A blanket reprieve.

The snowflakes collect on my grandmother’s rabbit hat from Romania.

The irresistible poem came to me this morning as I watched the snow cover our unmanicured front lawn- a poem about the way the snow coats the wagons and toys, ultimately equalizing the houses and landscapes of the neighborhood. Under a blanket of white, we are all the perfect housekeepers.

As I tossed around words in the possibility of a sonnet, the munchkins were jumping out of their skin. Coats and caps, we ventured out to play and explore.

After traipsing and snacking on snow, we returned indoors to read some Robert Frost and revel in the strangeness of snow.

There is one perfect snowflake in the top right which allows you to distinguish its perfect shape.

Each little flake carries its own signature. We studied the lines and shapes and then made a small snow-mobile to remind us that the huge mass of sculptures we see outside is composed of millions of tiny geometric wonders- each distinct and beautiful.

We never end up where we start….

Snowflakes (PDF)

Then I printed up two copies (Mills was otherwise occupied) of the snowflake printable above and armed the kids with crayons to color their vision of snowflakes. Micah’s snowflakes were rainbows of fruit flavor, while Max stuck to gray and light blue (“snow tones”, as he called them). We added some glitter with glue and let everything dry. In the meantime, the snow started plopping by the bucket, so out we went again.

Micah kept taking a microscopic view of the snowflakes, pointing out “this one has a crinkly shape” and so on. Wet and cold with red hands and soaked shoes, we returned to the house to finish our snowflaking out.

After cutting out each snowflake, Micah and Milla matched pairs of snowflakes so we could glue them together. I love the fact that each double-sided snowflake looks different as a result of alternate visions by Micah and Max- the same snowflake shape but different colors and glitter designs. Skills of comparing and contrasting benefit from slight variations which encourage little people to seek the underlying similarity.

I used a hole-punch to punch holes in the double-sided snowflakes and looped a piece of string through each one. Micah practiced her counting skills by counting the snowflakes aloud and then matching a string to each.

As the afternoon sun revealed the “fairy wishes” (Max’s longtime name for the house dust that really shows up when given a few rays of beaming light), the little people argued over the “best color of glitter” and “why the sun makes the snow sparkle less”.

So the snowflakes outside melt while the snowflakes hanging near the kitchen doorway keep their artificial sweetness. Time for a fire.

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