Snowflakes fell in all their six-sided glory to layer our play yard in mounds of fabulous, fluffy, sparkling whiteness. We captured and studied some flakes on our mittens before they melted away, and we ate, shoveled, scooped up, and slid over the other billion.Monday students made art by blowing through straws to push liquid water color across paper, spreading into branches as it moved.Before heading to the library while visitors came for the monthly play date, they constructed and painted a mushroom fairy house for the new dramatic play forest area. The bear den and fairy house were joined by a tree house and a tent (on loan from the Kelly family – thank you!). The Sunnybrook forest animals were busy storing up food for winter, hibernating, building camp fires, and visiting among the various abodes.Our study of trash and recycling continued as we read the stories Don’t Throw That Away!, which taught us about which items we can recycle, and My Little Plastic Bag about what happens to a trash bag thrown out along the roadside. The bag was chopped up by a mower, then washed into a stream. It made its’ way to the ocean where it was eaten by a fish, who was caught by a fisherman and sold for food, so the chemicals from the bag were ingested by the family who ate the fish.We listened to and performed The Mitten by Jan Brett. The children selected animal headband masks and acted out the story as they listened to the telling, burrowing into the “mitten” then falling out all over the ground when the meadow mouse burrowed in, making the bear sneeze. They had a lot of fun both watching and performing.We read several books about winter animals and hibernation. We learned that many animals hibernate – some go into true hibernation where they do not wake until spring, and others go into a sleep state where they may be disturbed and awaken to eat and move, including bears.We took out the parachute and played some fun parachute games. First we sang Ring Around the Rosy, then shook, shook, shook the parachute to shake off Henrietta the hen. Next we played a name finding game. When our names were called, we ran under the parachute, grabbed our own name tags, and ran back out. We then switched it up. We listened to two names called, then ran under the parachute when we heard our name and grabbed the name tag for the other name called. Finally we played great white shark, taking turns being the shark who swims under the parachute and nibbles the toes of a friend, who then crawls under the parachute to become the next shark.Friday students continued their study of the five senses. We reviewed what the five senses are, then proceeded to learn more in depth about the sense of sight. We looked at a model drawing of an eyeball cross section and located the optic nerve, cornea, iris, pupil, lens, and retina. We looked in a mirror to see what color our irises are. We turned out the lights then looked at a partners pupils. We observed that their pupils were quite large. We turned the lights back on and looked at our partners pupils again, and saw that they had become very small. We determined that they shrink to keep light out when it is bright, and open to let light in when it is dark. We then watched two short videos about how our eyes work (How Your Eyes Work & A Journey Through the Human Eye). We looked through a magnifying glass and binoculars to see how things that are small can look larger, or far away can look close and clear. Finally we played some games. We started with I Spy With My Little Eye. The children listened to the clues and walked to stand near something in the classroom that fit the visual descriptors of the item until there was no mistaking what it was and everyone stood together. We then played a letter finding game. The nametags were spread around the rug, and when shown and given the name of a letter, the children had to find and stand on a name that had that letter in it. To finish up, we pulled out some colored flashlights and did some dancing!As it was too cold for outside play on Friday, the children helped to create an obstacle course, which they then proceeded to do over, and over, and over, and over . . .