In our part of the world, it has been frigid. Well, not as frigid as other parts of the world, but pretty darn cold if you ask me!
We have been inside, inside, inside so we have had plenty of time to read, craft, cook and play.
Below is an assortment of recently published books that celebrate winter along with some activities for everyone to enjoy.
A Perfect Day by Carin Berger shows the reader, in gorgeous collage, what a perfect winter day could be. We see Emma as she makes the first tracks in the snow and then we follow her and her friends as they ski, skate, have snowball fights, and erect icicle stands and more. The story ends when the children return home to steaming mugs of hot chocolate. After reading about this perfect day, enjoy your own cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows on the side.
Cold Snap by Eileen Spinelli is the story of a frigid stretch of weather that freezes the town of Toby Mills. After days and days of cold, relief is found with a sweet treat. After reading this story, all children will want to create their own snow candy. Fortunately, the recipe is quite simple and provided at the end of the book.
Mice on Ice by Rebecca Emberly and Ed Emberly reminds us that sometimes we can make friends with the most unlikely of characters. In the story, a group of mice enjoy skating time until they notice that a cat has joined in on the fun. Careful eyes will observe the skate’s runner have been drawing a cat on the ice. Before reading Mice on Ice, fill a large backing dish with water and place it in the freezer. Gather small figures and after reading, host a skating party for all the toys.
No Two Alike by Keith Baker is a simple story of comparisons. Exploring the snowy illustrations, readers can look for similarities and differences between things that are similar yet not exactly alike; snowflakes, forests, birds, fences and even friends. After reading, pull out your scissors and white paper and get to work making your own snowflakes. Is it possible to make two that are exactly the same?
Outside Your Window: A First Book of Nature by Nicola Davies is a collection of poetry that encourages children to look and explore nature outside their windows. Before reading, collect a few pinecones and afterward, create simple bird feeders by spreading peanut butter on the pinecones. Place the bird feeders outside your window and encourage your children to observe the birds that come for a snack.
Over and Under the Snow by Kate Messner shows the reader all that that is happening with forest animals over and under the snow. What fun for readers to explore unseen worlds and imagine what might be going on in their own back yards? To create an easy snow scene, give children crayons and ask them first to draw the animals they might see over or under the snow. Then using glue and cotton balls, fill the scene with snow.
Rabbits’ Snow Dance by Josheph Bruchac is a modern day rendering of a traditional Native American Fable. In this story, Rabbit dances a dance that makes snowfall, no matter the season. After reading about Rabbit’s antics, children will be eager to create their own snow dance. After dancing, talk about other tricks to bring on the snow. Some people believe, for example, that wearing your pajamas backwards will always deliver a snow day upon waking.
The Reader by Amy Hest tells the tale of a little boy and his dog. In this beautiful celebration of reading and friendship, the boy and his dog enjoy all the fun that winter can bring. After reading this tale, children will be eager to make snow angels and to see if maybe their dogs can create angels too.