By Shelley Harris, Children’s Librarian
I’m one of those odd ducks who loves winter and snow and is excited to get this season started. I know—my co-workers shake their head over me, too. But I also know this is going to be a long and hard winter for a lot of people, so Jenny and I are going to try and share ways to bring learning outside for the next few months and hopefully help make the season bearable!
Watch these videos
In this video, Jenny and I talk about using rhymes, poetry, rhythm and music to help kids (and adults!) connect to their needs and self-regulate. Poetry is not only full of wonderful rhymes, breaths are built in, which can allow them to be a source of calming when over-excited or upset. You also can use slow or fast songs to help kids find their balance at the start of the day or after a rough patch.
Jenny LOVES to sing “There’s Something in the Park” using puppets. But you can sing it outside on a walk, at the park, or looking out the window. There’s something in the bush, what could it be? There’s something in the bush and it’s looking at me! It’s . . . a red bird! What else can you find outside?
Sing a song
Getting dressed for outdoors in winter can be stressful for everyone. Try setting it to song to make things go more smoothly.
Sing to the tune of “The Wheels on the Bus”
The mittens on my hands keep me warm, keep me warm, keep me warm. The mittens on my hands keep me warm, all winter long!
The hat on my head, the jacket on my body, the boots on my feet, etc.
Sing to the tune of “Here We Go ‘Round the Mulberry Bush”
This is the way we put on our hat, put on our hat, put on our hat. This is the way we put on our hat on a cold and frosty morning.
This is the way we put on our gloves, put on our boots, put on our coats, etc.
- Joyce Sidman writes beautiful books of poems about nature, and her winter collection is gorgeous.
- Who lives warm under the snow? Kate Messner has wonderful books about animals, like this one, Under and Over the Snow. How many animals do you see out in the winter?
- How is snow made? Answer preschooler questions with this book full of age appropriate facts and gorgeous art.
- Project Learning Tree’s initiatives focus on outdoor and environmental education for preschool through high school. Check out these fun winter activities: Adopt a tree and observe it through all the seasons! Walk like a deer!
Shelley is a children’s librarian with a passion for early literacy, serving and celebrating the disability community, and exploring technology. She can often be found practicing storytime songs with her black lab, Bingo.