Winter weather is finally upon us, and that means building snow forts, snowballs and snowmen! It is also a wonderful opportunity to tie in the kinesthetic family fun of outdoor winter play with literacy. Here are my family’s top three favorite books about snowmen:
- Wondering what you need to build a snowman? In All You Need for A Snowman, author Alice Shertle uses counting, rhyming and a wild imagination to have her characters create a very unique snowman. This book will have your children using their prediction skills to guess what the youngsters in the story will add next.
- Snowmen at Night is one of a series of books about snowmen by author and illustrator team Caralyn and Mark Buehner. Ever wonder what snowmen do at night? Why it’s their absolute favorite time! When the world is dark and children are sleeping, it’s party time for snowmen everywhere. This book is a whimsical tale that imagines lavish snow parties that happen each night. So in the morning, there may something about your snowman that is just a little bit different, and now you’ll know why.
- Published in 1978, The Snowman by Raymond Briggs is truly a classic. Like many books about snowmen, the main character in this story also comes to life. Yet this charming book has no words at all. It is a perfect book for non-readers to “read” to their family, because they can make up the words as they turn from one page to the next. The brilliant illustrations will endear this snowman to your children’s hearts forever.
So after you stomp all of the snow off your boots and hang your mittens up to dry, make a couple of cups of steaming hot chocolate with marshmallows and pull out some winter-themed children’s literature to extend the learning, the fun and the memories.
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By now you’ve probably heard of The Elf on the Shelf – a book and toy combination that has become a Christmas tradition for many families. Each morning when children wake up during the holiday season, their “scout elf” is hiding in a new place in their home to report their behavior back to Santa.
What if you were able to take a week off from creating new places for your elf to hide, and instead use the elf as an opportunity to promote literacy in your home? Read More »
One of the most innovative ways to bring literacy to the community is happening at ArteSana, an amazing organization in Holyoke, Mass. that is forging a compelling combination of arts, entrepreneurship and educational opportunities.
Women from the community work together to create beautiful accent pillows with handwoven covers made from up-cycled T-shirts. (The Spanish word artesana means a female artisan, but arte and sana in Spanish also mean “art heals.”) From there, sales of pillows generate income for the women who produce the products – while also generating funding for ESOL classes offered for free to the people of Holyoke and surrounding towns. Read More »