“Mommy it’s snowing!” “Mommy let’s go sledding!” “Mommy let’s build a snowman!” “Mommy where are my mittens?” Mommy needs a nap.
My kids are SO excited about the snow and Winter this year. After spending the past two Winters in Mississippi, snow is a major novelty for them. (You can read more about our Winter adventure plans here) I don’t think it’s exclusive to former southerners however.
Children are fairly universally thrilled by snow. To them it is magical.
This story time is inspired by that love of snow. The yet-to-be-jaded enthusiasm for white flaky stuff falling from the sky.
Note: Our story times always have the same parts; We start with a hello song. Next, I read 2-3 books about a topic with a rhyme/song and group activity that works on a developmental goal in between each book. We end with a goodbye song and then head to the table. At the table there is an invitation of some sort that works on another one of the developmental skills they are building. These elements are all listed below so you can move them around into whatever order works for you!
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NOTE: at this point in the story time introduce the Group Time activity! Details are below.
Books about Winter
Featured Book: A Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
This is the Virtual Book Club for Kids featured book this week. It’s a classic so I probably don’t need to explain that it follows sweet little Peter on his snowy day adventures. This is Ezra Jack Keats’ first picture book and it’s just perfection. Simple and sweet with delicious words and dreamy illustrations.
If you haven’t already – you should check out this beautiful book about the making of A Snowy Day and Ezra Jack Keats. Fascinating, wonderfully written, and fun for generations of this classic book. Not a great story time read aloud for little kids, but absolutely worth reading.
2. Waiting for Winter by Sebastian Meschenmoser
This book is the laugh out loud, slap your knee kind of funny. A squirrel decides to wait for Winter and drafts some other hibernators to the cause. Their ideas about what snow might look like and their waiting antics are hilarious. Told with minimal words and hilarious illustrations, this one is good for toddlers and up, but best with 3+
3. Waiting for Snow by Marsha Diane Arnold
The delicate way these sweet characters were drawn is my favorite part of this book. Badger and his friends are anxiously waiting for snow to arrive. Their impatience is something all young children are likely to understand.
Songs + Rhymes about Winter
5 Little Snowmen Finger Play from Strings, Keys, and Melodies
Mr. Snowman Song + Felt Board Activity from Little Story Bug
Group Activities about Winter
Melting Snowball Estimations
In the story of A Snowy Day, Peter puts a snowball in his pocket when he goes home and it melts. This part of the story was endlessly fascinating to my children and they LOVE experiments of any kind, thus our melting snowballs experiment was born.
This experiment is very simple and easy to prep.
Tray with a Rim or Large Clear Bowl (so you can see the snowball but the water won’t make a huge mess)
At the beginning of Group Time bring in a real snowball and place it on a tray.
Ask your kids to make a hypothesis about how long it will take the snowball to melt. Write their predictions down on a chart or large piece of paper.
In between stories or activities, check on the snowball throughout the story time.
Ask questions! Were there estimations close? What made the snow melt faster or slower than they thought? How could they make the snowball melt slower? How could they make it melt faster?
Record their ideas and if they’re interested you could try again or encourage them to try their ideas at home depending on your setting.
The Goodbye Train is Leaving. (Watch on YouTube) from Jbrary
Table Invitations + Activities about Winter
Snowflake Swat Letter Learning Game from Preschool Powol Packets
Snowball Sight Words on a Sticky Table from Views From a Step Stool
Snowy Day Inspired Alphabet Writing Tray from School Time Snippets
Snow Tea Party from Teach Beside Me
Why We Salt the Road: Science Investigation from Rainy Day Mum
The Snowy Day Book Related Pre-Writing Sensory Tray from Growing Book by Book
Easy Snowflake Craft from Mama Smiles
Puffy Paint Melted Snowman from Messy Little Monster