Building an igloo is easy all you need is nothing but the kitchen sink! …Oh and a spade, that helps…and snow of course, lots of snow…and while you’re at it some thermals!
A year or so ago a friend of mine Fiona, from Tots on Tour, told me about this idea and my boys have been keen to try it ever since. I was amazed by how well it actually worked.
Draw a rough circle in the snow as a guide then simply fill a washing up bowl with snow and stamp it down to compact it. Tip it up to place your snow brick onto your marked circle and repeat until you’ve gone all the way round, leaving a small gap for the door. Then do the next layer making sure you overlap the joins just like you would with Lego. To make a dome simply bring in each row by a couple of centimeters and eventually they’ll meet at the top.
The teacher in me couldn’t help but take the opportunity for the children to develop their skills with this design and make activity. They’ve had the opportunity to develop their ideas, plan, make and evaluate their igloo and the construction process and they’ve had an immense amount of fun doing it.
At first they spent time at home chatting about what equipment they’d need and planning a sequence of actions.
When we were out I let them make what I could see would be mistakes so that they had the opportunity to problem solve for themselves. To begin with they started on a gentle slope and soon realised their mistake and moved. Later they quickly spotted that rather than doing it all with the spade, the bowl could be filled more quickly by scooping up the snow initially and then topping up with the shovel. They also realised at the end that their initial circle had been too small and the finished igloo only accommodated one person at a time, on the plus side it was very quick to make because it was so small.
I loved how this project gave the boys a super opportunity to work together as a team and really listen to each other and communicate and adapt their own ideas.
Of course they had great fun knocking it down when they’d finished with it too!
We finished the day with lots of sledging and snowball fights…well it had to be done didn’t it!
This activity supports Design and Technology at Key Stage 1 and 2: Developing, planning and communicating ideas; Working with tools, equipment, materials and components to make quality products; Evaluating processes and products; Knowledge and understanding of materials and components.
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