Celebrating Winter, part 1

Let’s face it. Alaskan Winters are long. It dwarfs other seasons exponentially. I try to wait to feature a Winter themed story time as long as possible because there are so many good snow/winter/northern lights/hibernation/snowmen books in our collection and I like to spread them out between now and March (or April?). But, I couldn’t wait any longer! So today we talked about the seasons and what aspects of winter come to mind when we think about this very Alaskan season. Snowmen, snow, mittens, scarves, ice skating, and cold were all said aloud.  They also were found on the pages of these books.

winter isWinter Is by Ann Dixon

charlie and lolaSnow is my Favorite and my Best (Charlie and Lola) by Lauren Child

The flannelboard is very popular at story time so I brought a felt snowman along to go along with this rhyme:    I knew it was a hit, even with the younger kids, because they all cuddled up close and wanted to take turns adding the snowman’s parts as we repeated the rhyme.

I try to include a chance for the group to practice, or at least, hear some basic counting each week. The 5 Little Snowmen worked well for this and gave kids a chance to recall parts in the latter verses.  Along with the rhymes and finger plays, I brought back the rhythm sticks to imitate snow (flurries, snow, and blizzard) with the rhyme Snow is Falling:

Snow is falling, falling down; Snow is falling hit the ground. (Move hands down,
wiggling fingers like snowflakes)
Flurries, flurries (slow beat, slowly said)
Snowing, snowing (faster)
Blizzard (Loud and very fast)

We finished with The Mitten song by Mary Louise Allen, an easy fingerplay for kids to do and a nice segue in to craft time!

“Thumbs in the thumb-place,
Fingers all together!”
This is the song
We sing in mitten-weather.
When it is cold,
It doesn’t matter whether
Mittens are wool,
Or made of finest leather.
This is the song
We sing in mitten-weather:
“Thumbs in the thumb-place,
Fingers all together!”

Mitten CraftWe made these cute mittens I found at Storytime Katie.  It was a perfect ending. The young ones had a chance to practice their budding scissor skills and add a personal flair to their artwork. Several kiddos were headed home to hang their creations up in their room. I love that!

We had lots of squirrelly young ones today, but it’s amazing how much they learn about social skills and being in a group in just a few months. We have some good leaders who are happy to show the younger ones “the ropes.” It’s great group!

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