, you can make snow by adding water to the stuff you find in disposable nappies (U.S diapers) see instructions (external link) I am not so keen on this method as although it’s non toxic, it’s still not edible, and Bean will try to eat it. Plus, I only use disposable nappies in emergencies, so don’t have many in stock.
Now I’m back online, I have checked and a fun way to make snow looks like mixing cornflour (U.S cornstarch) and shaving foam. Growing a Jeweled Rose.com has several snow recipes.
Part 1: snow play
Set up your snow in a tray on the floor.
Read through the book, pointing out the footprints and how each animal’s is different.
Allow free play with the snow.
Experiment making marks in the snow using different implements and toys.
While your child looks away, take a toy and make tracks in the snow, see if s/he can work out what toy made the tracks. take it in turns with your child to make tracks for the other to guess.
Jumbles played around making roads and trying to write letters, whilst Bean scooped it up lots.
Part 2: Light and Shadow
We left a big gap and did this when it was getting darker.
Point out the end of the story, where the Gruffalo’s child is fooled by the mouse’s shadow, talk about how shadows of objects can look different.
Close the curtains, turn off the lights and play with torches, making shadows using hands and objects. If you want, set up a sheet which you can go behind to make shadows and have the child guess what it is. We draped a sheet over the doorway of our cardboard house, my Godson, also 3, had come over by this point, the boys enjoyed playing with torches, then they went into the house and I held up toys outside in front of the torch for them to guess. Bean was not impressed with this section of the activity. (I had to turn the lights on for the photo).