SNOW! At-home activities for grade schoolers

By Children’s Librarian Genevieve Grove

Love it, hate it, or just tolerate it, snow is a fact of life for those of us living in the Midwest! Here are some of my favorite ways to look at those fluffy, icy, crunchy, and powdery piles outside our windows.

Read & explore

Wilson “Snowflake” Bentley was a farmer from Vermont who discovered that no two flakes are alike. Check out the Caldecott-winning picture book biography about him as a book or as a streaming video on Kanopy. Then explore his work in Snowflakes in Photographs. More close-up views of the exquisite geometry and beauty of snowflakes can be found in The Art of the Snowflake.

Snowshoes will keep you on top! Our Multicultural Collection includes a Native American example, or get a little silly with a story about superpowered snowshoes.

Avalanches are not a worry in Oak Park, but reading about them is still fascinating! The library has nonfiction books about extreme weather, fictional stories about surviving avalanches, and even several books about dogs who help rescue people from the snow (both nonfiction and fiction choices).

Make & enjoy

Want to cut paper snowflakes? You just need a square sheet of paper, scissors, and a little patience. Folding the paper so you get a six-sided shape can be a little tricky, though. Here’s a great tutorial and template from Ms. Margaret to get you started!

If the snow outside is fresh and clean, maybe it’s time for a big bowl of snow ice cream! There are several ways to make it, so if you don’t have sweetened condensed milk at home, don’t worry. Stir in some vanilla and sugar to make it sweet and then use milk to reach your favorite ice cream consistency.

Research & learn

How much snow does the Chicago area usually get? What’s our record snowfall? There were 89.7 inches in the winter of 1978-79! The National Weather Service tracks all this and more. 

Keep warm and enjoy the snow!

Genevieve Grove

About Genevieve

Genevieve is a Children’s Librarian who’s constantly on the hunt for great graphic novels, innovative ways to get books into kids’ homes, and the perfect cookie recipe. She’s pretty sure that none of those missions will ever feel “finished,” and that’s just fine by her.