Snow Window – Winter Activity For Kids

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winter activity for preschool Snow has clobbered many of you along with freezing temps but here in the Pacific North West we are still green and wet and needed to make our own snow . Whether you are in sunny Florida or too cold to go outside Minnesota you can play with snow and stay warm while you do with this fun indoor winter activity for kids . This is a fun exploration that is opened ended and really encourages creativity. My daughter ran with it and I love what she made. She has always wanted to make a snowman and even though we’ve never had enough snow ( that she can remember) to make one she managed to make one with this winter activity .

Gather your materials. You will need some contact paper, painter’s tape ( you could use real tape but it might muck up your windows), cotton balls, q-tips ( some cu in half) , cotton pads and a window! snow themed preschool activity

Start by taping the contact paper to your window sticky side out. I find it’s easiest if you tape the top edge on first then peel and tape the sides and bottom last. snow window sticky window activity

Get the snow bits ready by the window and invite your child to explore.  As she created she told me all about how this was her yard and it snowed and she was playing…Snowflakes came first…snow activity for kids

Then she discovered that dabbing the cotton ball created little puffs of cotton on the window.snow mural for preschool Very similar to when we made a pompom window last year. cotton ball snow window art activity

Snowman time!snow window activity for 3 year olds

She didn’t forget arms. snow window toddler activity

I loved watching her and really didn’t get involved at all. This was all her. snow windowShe explored textures, shapes, and cause and effect with serious intent while also working on fine motor skills and storytelling as she went.

Books About Snow

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un-brella

Un-Brella by Scott Franson is such a cool book. There is not a single line of text in the book , and it’s not missing a thing! The illustrations are so vivid, so layered and tell the story perfectly. A little girl has a magical umbrella that brings sun on a snowy day and snow when her yard is green and sunny. My 2 year old was beside himself laughing and saying “No no” to the little girl wearing her swim suit in the snow. Grab this book and enjoy!

snow snow snow

Snow! Snow! Snow!by Lee Harper captures the excitement of a snow day spent sledding and defying gravity for those precious few moments as you zoom down the hill. My son gave the book a thumbs up but my daughter wasn’t as into it although when the 3 dogs in the book landed with a thump both kids were giggling. Edited to add :  The next morning my daughter ran to this book and smiled the whole way through loving it! Funny how 8am reading gets a different response than 5pm after a long day.

the snowy day

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats is a classic. Some classics are the type of books that lose their relevance and leave readers wondering what the hype is about. This book is timeless. A little boy goes exploring in the snow and discovers his world in a new way. The illustrations are magical and the way that  they convey the emotions this little boy experiences throughout the day are nothing short of perfect.

15 Winter Crafts & Activities For Kids

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winter crafts for kids Winter may not technically be here for a few more days but last week sure felt like winter !  I thought I would take a break from all the Christmas posts and share some of our favorite winter crafts and activities for kids. Some of these are really old and it’s fun to look back at how little my kids were but it’s also great for all of you looking for activities for kids of all ages. I hope you can find some fun.

Cork Painted Snowflake 
Simple Penguin Craft
Winter Sensory Tub & Fine Motor Play

winter activities for kids
Arctic Ice Sensory Tub
Cotton Ball Snowflake
Winter Train Table Play
Hole Punch Snowflakes

hot chocolate math for kids
Hot Chocolate Math
Writing Letters In The Snow
Cupcake Liner Snowflake Garland

footprints in the snow playdough play
Footprints In The Snow Winter Playdough
Marshmallow Snowflake
Letter Snowman
Winter W
Popsicle Stick Snowflakes

Books About Snowmen

snowman books for kids

It’s the coldest night of the year so far here in Seattle and I am crossing my fingers for a snow day. If I get my wish you can bet we will be outside building our own snowman in our front yard. Even if we don’t see a single flake fall tomorrow we can still cuddle up with a good book ( or video… see below) about snowmen.

the snowman

The Snowman by Raymond Briggs is a beautiful wordless picture book that I could not find anywhere! I have read it before to classes full of kids and love the illustrations but was so sad that I couldn’t find the book to read to my own kids. I actually thought we’d read it before and searched to see if I’d previously reviewed it but we never had.  Luckily I remembered there was a video made and YouTube provided a nice backup.  The story is about a little boy who makes a snowman and after he is called in for the night keeps checking to make sure it’s still out in his yard. After going to bed he tosses and turns and can’t sleep and then the magic happens and the snowman comes to life. The little boy and the snowman explore the little boys house then the snowman takes the little boy to explore his magical world. My children loved the video . The music that accompanied the beautiful illustrations brought the whole magical story to life .  Knowing how the story ends with the snowman melted in the front yard I was anxious to see how my kids would react. My son said ” That’s what snowmen do, they melt. Just the way it is.” I can’t wait to track down a copy and read it to them .

snowmen at night

Snowmen at Night by Caralyn and Mark Buehner I love this book and actually looked for 2 hours in our playroom and storage room convinced I owned it but misplaced it. I don’t. I finally sat down to read it to my daughter at her school last week. She liked the snowmen but wasn’t as into it as I suspect she will be next winter. The story is adorable but a little sophisticated for a 19 month old. My son has read it and loved it, because it taps into a child’s imagination perfectly. The author imagines a world where snowmen come to life and party at night when we are sleeping, which is why they always look a little different in the morning. I remember my son looking at me and asking ” not really right?” when we read it a few years ago. I love the whimsical illustrations with fun points of view that makes the reader feel like they are in on a real secret. Great book for preschoolers, I was a little over eager reading it with my daughter but it’s so good I couldn’t wait to. { Edited for 2013 My daughter did appreciate this and the Christmas themed book in the same series much more this year than last!}

snowmwmw

The Biggest Snowman Ever by Steven Kroll is a cute winter book that holds a fantastic message inside. The book tells the story of a snowman making contest in Mouseville, two little mice work so hard by themselves but it’s just not enough until they join forces. Competition is not a bad thing but sometimes cooperation is even better, I really like this book.

snowbaby

Snowbaby Could Not Sleep by Kara LaReau is a sweet winter themed story about a little Snowbaby that simply can not get to sleep. He counts snowflakes, his Snowmama gets him extra snow because he was too hot and still he can’t sleep. What finally gives him enough comfort is when his parents make him his very own Snowpuppy to snuggle all night long.  I like gentle books like this because as a child I had terrible nighttime anxiety and as a mom have always been very gentle at bedtime until I knew my kids felt secure enough to handle each new stage of nighttime independence. My daughter who is 2 loved this book .

a really good snowman

A Really Good Snowman by Daniel J. Mahoney plucked my heartstrings and then some. This is a story of a annoying little sister who always finds ways to ruin her older brother’s fun, and his avoidance of her . He’s just an average big brother, and when she tags along to a snowman building competition he ditches her for his friends. When some bullies tease his little sister , he does what every mother hopes their older child does and stands up for her. Then seeing he needs her he leaves his friends and joins her snowman building efforts.  It’s a sweet story but not so sweet it’s unrealistic. Also the illustrations of all the different snowmen will make you laugh , my favorite is the Elvis snowman!

Snowman-in-Paradise-231x300

Snowman in Paradise by Michael Roberts is genius. There I said it. I very rarely think that of books. I like the majority of books I read and think there are so many good ones to share but I don’t want to return this one to the library, I want to keep it! The book is about a snowman from Manhattan who is glum after Christmas and wants to go on a vacation too. A magical bluebird grants his wish and he flies first class to a tropical island , with the only rule being he needs to come back in time for Christmas next year. This book is written like the traditional “Night Before Christmas” and although I thought the copy would be too long for my son at first , I was so wrong. The rhymes are unique , my favorite being :

In May after splashing with buckets of paint, He threw down his brush, saying, “Gauguin I ain’t.”

Even if some references are more for the adults reading it than the children listening , both parties will close the book smiling and wanting to start all over again. Grab it and see why I love it so much!

Snow-Party

Snow Party by Harriet Ziefert is a magical book that celebrates the biggest holiday for snow people, the winter solstice. I wish I had had access to this book when I was teaching because it’s a perfect way to read a story about celebrations without focusing on one tradition, or leaving out another. The illustrations are beautiful and the idea of snow people eating and dancing in the middle of the night is delicious!

Arctic Ice Sensory Play

arctic ice sensory playI ordered these Arctic Animals a few weeks ago and we’ve been playing with them in playdough snow and with our other animal figurines but this arctic ice sensory tub was by far our favorite way to play. My daughter was absolutely in love with this and it’s so easy and cheap to make. The one big word of caution is that this much ice is heavy so please be careful that it’s on a stable surface and not somewhere that it could fall and hurt someone.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a plastic tub that will fit in your freezer( dollar store !) , a smaller plastic container, something heavy to place in the container ( I used frozen chicken sausage), a freezer and some arctic animals.
  2. Start by filling your tub part way with water. Do not fill it all the way it will be so heavy and possibly dangerous. Place the smaller container in and weigh it down. This will create a open area for water inside the icy terrain. Freeze.arctic ice play for kids
  3. Remove the smaller container and fill the open area with water. I filled mine with lukewarm water. artic ice play for kids and toddlers
  4. Add animals and play.arctic ice activity We kept ours low to the ground arcticon a stool in the bathroom so spills and splashes could be no biggie ( and also because the light it way better for pictures than in my kitchen). The next few times we played we played in the kitchen on a towel on the floor.
  5. Talk about which animals stay on land , which live only in the water and which can swim and walk on land. arctic sensory playWe talked a bit about predators and prey as well ( especially when her brother joined in the next day).  We noticed how the water was so cold even though it was warm-ish when we poured it in and why that was. And most importantly we played and played and played. arctic animal and ice sensory play
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Footprints in the Snow {Playdough Play}

winter play dough play for kidsMy daughter adores playdough and cooking so last week we made some simple white playdough and added snowflakes ( that promptly melted of course – duh! Add after it cools…) and then had fun playing pretend with some forest animals. This is about as simple as it gets but there are so many wonderful lesson possibilities packed in this simple play.

First we made the playdough. The recipe we used is my favorite .

Something I do with my daughter ( or the toddlers I taught when my own kids were only imaginary) is to play Simon Says before doing someting where I may have to say ” Don’t touch!” a lot. Instead of turning this activity into a negative one when I need her to not touch I simply say ” Simon says touch your nose!” As it turned out I didn’t even have to use this but we still had fun with our pre playdough making game.

simon says

She helped me mix the dry ingredients, foot prints in the snow play dough for toddlersI  kneaded the dough while it was too hot for her to touch and gave her some extra flour to explore on the counter.  I slipped in some glitter too. footprints in the snow playdough activities

This playdough is best after it’s chilled so we made it before nap time. Then after nap time it was ready to be played with.

I love these animal toys. They leave real footprints. We sat across the playroom table from each other and just started making prints.  snow playdoughWe looked at them, at which were bigger than the others and how many we could make from one side of the playdough to the other. footprints in the snow playdough play Soon a storyline emerged the raccoon was saving the other animals from a “Snow bump” <– which is 2 year old speak for a snow bank. It was hilarious to watch her narrate a whole complex story line including some negotiation during the various rescues. footprints in the snowwinter  play dough play for toddlers

At this time of year with so much sparkle and wow and rush it’s a blessing to sit and be and take things slow and easy with a toddler . We’ve played this exact activity over and over and each time felt calm and connected after. Something I know most all of us can use right now.footprint in the snow playdoh play

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