Catch a Snowflake: Exploring Winter's Wonders
Six-armed snowflakes dancing in the air, ice covered branches glistening under the winter moon, mornings when the world lies still- these are a few of the wonders of winter. More than any other, this season feels magical. It is a time when the world rests and waits before renewing itself in spring. The wonder and magic of the season amazes children everywhere and fills them with questions. Answer those questions and explore winter marvels with these books about snow and snowflakes.
A small girl enjoys the snow in a Millions of Snowflakes by Mary McKenna Siddals. This almost wordless counting book is perfect for the youngest child and celebrates the delight children feel when playing in the snow. Enjoy before you revel in your own snowy play with your child!
In The Night the Moon Blew Kisses by Lynn Manuel and Robin Spowart, a girl and her grandmother go for a night walk while waiting for the snow, which they call moon kisses, to start. The kisses come and the girl and grandmother relish in the experience. This book would be an ideal read before going on your own snowy night walk.
No Two Alike by Keith Baker (board book) explores how no two things are alike starting with snowflakes, but ends with how we are similar in many ways. After reading this book, cut out snowflakes and compare how they are the same and different, and then move on to the other things mentioned in the book. Turn this into a math activity by counting the points or arms on your snowflakes. Be sure to share ways our differences make us stronger, such as the child who is the stronger can help others carry things whereas the child who loves drawing can show others how to draw.
In Snow by Uri Schulevitz, people notice a snowflake falling but dismiss it since it is only one lonely flake. However, the flakes keep falling and falling and piling up to the delight of a young boy. Use the concept of piling up for everyday math by measuring how the snow grows in depth. Make it a winter long project by creating a chart with each day and the amount of snow received that day. At the end of winter total up how much snow and compare how many inches you received with how tall each child is.
The Story of Snow: The Science of Winter's Wonder by Mark Cassino details how snowflakes are formed and the many shapes they come in. At the end of the book, there are directions for how to collect your own snow crystals so you can collect and examine them. Use this link from Science Friday for more directions on how to preserve snowflakes as well as other winter science experiments.
Snowflake Bentley by Jacqueline Briggs Martin tells the story of Wilson A Bentley's discovery of how to photograph snowflakes which gave the world their first glimpse of these tiny, delicate ice sculptures. Create your own photography studio in the dramatic play area with cameras, snowflakes the children make, and a string with clothespins for hanging photographs. Use cardboard to make the cameras Bentley would have used, as well as provide modern ones which are easy to find at thrift stores if you don't already have some. Additionally, you can use the snowflake preserving technique above to let your child(ren) photograph their own snowflakes and make a book of their pictures.
Winter Poems by Barbara Rogasky and Trina Schart Hyman shares selected poems about winter that are paired with lovely illustrations. Children love the sound of poetry and this book will delight them. Pick a poem a day to read!
Why is the Snow White? by Heinz Janisch and Silke Leffler creates an imaginative tale of how snow became white. At one time snow was transparent until he sees the color of the flowers and asks for some from each of them. Unfortunately, none will share with him until he asks the white snowdrops who generously give to him. After this, snow cherishes and keeps snowdrops safe as they are winter bloomers. After reading this book start an exploration of color- be sure to share that white is really made when all the colors combine.
I hope you enjoy these books as much as I have finding them! As always, feel free to share with credit to Words Reflected and Kim Bogren Owen on Facebook, your website, or in your newsletter. Please add your recommendations for additional books about snow and snowflakes in the comments.
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