The weather outside may be frightful (or it may not, depending on where you live!), but it’s always a great time to cozy up for storytime. There are TONS of great ideas for winter storytime and here are some of my favorites:
- Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson, illustrated by Jane Chapman (Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2002). This is a great rhyming book about hibernation.
- Blizzard by John Rocco (Disney-Hyperion, 2014). I use this one for slightly older kids and they love the idea of school being closed for days (and the fold-out map through the snow).
- Froggy Gets Dressed by Jonathan London (Puffin Books, 1992). The pattern and humor in this book lend themselves well to storytelling, so this makes a great felt story, too!
- A Hat for Minerva Louise by Janet Morgan Stoeke (Dutton Children’s Books, 1994). Silly Minerva Louise wanders out into the snow and gets everything mixed up! This one is sure to get children laughing.
- Red Sled by Lita Judge (Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2011). This wordless book shows what happens to a red sled left out at night. There’s plenty of opportunity to encourage talking in your storytime as you discover what happens together.
- Red Sled by Patricia Thomas (Boyds Mills Press, 2008). This story-poem is almost completely made up of rhyming words, making this a great choice for developing phonemic awareness.
- Snow by Uri Schulevitz (Farrar, Strauss & Giroux, 1998). This book perfectly captures what it feels like to wait for and hope for and finally get SNOW!
- Snow Rabbit, Spring Rabbit by Il Sung Na (Knopf Books for Young Readers, 2011). This book talks about what many different animals do in winter. There are some great STEM connections to make here.
- Snowballs by Lois Ehlert (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1995). This book lends itself really well to a cheap, creative craft: decorate your own snowmen with leftover bits and pieces from your craft cabinets or cupboards.
- Snowmen at Night by Caralyn Buehner, illustrated by Mark Buehner (Dial Books, 2002). Bouncy rhyming text answers the question: What DO snowmen do at night?
- The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats (Puffin Books, 1962). This book is a classic for a reason. That experience of exploring a snow-covered world and Keats’s gorgeous artwork continue to captivate young audiences.
- Soup Day by Melissa Iwai (Henry Holt BYR, 2010). On a winter’s day, a girl and her mother buy the ingredients and make soup. This is a cozy, yummy book.
- Supertruck by Stephen Savage (Roaring Brook Press, 2015). When a terrible blizzard hits the city, one truck comes to the rescue. This will pull in all your littles who love things that go.
Thanks to the following Twitter librarians who helped me compile this list!: @annavalley, @hollystorckpost, @itsmissmeg, @lizinthelibrary, @lizpatanders, @lmulvenna, @MelissaZD, @misskubelik, @MrsHendReads, @mytweendom, @rockinlibrarian, @SharonGrover2, @storytimekatie
Build a Snowman. There are infinite variations of this that you could try with felt OR with your imagination. Get kids talking by asking them for suggestions of what your snowman needs. Ideas: eyes, nose, mouth, arms, buttons, scarf, hat… what else could you put on a snowman? (Answer: anything! Everything!)
Matching Mittens. We adapted this prop from Miss Mary Liberry’s Sorting Socks game. This is a great activity to talk about colors & same/different.
Snowman Colors. We adapted this felt from Melissa Depper’s Red, White, and Blue felt. We have used this structure for several enjoyable felts!
- Don’t miss Flannel Friday’s Pinterest board for winter flannel stories and rhymes!
- If You’re Happy When it Snows, Clap Your Hands
- Jbrary has an AWESOME Winter Storytime playlist of songs and rhymes.
- “Saw a Snowflake” – adapted from the song “Saw a Leaf” from Jean Warren’s page. I use this one with scarves and we float and twirl our scarves like flying snowflakes.
- “Toss Your Scarves” by Jean Warren. This song to the tune of “Jingle Bells” is a fun way to incorporate scarves into your storytime and practice gross motor skills.
You can find more Winter Storytime plans on the following sites:
- GreenBean TeenQueen – Winter Storytime
- Jbrary – Winter Storytime
- Mel’s Desk – Baby Storytime: Winter & Snow
- Perry Public Library – Winter Themes
- Storytime Katie – Winter!
- Storytime Secrets – Winter Storytime
- Sturdy for Common Things – Winter Storytime
- Sunflower Storytime – several winter-themed storytimes
- What Happens in Storytime – Winter Wear
What are YOUR favorite books, songs, and activities to use for winter storytimes?
— Abby Johnson, Youth Services Manager
New Albany-Floyd County Public Library
New Albany, IN