Snow Day 2014...a.k.a. Straight up Exhaustion

So. Winter break is finally here! I had to go strong all the way through the 23rd of December people! It was hard, but I tried to make it as fun as possible since we rarely get days like this. The focus wasn't so much on academics, but more "social skills" (or at least that is how I tried to play it). I scoured the world of Pinterest to find some Minute to Win it games to play and renamed them for our Snow Day theme. Check 'em out below!

Here was our game list. I did this all using SMART Notebook so I linked each game to game details with the snowflake.

Once I clicked the snowflake, we came up to the game details which included materials and task. I did this so that students could see that they can play these types of games at home by searching their house for similar items. I also added a timer for each game to keep track of the minute. I added our CARES acronym for each game and we discussed what each of the CARES would look like/sound like/feel like during that game.

Some games, like Do You Wanna Draw a Snowman, I added "requirements" that they needed to have in order for it to be complete. This one showed what parts to a snowman they had to include.

What did these games look like? Take a look below!

This game required me to spend the most $, but it was one of my favorites to play and watch. However, the Dollar Tree still made it very affordable, and I can reuse all the materials for other things. For this game, students had to build an 'iceberg' out of plastic cups. They had to build it on top of a floating bowl. The goal was 5 cups.

 No one got it- including me. So I let them problem solve/engineer a bit. I told them they could remove one item (the bowl or the basin of water) and try to complete the challenge. I also said they could flip the bowl over and/or change the way they stacked the cups. After this, they all found a way to get all 5 cups stacked. It was a great game for teamwork and communication!

I had to have a Frozen reference! For this game, they simply had to draw a snowman on their plate. Catch was, they had to keep the plate on the top of their head and had to include certain snowman elements (see above). We did it once on our own and then we got with a partner and they tried to direct us. Snowman turned out better when we had help, but no one completed the challenge with their partner. 

We put the plates down on our desk and did a gallery walk to see how everyone did. It was really funny to see everyone's drawings!

This was a great game because it involved strategy. For some, it proved pretty easy, for others- a challenge! The goal was to blow (using a straw) 3 snowballs (cotton balls) across their desk and into a cup taped to the side in under a minute. I put two cups on each set of desk for more options.

I'd say only a handful completed it, but all had fun trying!

This was the favorite of the group. I think it's because they got to throw things. But it was very simple and allowed me to reuse materials from other games. This was a partner game where one was the thrower and one was the catcher. They had 60 seconds to try to get as many snowballs (cotton balls) into the cup on their partners head. It was non-stop laughs!

This game was great because students could set how much they wanted to be challenged- they moved farther back to challenge themselves or closer if they were getting upset.

This one was a quicky! I cut out some snowflakes out of tissue paper and reused the plates from the "Do You Wanna Draw a Snowman?" game. The snowflakes were easy to cut as I just opened the tissue paper pack and cut once and got 10 snowflakes! The object of this game was just to get your snowflake from one end of the room to the other by just fanning it with your plate in under 60 seconds. We did another challenge where they had to keep their snowflake off the ground as well for 60 seconds.

By the end of the games, energy levels were dropping and I was exhausted. Luckily- it was time for them to go to their intervention time and then to P.E. before coming back and doing our book exchange!

I wrapped up 25 books that I bought through Scholastic Book Clubs and we played a couple exchanging games before they got to open them up. They could either keep their book or try to trade with someone else. All seemed pleased with their book choice, although there was some complaining that their favorite series wasn't included. EVEN AFTER WE TALKED ABOUT BEING GRATEFUL FOR WHAT WE GET! We talked about getting gifts. We did our classroom mantra- "You get what you get, and you appreciate it." I even shared how excited I was to give them a new book and I'd write a little message in their book while they watched Frozen. And we still had a complainer (and yes, it really was just one kid that is standing out). I have to be honest- it was a little disheartening. The large majority were grateful- one boy in particular could not stop hugging his book he got. It did make me think of changes to next year... I'm leaning towards creating a gift and giving it as opposed to receiving one- we'll see. I also made them some "Snow Dough" from this recipe here thanks to Tara's suggestion

Lastly, we made some "Snowman Soup" to take home while watching Frozen and then called it a day. We had some great moments and lots of fun together on our last day before break. Now- I'm off to continue to enjoy mine!



  1. HOW FUN! Your students are so lucky... I bet they went home and told their parents all about the fun they had!!

    1. It was a lot of fun and boy, did it tire them (and me) out. Hopefully at least a couple were able to go home and answer the question, "How was school today?" with the response- "FUN!" Thank you for your kind comment (as always, Deb)


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