Bedtime for Bear by Helquist
All you need for a snowman by Shertle
The most popular and fun thing we did was pretend it was snowing - along the lines of "going on a bear hunt." There is something powerful about 3 and 4 year olds and their capacity to imagine and play! I made it up as I went along, but it was something like this:
Is it snowing outside? (No!)
It's raining? Aw, well, let's pretend it's snowing.
Go outside! Ooooh, burrr! Too cold.
Let's go back inside. What should we put on?
(Let the kids offer suggestions: coats, hats, earmuff, scarves, snowboots, gloves, etc.)
(Act out putting it all on as you go.)
Okay! Now, let's go outside. Are you cold now? Nope! You've got your winter clothes on.
What do you see? (snowflakes! white snow! ask the kids and get responses.)
Let's try to walk in the snow. Can you walk in the snow? You have to pick up your legs!
Oooh, this is so fun. Isn't it pretty?
Let's stomp in the snow - can you do that? Wow!
Okay, let's pick up some snow and make a snowball!
Can you pack it?
Can you roll it?
Okay, now let's throw it! 1..2...3!
Can you jump in the snow? Awesome! Wow! Those are big jumps.
Okay, now, can you make a snow angel? Does everyone know how to do that?
(Keep going or stop, based on your audience. I'm pretty sure my kids could have done this for 1 hour! We closed it out by throwing another snowball at their daycare center teachers!)
The above snowman is based both on All you need for a snowman (Schertle) and The lovely Storytiming blog. I did it as a call and response activity, which turned out really well. I would say "Hey, Mr. Snowman!" (children repeat) and then "What do you need?" (children repeat). I would then let the kids tell me what he needed. If I had it to do over, I'd add ear muffs and an actual mouth. I had some very curious 4 year old troubled about where the mouth was! I picked kids out of the audience to tell me what the snowman needed, and then I let them come up and put it on.
I got this idea from Shawn at Read, Rhyme and Sing. So cute! Since these kids are young, we started out pretending to drink hot chocolate and blowing on our "mugs" and adding marshmallows. Then, I asked them if they could help me see how many marshmallows were in each mug.
Drink it up, Drink it up! (knee claps)
Yum, Yum, Yum! (hand claps)
(we repeated twice for each mug.)
We closed with 5 little snowmen riding on a sled, which I got the lovliest .pdf from Sunflower Storytime! (Sled made by a kind coworker!) It's the 5 little monkeys jumping on a bed with Frosty calling the Doctor instead of Mama.