Just Add Snow Day “Specials” Pt. 3
Just Add Snow-Day Specials– Books to Read and Read-aloud
When the winter months seem to put a damper on your homeschool, breaking up your days with a sprinkling of “Snow-Day Specials” can be just the cure! Transform your family’s cabin fever by creating cozy-day fun with favorite books to read and read-aloud. Here are just a handful of my family’s favorite books to curl up with, along with some ways to add some “Wow!”
In part 1 of this series I suggested building a blanket fort as a way to add some “Wow” to your day. A blanket fort, or “bear cave” for those days that were made for hibernating, is a perfect place for littles and not-so-littles to curl up with their favorite books. Fill with comfy pillows, stuffed friends, a flashlight, and join your child in some serious snuggling time with some of these winter’s day favorites for little ones:
- The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
- The Biggest, Best Snowman by Margery Cuyler
- The Mitten by Jan Brett.
- Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson
- Blizzard by John Rocco
For children who are school-aged, dreary afternoons can be broken up by expanding on the stories they are reading or listening to, after and even during the story.
Some favorites for early elementary aged children include:
- The My First Little House Books series, including, Winter Days in the Big Woods, Sugar Snow, and Winter on the Farm. Older elementary students will love reading or listening to Laura Ingalls Wilder’s original Little House on the Prairie As a fun extension, take a winter field trip to a local farm! Everyone visits farms in the summer or fall, but find out if your children can visit a farm in winter to note the differences.
- The Little House Cookbook: Frontier Foods from Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Classic Stories by Barbara M. Walker is another great extension for all ages to enjoy together. Have your children look through the book to cook up some afternoon treats based on the stories they are reading!
- A Bear Called Paddington by Michael Bond is best read after cooking up some homemade biscuits or scones with your children and enjoying with some of Paddington’s favorite marmalade, along with tea in special cups.
- Popper’s Penguins by Richard and Florence Atwater can be read aloud while children listening design their own special penguin homes, castles or towers using sugar cubes or mini marshmallows and glue.
- Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl. A favorite activity for younger siblings as well is to make homemade play dough and then add in cocoa powder. The chocolate-scented play dough provides the perfect catalyst for children to act out their own chocolate factory and come up with some crazy fun inventions! (*I save all the boxes from Valentine’s Day chocolates to pull out for days like this, and the children love filling them with their own chocolate-dough creations!)
Middles and More
While the entire family may enjoy hearing these enchanting tales read aloud, olders can share in with the reading or help set up the perfect bookish afternoon. Make up hot chocolate (add whip cream for extra yum-factor!) Light a candle or two and read by candlelight. Set out art supplies: drawing paper, markers, colored pencils, or paints—many children enjoy creating scenes or even maps from read-alouds with different mediums as they listen. Some may create interpretations with Legos! In our home, we call it “active listening.” Here are a few picks to get you started:
- The Chronicles of Narnia series by C.S. Lewis
- The Green Ember series by S.D. Smith’s
- The Giver by Lois Lowry
- The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place: Book 1 The Mysterious Howling by Maryrose Wood
- The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall (a timeless classic perfect for ALL ages!)
- The Wingfeather Saga series by Andrew Peterson
Venture to your local library and grab some of these favorites, perfect for any day—but ESPECIALLY a Snow Day! Happy homeschooling!