We came up with this activity after we watched mogul skiing earlier this week. This pretend play activity was one of my son's favorites and he especially loved making his skiers CRASH!
Materials Needed: big box and piece of flat cardboard or a flattened box, glue, cotton balls, scissors, tape, large white drawing paper, some little people toys or other action figures, thin popsicle sticks, markers, crayons, printable world flags coloring page, and Crayola model magic.
1. Lay the flat cardboard on top of the box. Fold the flat cardboard to make a ramp. Tape the cardboard to the box to help secure it.
2. Cover the ramp with white drawing paper. Trim as necessary and tape it to the cardboard.
3. Put glue all over the face of the mountain (ramp) and then have your toddler pull the cotton balls apart and stick them to the glue.
Pulling the cotton is hard for some kids. Can be a good fine motor skills exercise.
Cover the entire hill with cotton balls.
4. While the glue dries, have your toddler decorate the skis (popsicle sticks) with markers. Attach the skis to the little people/action figures with tape.
5. The hill won't be dry yet, so print out a copy of the world flags coloring page and have your toddler color the flags. We used Olympic colors. With my little guy we just colored them however we wanted. With older kids I would spend time talking about each flag and try to have them replicate the correct colors for each country's flag.
6. Cut out the flags and tape them to popsicle sticks. I taped one flag on each side.
Once the snow covered hill is dry, get your skiers ready and start racing down the hill!
We also made a little bobsled/sled out of a plastic cup and sent some of the athletes down the mountain. Mostly, my little guy wanted to make them crash!
Later on during our skiing activity, we decided to pull out some model magic and make a skier. If my son was a little older, out athletes might look more like this but instead his looked like a huge glob with eyes. The one I tried to make didn't look much better. He absolutely loved coloring it with markers. We attached a flag to his new skier and let him do some runs. The skis stayed put a lot better when they were wrapped in model magic.
This snowboarding idea from Make and Takes might be one we'll try later this afternoon. Still trying to come up with a cool curling activity... anyone have any ideas?
We also loved this flag activity and book suggestion from Silly Eagle Books. The flag book would be a great one to look at while your ski slope dries and you make some popsicle stick flags.
During this activity we talked about moving our skiers slowly, gently, and fast while we made them go down the hill. We also counted the skis- each skier needed two skis. Every time a skier would crash, my son would hurry over and ask me to "fix it." We worked on expanding his language to say, "help me mama" or "fix the ski." I think it is really important for kids to be able to verbally ask for help AND explain what they need help with (since Mom's can't always read their minds). We will be practicing this skill for years, but it is never too early to get started!
We also talked about all of the words involved with skiing- skis, hill, skier, flag, snow, mogul, and crash. We didn't have our skiers use ski poles, so we didn't talk about that.