Beat the Winter Doldrums with This New Sparks Activity

Warm up your classroom with a snowball blizzard!

It is the last week in February, and, depending on where you live, you know all too well that Mother Nature has offered up a lot of cold and snow this winter. If students in your youth group or classroom are showing signs of winter fatigue and boredom, why not try some new activities to liven up the day?

Author Jolene L. Roehlkepartain devotes a whole chapter on boredom-busting ideas in her book, Spark Student Motivation: 101 Easy Activities for Cooperative Learning. The following activity, Snowball Blizzard, is a great way for kids to have some fun and discover new things about each other.

Snowball Blizzard

Focus: Youth have a paper snowball fight to get to know each other more.

You Will Need:

  • A large area
  • Three pieces of 8 ½- by 11-inch white paper for each young person
  • A pencil for each young person

Activity: Give each young person three pieces of paper and a pencil. Have them write one unusual fact about themselves on each piece of paper without putting their name on the paper. For example, one person may write, "I got braces when I was 11" on one piece of paper, "Our family has a pet snake" on another piece of paper, and "My family has traveled to India" on another piece of paper.

When they finish, have them wad up each of their three papers into three "snowballs" of paper.

While holding their three wads of paper, have them spread out in a large area. Explain that when you yell, "Snowball blizzard!" they are to start throwing their wads of paper at other kids. If a wad of paper falls near them, they can pick it up and throw it at someone and keep the snowball blizzard going.

Yell, "Snowball blizzard" and let the wads of paper begin to fly. After a few minutes, stop the activity. Have young people sit. Ask them each to grab one snowball wad closest to them.

Ask for a volunteer. Have that person open up the paper, read it aloud, and then guess whom it describes. Let them have three guesses. If they don’t guess by the third time, have the person who it describes raise his or her hand and say, "That's me."

That person then opens up a snowball and does the same thing. Keep going around the group until all the snowballs have been opened up. (Each young person will do three.)

Discussion Questions:

  • How hard or easy was it to come up with three unusual facts about yourself?
  • What did you think of the snowball blizzard? Why?
  • What one new fact did you learn about a group member today?
  • Why is it important to have fun with group members?
  • How else can we have fun together?

Bonus Idea: At another time, play the game again. This time have young people write the place where they were born on one piece of paper, the name of the school they attended as a kindergarten student on another piece of paper, and the name of their favorite teacher on the third piece of paper.

Jolene L. Roehlkepartain is the author of numerous books including The Best of Building Assets Together, Pass It On, and Parenting Preschoolers with a Purpose.

P.S. Don't forget, free shipping is available in February on orders over $200. Stock up now on your favorite publications, posters, and kits!

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Publish Date: 

Monday, February 23, 2015

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