Jonah has been asking since October to have a snowball fight. He wants to go sledding, build a snowman, go ice skating, and above all: have a snowball fight.
The problem is, we haven’t had much snow this year. In November, we were able to go outside and enjoy a light dusting; other than that, the only snow we have gotten has been in conjunction with temperatures in the teens. It is followed by warm weather which immediately reduces the beautiful snow into muddy slushy sludge.
So now that the snow is falling heavily outside of our window, and little voices are asking to go out, what do I do considering that it is 18 degrees F?
We have a snowball fight, of course! One that requires no gloves or bulky coats that restrict movement, and it provides gross motor opportunities as well as tactile sensory integration!
Over the summer, I picked up some shower loofahs at the dollar store, 4 for $1. I bought twelve of them specifically for this activity, so I made sure that they were at least partially white (they had no all-white loofahs).
I did not show the loofahs to the kids, but instead, played up the idea that we are going to have a “snowball fight.” I asked them if they wanted to have a snowball fight INside, because it was too cold to go OUTside. Of course, the idea thrilled them. I brought them up to our play area, which is a nice spacious area with very little that can be knocked over or broken. If you do this in your living room, please remove any lamps, knick knacks, or pictures that could be broken.
I dumped the bag of “snowballs” onto the floor. The kids stared at me. They had no idea what to do with them! So I picked one up and (nicely) chucked it at Jonah’s chest. “AAAHHHHH!!! I got YOU!!! Can you get ME???” Then the kids understood, and suddenly I was “under fire” being pelted with pretend snowballs. I ducked for cover under the train table. The kids giggled, waiting for me to come out. I grabbed the closest snowball I saw, leaped up and yelled “AAAAAHHHHH!!!!!” They squealed and ran from me, Jonah hiding behind a small brick structure on the wall, and Eve under the blankets on the futon.
We went back and forth in this way until I was too tired to continue. Everyone got a fair amount of exercise.The loofahs are one of the textures that Jonah is hesitant to touch, so I left the string loops on them to give him something to hold them with – but I also encouraged him to hold the whole loofah in order to aim and throw it properly.
This activity is great to get the wiggles out of any aged child. It promotes exercise, hand-eye coordination, social play, imaginative play, and tactile sensory integration. And the best part about it is, it does all of that without the kids even realizing that they are doing anything other than having a great time.