Winter Tales



Winter Reading

Online stories to while away the long, cold evenings


The Snow Queen

Hans Christian Anderson's tale of two little children, separated by a selfish snow queen.  True love leads the little girl threw all kinds of difficult and wondrous adventures in hopes of helping her kidnapped brother, Kay.  Will he awaken from the Snow Queen's spell and remember love?  (Nice online etext with charming illustrations by Meri C Fox-Szauter.)


White Fang  

By Jack London.


The Mitten

An old folktale about a mitten dropped in the snow that becomes a snuggly home for several forest animals, each bigger than the last.  How does the mitten stretch so big?  And how does it shrink right back to size when the little girl finds it?    Click here for a printable mitten that kids can decorate and lace.  (Hint:  print on cardstock or cut out mitten and glue onto construction paper for thickness.)  

For the flannel board:  print the mitten and use it for a felt pattern.   Then click here for some little animals to go in the mitten.

Recommended reading:  Check your library for a copy of The Mitten, by Jan Brett.  This is a beautifully illustrated version of the folktale.  (A big book version exists as well.)

The play's the thing!  Act out your own version of The Mitten by creating simple animal masks.  To see how one class did it, click here.



My Book of Winter Words

Here's a fun mini-book for 4-6 year olds that you can print out at home to make and do.  Kids can help cut the pages, color the pictures, and practice writing each printed winter word.   Best of all they can help you assemble it into a little book that they can read over and over to help learn some new "sight" words (words they can recognize and read on sight).  From




Songs, Fingerplays, & Flannel board
Circle Time fun for Preschool and Kindergarten


Five little snowmen

Five little snowmen all in a row
Each had two button eyes and a big carrot nose
Out came the sun and it shone all day
And one little snowman melted away.

Four little snowmen all in a row...
<repeat, counting down to...>

One little snowman standing all alone
Out came the sun and it shone all day
And one little snowman melted away.



Baby Beluga

Baby beluga in the deep blue sea,
Swim so wild and you swim so free.
Heaven above and the sea below, 
And a little whale on the go.

Baby beluga, oh, baby beluga,
Is the water warm?
Is your mama home with you so happy?

Way down yonder where the dolphins play,
Where you dive and splash all day.
Waves roll in and the waves roll out!
See the water squirtin’ out of your spout.

Baby beluga, oh, baby beluga,
Sing your little song, sing for all your friends.  
e like to hear you.

When it’s dark, you’re home and fed,
Curl up snug in your water bed.
Moon is shining and the stars are out.
Good night, little whale, good night.

Baby beluga, of, baby beluga,
With tomorrow’s sun, another day’s begun.
You’ll soon be waking.

Baby beluga in the deep blue sea,
Swim so wild and you swim so free.
Heaven above and the sea below, 
And a little whale on the go.


Five little snowflakes

Five little snowflakes
Flying by my door One blew away,
and then there were four.

Four little snowflakes
Falling down on me
One blew away
And then there were three.

Three little snowflakes
Falling down on you
One blew away
And then there were two.

Two little snowflakes
Having lots of fun
One blew away
And then there was one.

One little snowflake
Sitting in the sun
It melted away,
And then there were none.





Snowflake Facts

Did you know that the biggest snowflake ever measured was 15 inches (38 centimeters) across?  Wow!  Would we like a picture of that!   But most snowflakes are about .5 inches to 1.5 inches.   Click the link above to learn more about snowflakes.  (Middle school and up)


Photos of Snowflakes

It's great to make snowflake art and and so on.   But what do real snowflakes look like?  Take a peek at these photos.   Don't forget to take a peek too at these images taken with a scanning electron microscope.  To see even more examples, and learn about an early snowflake scientist, click here


Make Your Own Crystal "Snowflakes"

Students will learn how different crystals are formed, observe crystals in the making, observe with a hand lens and cite the geometric qualities, and relate the necessary natural occurrences needed to create crystals.   Working with scalding hot liquid makes this lesson plan appropriate only for 4th grade and older.  


Winter Storms

Check out some extreme weather facts, from Scholastic.  Includes a fun experiment.


Experiment with Density

In this experiment, "Don't Be Too Flaky", students will compare the density of water, ice, and snow.  Middle school and up.



Winter Science Book Recommendations:



 Animals in Winter (Let's-Read-and-Find-Out Science 1)

Ages 3-6.  The simple text and full-color illustrations show how various animals in that place prepare for winter. Some birds and insects migrate. Bats and woodchucks hibernate. Squirrels gather food and store it. Some don't prepare for winter at all; they must hunt for food all day long.

There are some easy practical suggestions for helping animals in winter. A final picture shows the children looking forward to spring. The words are immediate ("His heart beats slowly. He sleeps, sleeps, sleeps. He hibernates"), and the clear, active illustrations will draw new readers to a popular subject.



The Shortest Day: Celebrating the Winter Solstice

The beginning of winter is marked by the solstice, the shortest day of the year. Long ago, people grew afraid when each day had fewer hours of sunshine than the day before. Over time, they realized that one day each year the sun started moving toward them again. In lyrical prose and cozy illustrations, this book explains what the winter solstice is and how it has been observed by various cultures throughout history. Many contemporary holiday traditions were borrowed from ancient solstice celebrations. Simple science activities, ideas for celebrating the day in school and at home, and a further-reading list are included.

Illustrated by Jesse Reisch.

About the Author
Wendy Pfeffer is the author of many science-oriented children's books, including From Tadpole to Frog and A Log's Life, which won the Giverny Award for Best Children's Science Picture Book.






Kittens with Mittens

Interactive math fun with Jan Brett!  The three little kittens have lost some mittens.  Can you help figure out how many they've lost this time?






Winter Arts & Crafts


Textured Winter Trees

Use large size sheets of green construction paper to cut simple Christmas tree shapes.   Supply children with glue and an assortment of materials in white.   Try white glitter, white crinkle confetti, white pom poms, white cotton balls, white rice, white beans, etc.


Make Your Own Paper Snowflakes

Wow!  Learn how to make beautiful paper snowflakes to decorate your home or classroom!  Lots of different patterns with instructions.  From KinderArt.  Suitable for older children only.


Make Your Own "Snow"  (With Ivory Snow Detergent)

Fun to play in for all ages and it's great for finger painting or painting with brushes or glue spatulas.


Ivory Snow (laundry soap) powder

 What To Do:

Place Ivory Snow in a mixing bowl and begin to gradually add a little water -- stir with electric mixer for several minutes until mixture resembles soft fluffy snow.


Use for finger painting, brush painting, or spatula painting.  (Caution students not to rub soapy fingers near eyes. Not suitable for young toddlers.)



Pinecone Feeders for the Birds

This is an easy activity that even young children can participate in.  Start with some dried pinecones, the type which have popped open and dropped their seeds.  You could plan a trip to the woods to collect your own, or stop by the craft store.  (Just be sure NOT to use the type soaked in fragrance.)

Tie a string or ribbon onto each pinecone, so you'll be able to hang it outside in a tree when you're done.   You may need to secure it with hot glue.  Alternatively, you could use floral wire for the hanger.  Next, get out the peanut butter and slather it over the pinecones, being sure to get it into the cracks and crevices.  Then, pour some wild birdseed into a shallow dish (an old pie tin works great).  Roll the peanut butter covered pinecones in the seeds, until the peanut butter is completely coated in seeds.  Now you're ready to hang it in the tree!

Variation:  replace the peanut butter with vegetable shortening.   To make it more appealing to the birds, whip it in the food processor with honey.



Snowman Candle Holder

Instructions call for using an old baby food jar, but almost any type of small glass jar could be used.




Make Your Own Snow Globes

You'll need a baby food jar, corn syrup, glitter, and some small plastic figurines or toys to place inside.  You'll need super glue as well, to attach the figurines and secure the lid. 

  1. Glue the figurines to the lid -- the baby food jar snow globe will sit upside down, so figurines should have their feet or etc. glued to the inside lid bottom.  Be sure not to get them too close to the edges of the lide; you want to be able to screw the lid back on when you are done.  Let glue dry.

  2. Add glitter to jar -- white opalescent glitter works very nicely.

  3. Fill jar with corn syrup.

  4. Screw on the lid, sealing it with super glue.

When the glue is dry, you can flip your globe over and enjoy!


  Got glitter?   

Order this sparkly iridescent glitter for that special project.  Big 6 ounce size. 

$3.99 per unit





Coloring Pages


Mister Snowman -- a scarf, top hat, and a pipe decorate this friendly snowman

Child and Snowman --cute picture of a child decorating his big snowman

Pair of Mittens -- a nice pair with geometric designs.

Man with Snow Shovel in Snow -- no doubt wondering why he bothers!

Lots more fun winter coloring pages!







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