W is for Winter Story Time

I live in a place where there is no escaping winter.  A few weeks ago we were having record cold temperatures with wind chills below 30.  And, after a little warm up, it looks like the mercury is going to plunge again.  The best way to embrace this weather is with a story time - in a warm room of course.

Our letter of the day was W.  I went with a more vague Winter theme so that I could throw in all kinds of winter themes, such as snowmen, warm clothing, snow, etc.  W was a little difficult for the kiddos, one of them guessed 'M' which was close.  So we talked about W and its sound along with the other pictures I had.

The first wintry book that we read was Snow by Uri Shulevitz.  In this story a boy and his dog get excited when they see one single snow flake.  Every one keeps telling him that the flake will melt, as will the next one, and the next one...  There is no snow in the forecast.  But, the snow does not know that, and it begins to fall faster and faster, blanketing the city with white.  This book has very simple text that is good for the little kids and it is fun to watch the snow 'accumulate' on the pages.

After reading Snow, we did Carole Peterson's song We're marching in the snow.  This is a fun and active song where the kids march, run, slide, roll, etc. in the snow.

Our second book was Karla Kuskin's Under my hood I have a hat.  This is a great story for a winter or clothing theme.  The little girl in the book talks about all of the layers of clothing that she wears for a cold day in the snow.  We talked before the book about all of the items of clothing that the kids had put on that day to go out in the cold weather.  The book has simple, bold illustrations that are easy for the kids to see despite the fact that the book is a little smaller in size.  I especially love the end when the little girl talks about how when she goes out she mustn't fall down, as it is hard to move with all the layers she is wearing.

We followed Under my hood with another Carole Peterson song, Ring those bells.  Basically you do lots of bell ringing while Carole sings that Winter time is here.  Always good for mid-winter story times, though I have found it you try it before January the parents give you lots of eye rolls.

Since I wasn't planning a snowman theme this year I brought out my Melting Snowmen for our winter week. You can read more about them here.  They have a rhyme and each one melts away after each round of the rhyme.  This is always a hit with the kids.  Especially once they join in with the rhyme.

Our final story of the day was a version of There was a cold lady who swallowed some snow by Lucille Colandro.  I decided to make this more of a participation story, so I made pieces for all of the kids to feed the cold lady as we told the story.  In the book, the lady eats various items that make up a snowman and then hiccups out a completed snowman.

Here is the lady.  I made her from a shoe box.  To make her face I just used circles and crescents in a word file.  Then i taped the picture on the box and cut out her mouth with a knife and taped around the opening.  I taped white yarn to the top of the box for hair and stuck a hat on here (this is the spare I keep in the car for my son).

These are the pieces to give the kids.  I had extra coal and snowflakes to ensure that there were enough pieces to go around. 

This is the back of the box.  I just taped on black construction paper so that from the front the mouth looks black but there is a gap to slide the snowman through at the end.

During the story the completed snowman is velcroed to the hat in the back.  As I read the book the kids brought their pieces up to feed the lady.  Many of them needed a little prompting, but they got them all in there.

And at the end, out pops a snowman!

We finished story time with yet another Carole Peterson song (what can I say, her music is great for toddlers and preschoolers).  This one was called Snowflake snowflake and in the song there are snow flakes softly falling.  I don't know if the song was meant to be used with scarves, but I gave all of the kids tissues.  For starters, the kids just love getting to pull one from the box.  Secondly, during the song you try to hold the 'snowflake' in the air by blowing at it.  I figured that if the kids were to have any success with this at all we needed something very light, so the tissues did nicely.  Plus. we threw them away at the end so no worries about spit being blown on the scarves.  The kids did enjoy this one, they had a little difficulty getting those tissues to blow around, but they had fun trying.
Our craft for the day was a simple hat and mittens.  Each kid got a hat with two mittens cut out of construction paper.  They also had a piece of card stock with a circle on it to be their face.  They could decorate with foam snow stickers and makers.

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