Do your students ice skate inside during the school day? Mine do! I am currently collecting shoe boxes and 200 count tissue boxes from the parents in my classroom for our upcoming New Year Winter Activity. I see that many people are looking for new ideas for the New Year, so I thought I would pass this one on. It has been a HIT every year.
Collect enough shoe boxes and empty 200 count tissue boxes so that each child can have two boxes for ICE SKATING! I actually try to get more, as the boxes break down and the child will need to switch out to get some good ones. Sometimes, our local Payless Shoe Source store will donate boxes to our activity.
Our kindergarten class, along with the other kindergarten class reserves our multi-purpose room for this activity. We have a parent tape down an "ice skating rink". Basically, a large oval with an oval inside of it so that if you stood two or three children side by side, they could "skate" along the oval track. They are not to go inside the middle center oval and can only "skate" in one direction so that no one gets hurt.
I encourage students to bring winter clothing such as hats and scarves and mittens. They put them on, slip on a pair of shoe box "ice skates" and head for the "rink". I know Christmas is over in January, but I play Christmas music anyway. You could use any music you like. We have the girls skate around for about 5-10 minutes while the boys are over at tables coloring in winter coloring pages and eating muffins and drinking hot cocoa. After 5-10 minutes, I fade the music and the girls and boys switch places. They are usually needing a rest after skating around for that period of time. It is fun, but tiring. Our Principal and Vice Principal always pop over to skate around and do silly twirls with the kids. The children LOVE this!
Toward the end, we clear the "skates" to the side and line one class up on one side of the "rink" and the other class up on the other side. I pour "snowballs" (white cotton balls) into the center of the rink and count to 3. The children rush to the center, pick up "snowballs" and proceed to throw them at the kids on the other side. They love this snowball fight and no one gets hurt! It makes for awesome pictures. For privacy, I did not post any pictures of this activity as I do not want to post pictures of my children here. However, I can promise you that if you stand at the center end of the rink, you will get fabulous shots! When we feel they have thrown enough, we ask each child to pick up as many snowballs as they can and return them to my bag. I save them for the next year. Generally, the snowballs can handle being used for about two years in a row and then they become kind of ratty and pulled out.
At the end of the activity, we check the bottom of the tissue boxes for box tops, take those off and let the children stomp down all the boxes. We then put them in the recycle bin and head back to class.
If you have any ideas for how to make this activity more fun, I'd love to hear from you!
Happy New Year!