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Snowman and Snow Preschool Books
A snowman-themed preschool lesson can be a delightful way to explore winter weather, appropriate dress, and creative winter play with preschoolers. Here are some recommended children's picture books and activities that you can use in your snowman-themed preschool lesson or library story hour. Or use this lesson as part of a cooperative home school preschool .
Snowman Themed Children's Books
Snow has provided the inspiration for so many children's writers that I have created two themes from snow-related books. This first theme focuses on making people from snow. The other snow theme is about playing in the snow.
Snowballs by Lois Ehlert is a must-read book for its creative collage art. Ehlert builds an entire family of snow people (even their dog Spot) using layered collage papers and everyday objects that she skillfully photographs. Her quirky uses of everyday items like washers and ticket stubs paired with more unconventional things (like a colorful Peruvian scarf) make this book a fun read for a variety of age groups. Try reading this book through during the story hour, then if you have time, have the children look for items in the book. Click here to read my full book review for this story.
The Snowman by Raymond Briggs (ISBN 10: 0394839730) is a wildly popular wordless children's picture book that tells the story of a boy's adventures with a snowman in a comic strip format. This book has been made into a popular movie that often airs on television during the Christmas holiday season.
All You Need for a Snowman (ISBN-10: 0152061150) by Alice Schertle is a simple rhyming book about children building a snowman. During each page, Schertle adds just one more thing you need to build a snowman. This a a wonderful book for storytime because it builds anticipation and you can encourage group participation by asking kids to guess what comes next.
Children's Books About Playing in the Snow
The Snowy Day (ISBN 10:0670867330) by Ezra Jack Keats is a timeless classic published in the 1960s. This simple tale is the story of a young boy's day of playing in the snow. The simple text and illustrations show the author's understanding and ability to express what it is like to be a child and to discover the wonder and awe of snow play, dragging a stick through the snow, making a snow angel, and yearning to join in a snowball fight with older children. You can read a complete review of this timeless classic here.
A Perfect Day for It (ISBN 10: 0152166343) This book by Jan Fearnley features a playful group of animal friends who make a perfect day of sledding down a snowy hillside. The bright and appealing illustrations and anticipation-building storyline will capture your audience's full attention. The hardcover edition by Harcourt is the version I own.
The Jacket I Wear in the Snow (ISBN-10: 0688045871 ) by Shirley Neitzel is a book to share with your emergent readers and pre-readers. The book uses pictures of the clothing items in place of some of the text, so children can read along with you during your story presentation. Children love being able to participate in reading a story. I recommend that you review the word pictures with the children before you begin reading with them.
Activities for a Snowman-themed Preschool Lesson
Music and Movement
Music and movement are important for learning large and small motor skills in preschoolers.
Let's Pretend: Take a Walk in the Snow
Pretend play pairs well with music and movement activities. In this guided walk, pretend to take a stroll through a snow-covered meadow and end up having a snowball fight. You could also pretend to build a snowman, make snow angels, or a snow fort. Start inside by pretending to put on coats. Put on some gentle music, and focus on the sights, sounds, and sensations they will feel. For illustrative purposes, here is a script you can follow with actions in italics. The script reinforces the activities described in Ezra Jack Keats book The Snowy Day and other book recommendations above.
- Today we're going to take a pretend walk through the snow. Is everyone ready?
- If we're going to play in the snow, we're going to have to get ready. Everyone, put on your coats! Mime putting on your coat, sleeve by sleeve. Don't forget your zipper! Pretend to pull up the zipper on your coat.
- Now put on your hats. I'm choosing my favorite blue hat today. What color is your hat?
- Ok, now put on your gloves!
- Uh-oh, I think I forgot something! What did I forget? (wait for a response) That's right, I forgot my boots!
- Put on your right boot! Mime putting on boot
- Put on your left boot! Mime putting on boot
- Uh-oh! We put our boots on the wrong feet. Take off your boots and put them on. Whew, this is a lot of work!
- Now we're ready to go for a walk in the snow. Brrr, it's cold outside. Good thing we have on our warm coats!
- The snow is deep, lift your legs to up high to walk through the snow. (pretend you are walking through a deep snow drift)
- Time to make a snowball. Scoop the snow (Make a scooping motion with your hand.) Now make a ball with both hands.
- Look at all of those huge snowballs you made. Snowball fight! (pretend to throw your snowball at the kids)
- Wow, you all got me!
Recommended Art Experiences for Preschool Snowman Lesson
Just because you are working with a theme doesn't mean your preschool art experience needs to be "themey." Most early childhood experts recommend that early art experiences are more about the experience than about the results. So a take-home craft is less desirable than an interesting and exploratory art experience.
- Snowman fingerpainting. Using prepurchased or homemade white finger paints, Show children how to make snowmen using different-sized circles.
- Cotton ball snow. Make a snowman picture using elmer's glue or paste and fuzzy cotton balls. Young kids love exploring with textures.
- Winter day collage. Make a simple collage. Include favorite things to wear on a cold snowy day, favorite foods, and pictures of winter weather.
- Snowflake cutting. Cut snowflakes from pieces of white paper. Use fancy origami folds or fold paper into basic squares.