Winter Holiday Tools #3: Snowball Goodbye

Snowball Goodbye 2014 illust by Jennifer Miller 1

Winter Holiday Tools #3: Snowball Goodbye

Our friend, seven year old S, led a “Snowball Goodbye Game” at the end of a lovely holiday evening of food and playing. Leaving the merriment of a holiday gathering can be a great challenge for children who may be tired but just don’t want the fun to end. This game is an excellent holiday tool to use for the often challenging transition of leaving.

Grab some blank sheets of white paper and markers or pens. Rip off a strip and give one to each person. Ask each individual to write their name on the paper. Then, crumble it up into the shape of a snowball and throw it into a pile on the floor or in a bowl. Each person then picks a snowball. They get to decide how they will say goodbye to the person whose name they selected. Fist bumps, hugs, handshakes or high fives are all possibilities.

Try this game out and maybe instead of crying, whining or pouting at the end of your event, your goodbyes will be filled with laughter and joy.

Game Origin:

S learned this game at her school where they implement the Responsive Classroom approach, an excellent evidence based social and emotional learning curriculum. The Snowball Greeting, adapted by S as a “goodbye,” is listed in one of their books, The Morning Meeting Book by Roxann Kriete.

Variation: Secret Snowball Game

The Morning Meeting Book also offers a variation for this game. You can utilize it as a winter holiday tool to create acts of kindness toward each other in your family during this busy season. Each family member can place his or her name on a piece of paper, create a snowball and place them in a bowl. Individuals pick a snowball at the start of the day. Then, they secretly observe the person whose name they picked. At the end of the day, they share one time that day they observed the person being kind.

4 Comments on “Winter Holiday Tools #3: Snowball Goodbye”

  1. I will definitely use the “secret snowball game” when we have a bunch of family here over the holidays. Thank you for the terrific suggestion! It is something I don’t think we take enough time to acknowledge, especially during the hectic holiday season.

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