Internet wanderings somehow brought me to Snow-flakes: A chapter from the book of nature on Open Library. I've only shared a few of the beautiful images from the book, but you can find much more at the link above.
These snowflakes have me thinking about wintery weather, which we are missing here in the top left corner of the country; but I'm also thinking about patterning. We are naturally drawn to pattern and symmetry, and that is especially true for children. Learning about pattern comes naturally - we can point out patterns in our everyday life for children, and that gives them the opportunity to find their own patterns. Patterns can be as simple as waking up and walking straight to the kitchen to make a pot of coffee each morning, and as complex as a life cycle.
Doing a project around the topic of patterns is incredibly open-ended, and if you have wonderful things to share with children, they will find wonderfully original patterns to share with you!
- Look at snowflakes under a microscope. Can you really see the patterns? Draw what you see!
- Take a walk and try to find other things that are patterns. Maybe all of the rocks by the creek are smooth, or all of the evergreen trees have a pinecone hanging from them. Be open to all kinds of patterns!
- Think about your favorite songs as a group, or as a family. Are those patterns? How?
- Make up a sound pattern.
- Make up a painting pattern.
- Take a look at these watercolor negative prints. Can you make negative prints that are inspired by the images from the snowflake book?
- What else has symmetry like a snowflake?
- Make Rorschach inkblot tests by folding wet paintings in half.
- Take a look at this film from the Canadian Film Board, and have some quilts on hand. What do the children notice?
We take in patterns around us with all of our senses, so don't stop with this list!
And please, share any other thoughts you have about using these snowflake images in context with young children!