Snowflake Blues

Snow is falling… Thanksgiving leftovers have been depleted and Christmas joy is beginning to fill the air. This is a wonderful time of the year filled with love, joy, laughter, wonderful aromas, and endless kid crafts.

I am usually a go-with-the-flow kind of girl. I’m not stricken with the “literal” bug and typically can overlook a majority of mishaps with grace. After all, I usually can surmise what people meant when they say things backwards, or misspell a word in their blog. Hey, we are all human… we make mistakes… and sometimes our brains work far faster than our mouths or fingers and another blooper has been released into the world. Unless, of course, you are the Dr. of the Psychology department where I spent over $50,000 for a degree… then I might expect the proper use of “there vs their”… true story… it happened… but I digress.

There are times though that being precise matters. When giving driving directions, a left turn vs a right turn is a big deal. When measuring ingredients, a tsp vs a Tbsp is a really big deal. When balancing your checkbook adding a debit instead of subtracting it… you get the picture.

This time of the year inspires innumerable crafts, but please… oh please… if you are going to lead my children in a paper snowflake cutout craft… fold the paper correctly! I cannot count the number of times my children have joyfully shared their wonderful winter creation with either a four-sided or eight-sided snowflake! Many people may think this is irrelevant, but even I, in my go-with-the-flow ways cannot overlook such an important detail.snowflake image

Let’s get just a wee bit scientific… water is H20. That means that one molecule of water has two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom bonded together in a very strong covalent bond. As the molecules attract to one another, the hydrogen atoms are further attracted to an oxygen atom of another water molecule creating a very strong hexagonal network. This is the basic reason that snowflakes are hexagonal and for a paper snowflake craft to be cut-out correctly, one must fold it into sixths. Yes, my younger children are in this just for the cool looking cutout piece, but this is a great opportunity to plant the seeds of truth and talking about the unique traits of snowflakes. Everyone seems to remind the children that snowflakes are all unique, no two alike, just like we are. Please remember to tell them why snowflakes are six-sided. I promise you; even the youngest kids will pick up on it and begin to understand that it is important.

There are several tutorials available online showing how to fold the paper in sixths. There are even some fantastic cutting patterns.

The children are signed up for a winter activity hour at the library later this week and guess what one of the crafts will be? We shall see how many sides the snowflakes will have… This is just one of the few things that really cut against the grain of my go-with-the-flow ways, almost as much as the primary colors typically taught… but that is a story for another day. What about you? What makes you cringe when it comes to homeschooling, activities, or crafts…?

 

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