Children love playing in the snow! The magic of a frozen world covered in white beckons them to come out and explore. Capture that interest by going out into the wintery world before reading, and enjoy the wonder regardless if it is in your own backyard, the local park, a walk through town, on a skating rink, or on the slopes. Once you return, cuddle up on the couch with a cup of hot cocoa and a blanket, and enjoy these books with your child.
In Angelina Ice Skates by Katherine Holabird and Helen Craig, Angelina is trying to get ready for the New Year's Eve Ice Dance, but two boys keep teasing her and interfering with the preparations. After talking with her mom about the problem, she decides that by involving them in the preparations they will start to work with her, rather than against her. Her idea works, and together they put on a beautiful show. This great book introduces children to ice skating, but also can be used to discuss cooperation and positive versus negative ways to get attention.
It is finally snowing and Lola can't wait to go out and play in Charlie and Lola: Snow if My Favorite and My Best by Lauren Child. One more in a series that is one of my favorites! Charlie and Lola enjoy the snow and take advantage of all the play opportunities in it, but Lola is disappointed when it is all melted the next day. She wishes it could be snowy every day, but Charlie helps her understand why it is good that the weather and other things change. This is a nice addition to conversations about the seasons, as well as how change can be good. After reading this book, draw pictures of your favorite snowy day activities with your child.
Cross-Country Cat by Mary Calhoun and Erick Ingraham tells the story of a cat who was left behind at the family cabin, but using some ingenuity, he cross-country skis out. After a few close calls, he is finally "rescued" by his family or, at least, that is what he leads them to believe. Pretend to cross country ski after reading this. Both toddlers and preschoolers love this story!
A mother and toddler explore the snow in It's Snowing by Olivier Dunrea until they go home for the toddler's nap. Gorgeous illustrations make the snow come to life. Infants and toddlers will enjoy this book.
Mush! Across Alaska In the World's Longest Sled-Dog Race by Patricia Seibert and Jan Davey Ellis introduces children to dog sledding and the Iditarod race. The Iditarod is based on Balto's heroic trip to bring medicine to the citizens of Nome, Alaska and helps to preserve the tradition of dog sledding in Alaska. While introducing the facts and history of the Iditarod, this book maintains a good pace that keeps preschoolers engaged. The one caveat is that this book refers to the native peoples of Alaska as Eskimos or Inuits. Many people find the term Eskimo insulting and there are many tribes other than the Inuit who live in Alaska.
Children take advantage on snow during school recess by having a snowball fight in Perfect Snow by Barbara Reid. As the melee ramps up, once child notices that another is making snowmen and worries that they will be destroyed so steps in to protect them. When the children return to the playground from lunch they all work together to make a snowmen fort. By the next day, rain has melted the snowmen, but the kids are just as excited about the slush. Both this and Angelina Ice Skates would be great additions to a unit or discussion on friendship.
Explore the lingo of snowboarding in Rhinos Who Snowboard by Julie Mammano, and try out the words in the book on your own. A very fun read for children of all ages. After reading it, take your child outside to jump off low things or have them practice the moves and turns of snowboarding by jumping off the couch. Since you know your child best, as well as the area you live, make sure your child has the ability to safely jump off things, and that there is a soft landing and it is close to the ground so they do not get hurt. Otherwise, stick to practicing these moves on the ground!
Sophie has loved to skate since she was 3 years old, and at 8 still wants to be a professional skater in Sophie Skates by Rachel Isadora. This story tells of the hard work it takes to get there while introducing the reader to figure skating terms. One of my favorite things about this book is that it shows both boys and girls figure skating and dancing, and so helps break up some stereotypes about this sport.
Toys go out to explore the snow in Toys Meet Snow by Emily Jenkins and Paul O. Zelinsky while their little girl is away on winter vacation. They try to understand the snow through both poetry and science which keeps the wonder of the season alive. One of the most magical and creative books I have read.
As always, I hope you enjoy these recommendations. 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 playing in the snow in the comments.