We’ve had a lot of snow this week and one of the ways we’ve been really enjoying it is by using it as an excuse to return to some favourite wintry books/scenes. First up we made Sugar Snow, inspired by the classic description in Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder.
I boiled up a jar of maple syrup, using a jam thermometer to tell me when it got to the firm ball stage. This took about 10 minutes. Then I poured the bubbling mixture onto fresh snow, where the maple syrup immediately hardened into Sugar Snow.
The Sugar Snow was delicious but very, very chewy – not one if you’ve got wobbly teeth!
Next we made an igloo, inside which we told stories, and reminisced about Holly Webb’s The Snow Bear (which we reviewed here), and the utterly gorgeous picture book Immi by Karin Littlewood (which we reviewed here).
I also brought the snow theme into my school story + craft sessions, and read Penguin and Pinecone by Salina Yoon. This simply illustrated book is quite literally full of heart (you’ll have to read it to see what I mean). The pictures are great for the youngest of listeners who appreciate bold, uncomplicated pictures, the penguin is undeniably cute and the story is perfect if you want a smattering of snow without any reference to Christmas.
You can get a good idea of what the book is like from this trailer:
Having read the story I helped my 30 5 and 6 year olds create their own play set for Penguin and Pinecone. I gave them each a pinecone (I collect these every year when a local tree sheds them) and a short stretch of felt, with a small snip in it, so one end could be threaded through the other to create the scarf around the pinecone.
To make the sledge each child had a craft matchbox, an elastic band and a small piece of pipecleaner. I prepped the matchboxes by making a hole in the matchbox drawer, and each child then threaded through the elastic band and inserted the pipecleaner to keep the elastic band in place.
We stuck lollypop sticks on the side to make sledge runners, and then we made pine trees and penguins using the templates below.
I printed this template on to green paper for the fir tree crowns and used strips of brown paper (about 8 inches long by 3 inches high) for the trunks.
The penguin templates can be downloaded here. They work fine printed onto regular paper, but for something more robust you could print them on card.
If you’re looking for some snowy, kid friendly, non christmassy music I can recommend:
This has some great lyrics!
A dreamy song for swirling around like snowflakes, with a pretty gorgeous video.
An all time classic…
For other activities to go with Penguin and Pinecone you could try:
Have you had snow recently? Or are you suffering in summer heat?
Disclosure: I received a free copy of Penguin and Pinecone from the publishers. I was under no obligation to review the book and I received no payment for this review.