Manila summer is here, and the heat – ah the heat! – is almost unbearable. The sun blinds my eyes and toasts my skin a darker shade of brown.
Can we just fly into a winter wonderland, catch some snow with our tongues, and glide across a frozen pond in our skate shoes?
We can, and we did, one hot summer day (and night).
Escape through imaginative play
My husband and I are big believers of the power of pretend play to help children deepen their knowledge of the world around them and develop their language, problem solving skills, and creativity.
We have always encouraged Little T’s imagination by joining her world of make-believe. We lend our voices to Panda (tiny voice), Bear (growly voice), and various characters to “interact” (“What are you doing, Little T?”) with her as requested. We crawl through tunnels with her. We pretend to be her patients. We take her to the beach in the backyard. We fly on an airplane to visit a country.
And we play in the snow
The Snowy Day by Ezra John Keats from the Before Five in a Row book list is an old favorite. In the story, a boy named Peter explores his neighborhood during a snowfall, makes tracks and snow angels, and slides down a mountain of snow.
In previous readings, we pretended flour
and sand, on which Little T made tracks like Peter in the book, to be snow.
We like torn tissue paper best, though. We got the idea from Little T’s Kindermusik class (Hello, Weather!)with Teacher Suzette.
We made some paper snowflakes and turned on the A/C.
We put on layers and layers of clothes and skated with our skate shoes.
We made snow balls for a snowball fight
and cleaned the floor as snow angels.
We tasted snow in the daytime… aka Halo-halo, a Filipino dessert with shaved ice
and had some hot chocolate and cheese in the cold, cold night.
Finally, we burrowed deep into our bed covers, and said goodnight.
The Learning Basket
Little T always asks for “winter.” Here are the contents of our Learning Basket when we feel like having some snow in our life.
- The Snowy Day
- Snow by Uri Shulevitz – a Caldecott Medal book about snow that a boy and his dog find magical
- Frog and Toad All Year by Arnold Lobel – a read-aloud classic
- The Big Snow by Berta Hader – a Caldecott Medal book about woodland animals getting ready for the big snow
- The Day Daddy Stayed Home by Ethel and Leonard Kessler – a favorite book that shows a fun, snowy day that a child spends with his father who cannot go to work because of the snow
- Froggy Gets Dressed by Jonathan London – Froggy wants to play in the snow and puts on his winter clothes
Some Links on the Importance of Pretend Play
How to Encourage Preschool Pretend Play
The Importance of Pretend Play
The Role of Pretend Play in Children’s Cognitive Development