Winter readings for January

January to me should always mean snow. Since we aren’t likely to get it living in Florida (although it was cold enough for it this week!), we choose to read books about it. My favorite snowy book has always  been The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats. The story is timeless, about a child’s experience with snow. This year I was thrilled to discover a copy at our library book sale, and we are happily enjoying it on our permanent bookshelf.snowydayfrom The Snowy Day

This year we have found a few new books to add to our winter/snowy reading list.

9780312604462Here Comes Jack Frost by Kazuno Kohara: a sweet story about a young boy and his mischievous adventures in the snow (with a friend). The illustrations are great! We love the other book by this author, Ghosts in the House, and this one is a new favorite.

snowbotsSnowbots by Aaron Reynolds: A cute story about life for a robot in the snow.


The Lonesome Polar Bear by Jane Cabrera: cute illustrations and a nice message.

We are also reading our favorites from years past, like the Snowmen books by Caralyn Buehner. You can see my complete snowy readings lists here and here.

Snowy activities for January fun

As I mentioned in this post, my preschool theme for my children in the month of January is always SNOW. Today I am sharing some of the snow-themed activities we have done (or still will do) this month.

*Side note about the activities: In December I discovered something interesting. That month I made a list of the December craft activities and games that we wanted to do. I created a very simple advent countdown (think super simple here–I stuck six clothespins on the wall and then wrote the activities on red and green paper). The children took turns choosing an activity to do each day, and when we ran out I just added more activities to the clothespins.

This system worked so well for us! My 5-year old can often be heard “What are we going to do?” If I tell her “We are going to … (insert random craft activity)” she is often resistant to the idea. But when she gets to pick the activity from the wall (even when she can’t read and is just randomly selecting a piece of paper), then she is always happy to participate.IMG_9896

So I decided to continue the clothespin system into January, just changing the color of the paper. We don’t do an activity every day (probably 3-4 a week). But so far it is working well for us. I plan a list of activities in advance (most only take 20 minutes (or longer if the kids are really interested), all can be done with minimal prep and supplies I have on hand, and the kids have the freedom of selecting which activity we do. It’s a win-win situation for us!

S0…here are the snowy activities on our list for January.

Read The Snowy Day. Conduct an ice melting science experiment: sugar, salt, mitten, control (more details here from Joyfully Weary).

Make snowflakes using coffee filter papers.

Play a snowflake match game (snowflakes available in this packet here from Confessions of a Homeschooler).

Read Thomas’ Snowsuit. Have a winter dress relay race. Then do a snowball relay race (transfer cotton balls on a spoon to a bowl across the room).

Read Snowmen All Year. Make a shape snowman (more details here from Preschool Alphabet).IMG_9895Make snowflakes with marshmallows and toothpicks

Decorate popsicle stick snowflakes–use glitter.IMG_9892

Read Snowman at Night. Make a toilet paper night snowman (more details here from No Time for Flashcards).IMG_9894

Play with shaving cream in a dish. Pretend it is snow.

S is for Snowman preschool packet (download the packet here from Confessions of a Homeschooler).IMG_9897

Activities still to do

Play and learn with Arctic Animals games (download the game here from File Folder Fun)

Melting candy cane experiments (more details here from Teach Mama-technically not a snowy activity, but a great activity to do with the leftover Christmas candy canes!)

Make a snowman out of felt shapes.

Make crystallized snowflakes using borax (more details here from Silver and Chalk).

Make a snowman from a top-down perspective (more details here).

Snowflake painting using painters tape (more details here from Little Page Turners)

Snowy books to read in January

The theme of my preschool activities with my children during the month of January is always SNOW! There are a number of great snow picture books available, and here are a few of my favorites (note–I get all of these from my local library each January).

Snowmen at Night by Caralyn and Mark Buehner

479_original_1The Snowmen books are great fun. This month we have been reading Snowmen at Night, Snowmen all Year, and Snowmen at Work. The text of the books is good, but the fun thing is that each page contains hidden pictures (a cat, two ducks, a santa face, a t-rex, etc). The hidden pictures keep the children engaged in the book for a longer period of time.

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats

thesnowyday_custom-8ebc3ef66545745e1f433998f34758745d33c933-s6-c10-1This will always be a favorite with me!

Snowflake Bentley by Jacqueline Briggs Martin

bentleyA great book for learning more about and enjoying the beauty of snowflakes. We also enjoyed looking at the pictures in the non-fiction book, The Snowflake: Winter’s Secret Beauty.

Froggy Gets Dressed by Jonathan London

Froggy’s misadventures are always hilarious to children.

Stella Queen of the Snow by Marie-Louise Gay

A funny story about a wise older sister who has all the answers to her younger brother’s questions about snow.

Thomas’ Snowsuit by Robert Munsch

This book makes me glad that we don’t live in a cold climate where we have to wear snowsuits!

New titles discovered and enjoyed this year include:

Millions of Snowflakes  by Mary McKenna Siddels

The Snowman by Raymond Briggs

Snowbaby Could Not Sleep by Kara LaReau

Winter arts and crafts (and books to read in January)

The theme of January at our house is always winter and snow. We have yet to have any snow flurries land on our doorstep in Florida, so we have to make our own fun with snow. Now presenting: our collections of snowy projects undertaken in January!Our winter art wall!

These three snowman scenes were inspired by the paper tube stamped snowman shared at Make and Takes. We started with toilet paper rolls and white paint and made circles, then we each added our own embellishments.

These little cuties were made by painting one of Little Boy Z’s fingers. It’s hard to tell from the picture, but they are pretty miniature. I added the details with colored marker after the paint was dry. (Inspiration found here).

Salty snowflakes: Draw a simple snowflake shape, outline with glue, then shake some salt on top. (Sorry! I can’t remember where I saw this idea to give them credit)

The ever popular cottonball snowman.

And the equally popular marshmallow snowman–because marshmallows are perfect imitations of snowballs, and are as much fun for children to craft with as they are to eat!

Since the marshmallows were already in the house, we of course had to do some building and designing with toothpicks.

The Ant Bug pulled out her Model Magic one afternoon and shaped this snowman. If you haven’t tried Model Magic material before it is a nice variation along the theme of playdough.

As is my habit, we are also reading winter books!

Animals in Winter by Henrietta Bancroft & Richard G. Van Gelder

It’s Snowing! It’s Snowing! Winter Poems by Jack Prelutsky

Katy and the Big Snow by Virginia Lee Burton

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats

Thomas’ Snowsuit by Robert Munsch

Stella: Queen of the Snow by Marie-Louise Gay

Snowmen at Night by Caralyn Buehner

For more wintery and snowy ideas, be sure to check out my winter board on Pinterest.