January 2, 2018

Let it Snow: Our Favorite Books and Activities to Help Bring Winter Inside

Winter Themed Books and Activities
I won't lie. I actually do enjoy SOME of what winter brings. Especially living out here in Kentucky. Once fall hits, the scenery becomes rather dreary, bleak, and...well...Brown. There just aren't enough evergreens to keep it green. Therefore, one of the highlights of winter out here is SNOW! It seems to be hit and miss most winters. We maybe get 16" or we might barely get a dusting. But oh how lovely it looks outside when it is all fresh white and clean! When the winter arrives, so does my desire for all things winter themed: hot cocoa, hot cider, winter themed books, and fun winter themed activities. Today I want to share some of my favorite winter themed books and activities for school.

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Favorite Winter Themed Books

One of my most favorite ways to enjoy winter, is with our favorite winter themed books. This is the time of year when I hit up the library hard to find our family favorites to read again. By saving them for once a year, it keeps them special!

Snowflake Bentley by Jacqueline Briggs Martin
This is a great book for introducing your child to biographies. We learned so much about the science of snowflakes and how amazing it is that someone during this era was actually able to photograph snowflakes!

Katy and the Big Snow by Virginia Lee Burton
A super fun book for winter! We just love all of her books, but this one is one of the favorites!

Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost and Susan Jeffers
A must read. Because who doesn't love the flow of Frost's poem?

by Kenneth Libbrecht
My #1 favorite book relating to snow! This book is a visual delight and really teaches a lot about snowflakes--and answers the questions--Is every snowflake REALLY one of a kind?

Owl Moon by Jane Yolen and John Schoenherr
This book is a classic and so beautiful! I love the illustrations and it really brings to mind those first full moons when the ground is covered in snow. 

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
Did you know the USPS has Forever Stamps based on this book? I totally bought some! This book is a must read for us every season. And now there is an option where your child can have it read to them on YouTube and other places. 

The Mitten by Jan Brett
Such a delightful children's picture book. The illustrations are beautiful and the story a simple pleasure!

The Bears on Hemlock Mountain by Alice Dalgliesh
Another great chapter book for the kids just starting to read at a chapter book level. This classic story is great for any age to enjoy!

The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder
This is a LOVELY chapter book to read on the cold winter nights! And boy will it make you happy you have the home that you do during winter!

Winter Poems by Barbara Rogasky
I really really love this book. The illustrations are fantastic and the poems are really sweet.

Favorite Winter Themed Activities

Some of my favorite activities are the ones you can that coordinate with the books you read. I will start with the coordinating activities and then list the other ones I enjoy next.

Unit Studies that Match Winter Themed Books
I absolutely love using unit studies to work through literature, and it's especially a fun thing to do when you are working on a theme or specific books. Here are some complete unit studies to match some of the books I listed above. Most of these are multi-level age lessons, so make sure you check them out when you are going to add one of these books into your list!

*The Mitten (Homeschoolshare.com)
*The Snowy Day (Homeschoolshare.com)
*The Snowy Day Literature Unit (from Simply Learning)
*Katy and the Big Snow (Homeschoolshare.com)
*Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening (Homeschoolshare.com)
*The Bears on Hemlock Mountain (you can read my review of another lit unit for this book!)

Miscellaneous Winter Themed Activities

Cute Counting Snowman Math Activity
Build a Snowman Activity
Free Snowman Calendar Numbers
Decorate a Snowflake (from FunLearningForKids)
Winter Tracing Worksheets (from Itsy Bitsy Fun)
Winter Dot Painting (from The Resourceful Mama)

We also make a lot of snowflakes to hang, and just have fun with different arts and crafts I find in books, magazines, and Pinterest (of course!) I also encourage you to add a simple set of nature studies into your lessons. Do you have a bird feeder? Do some bird watching and record the birds that visit--even do some science studies on the species. Got snow? Make snow candy! Do science studies on the 3 states of water using the snow and ice! A bit frosty? Bundle up and go look at the frost patterns. And let's not forget trying out the experiment of making frozen soap bubbles!

And for something tasty to eat? I highly recommend my favorite gingerbread recipe!

What are your favorite winter themed activities to do in your classroom?

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