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The holidays are over and with a combination of sadness and relief, our thoughts are now turning to the winter months. This can bring about a feeling of excitement for many parents, or a robust feeling of dread! As the temps dip and the days get shorter , families tend to move from an outdoor focus to more of an indoor one. The result is a LOT of “togetherness” and a LOT of time to fray mom and dad’s nerves!
But, no matter where you live,the colder seasons are perfect for reading old classic books and enjoying new ones. As much as we love reading at Jump Into a Book, we are also always looking for ways to turn reading from a solitary act to one the whole family can get involved in.
If you follow JIAB, you’ve heard me speak of the act of “bookjumping” often. Bookjumping is about pulling books off shelves and stories off of pages. Basically, bookjumping is a “Valarie-ism” that describes creating book extensions for virtually any children’s story as a way to bring the story to life, make reading more fun, teach new skills and bring families together.
So as the frost begins to form gorgeous patterns on the window of my study, and the fluffy whiteness of winter begins to flitter down from the sky, I think it’s time to share some Cold Weather Activities Wrapped Around Reading.
Get into the Kitchen:
Bread baking has always been a favorite in our family and the comfort and warmth of smelling bread baking in the oven is hard to beat. Recently we dusted off the rolling pin and whipped up a batch of Saffron Buns/Lussekattor (pronounced “Lucy cat-tor”) in honor of my Swedish heritage and the Swedish Christmas books that are family favorites.
Before that, reading Roald Dahl books inspired us to make some Fizzy Lifting Drinks and Wonkalicious Chocolate Covered Pretzels!
Mama Panya’s Pancakes makes for a fantastic read aloud. The text is written in little boxes making it easy for young readers to follow along or take a turn reading out loud themselves. Make a batch of Mama Panya’s Pancakes
Fall In Love With a New Series:
Booklists, Book-Jumps and Activities “Books Like Percy Jackson” Booklist. Like I mentioned in my recent Janet Allison Boys Alive interview, the Percy Jackson series is God’s gift to all parents who have boy reluctant readers. If this series strikes a cord with your reluctant reader, check into some of these other “Percy-like” books series!
Create a Craft that Knocks Their Socks off!
The Book-Jumper Summer Reading Series: A Day with Pippi Longstocking is a great way to read a classic tale and create a simple and fun moment in time creating your very own “long stockings.”
Word Games & Brain Teasers:
Play with Paper
My good friend Marilyn Scott-Waters has some simply delightful paper toys to help readers create their own Horse adventure around their favorite horse-themed books. What better way to stimulate young minds than with some pretend play. Marilyn has some wonderful downloadable paper toys on The Toymaker and a few suggestions to create your own stable of pretty ponies:
How about some paper crafts in step with the winter season? Paper craft lovers will love this The Story of Snow by Mark Cassino celebrates the magic of snow through science, math, language arts, music, and visual art activities. The Story of Snow uses a brilliant balance of incorporating photographs of crystals, pen & ink drawings, text for 3 different reading levels, and uncovering the mystery of snow. It serves equally as both a fascinating non-fiction journey and an inspiring nature art book. For those who love snow, The Story of Snow opens the door of awe and wonder of the magnificent wet stuff and takes us on a personal journey.
Learn About our History: Despite what some young readers might think, history is not dry and boring. Family-friendly reenactments of moments in our history make for excellent learning experiences while keeping the cold weather boredom monster at bay. Great JIAB posts that are rich in history would include this one about the Good Ol US of A, life during the “buffalo days” , celebrating our 4th of July traditions, and exploring the lives of inspiring people like Helen Keller.
Play with Nature: Even when the weather is cold, nature still can be a great teacher. Reading books based on nature helps to bring the outside IN and keep young mind stimulated. No matter what time of year it is, there are always stars in the sky. Practice learning and studying the night’s sky or bring the outside in with some fun fort building activities.
Engage in some Pretend Play:
Books and pretend play seem to go hand-in-hand for readers of all ages. Who wouldn’t want to read a few pirate books and then spend the day delving into all sort of pirate activities?!
To the Moon! The anniversary of the first Moon-Walk doesn’t occur until July, but that’s no reason to not have your young readers “blast off” with The Moon Landing Book List and some great book extensions!
Kids and mysteries go hand-in-hand and what better way to pass the time on a dreary day than with your home-grown version of a “whodunit!” Lucky for parents, there are so many wonderful kidlit mystery books out there. Discover the mysteries of Camp Green Lake in the book Holes, enjoy some intrigued from The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, and delve into some super sleuthing of K.C. Corcoran and her pal, Marshall Li in Ron Roy’s Capital Mystery series.
**Some of these links are affiliate links. That means if you click and buy, I may get a very small commission. This money goes towards postage and supplies to keep books and ideas in the hands of young readers!
Would you like to create a afternoon of sleuthing, mysteries and mysterious adventures? Grab a copy of our FREE Secret Codes, Mysteries and Adventure downloadable PDF Activity Guide! This guide is19 pages of fun including activities like Creating and Deciphering Invisible Messages, baking “I Spy” Cookies and learn more about the US President who was a master decoder! Click the image below to get your free copy!
Multicultural Children’s Book Day Classroom Reading Challenge-
Get a FREE Diversity Book for Your Classroom Library!
Teachers! We want to help you build your classroom library with diverse, inclusive and multicultural books! Here’s how to get a free book through Multicultural Children’s Book Day on January 27th.
LATEST EXCITING UPDATE! Junior Library Guild has agreed to sponsor this portion of the MCCBD 2016 event and donate up to 200 books for classrooms and teachers!
Go HERE for more details or to sign up your classroom and earn a FREE handcover multicultural children’s book!