The cold winter months often means more time spent indoors. While this can be cozy, it can also lead to boredom, especially for young children. As a parent or teacher, you want to keep kids engaged and learning even when they can’t run around outside. Reading is a great way to do this!
Here are some fun winter reading ideas to try with preschool through 4th grade students:
Pre-K or Preschool Readers
- Read winter-themed books and have them point out snowmen, hats, scarves, and other cold weather items on each page. Some good options are Biggest Snowman Ever by Steven Kroll, The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats, Katy and the Big Snow by Virginia Lee Burton, and Over and Under the Snow by Kate Messner. Click here for our list of available books.
- Act out scenes from the story using costumes and props, and let their imagination lead the way to an adventure in storytelling!
- Make a homemade book featuring your child as the main character. Take photos of them dressed up and include a simple story.
Kindergarten & 1st Grade
- Create a reading fort or tent in the living room using blankets and pillows. Pick a new book to read together each time you have a reading “campout.”
- Have a hot cocoa reading day where kids can sip cocoa or tea while reading books curled up in comfy spots.
- Try audiobooks and follow along with the book. They can practice reading aloud or silently to themselves.
- Books for this age group that are available on our booklist include 100 Snowmen by Jen Arena, Bad Kitty Does Not Like Snow by Nick Bruel, Giving Snowman by Julia Zheng
2nd and 3rd Grade
- Host a virtual book club with friends over video chat. The teacher/parent can lead a discussion with a pre-chosen book.
- Print out winter or snow-themed mazes, word searches, and other activities to do along with reading. Check sites like Education.com.
- Listen to audiobooks while doing a craft project like knitting, coloring, or making ornaments.
- Books for this age group available on the Cleveland Schools Book Fund paperback book list include Disaster Strikes Blizzard by Marlene Kennedy, children can receive a book for home.
- Challenge them to read a chapter book on their own and share a “review” with you about it after. Ask their thoughts on the book, characters, and what they liked or didn’t like.
- Print out reading bingo boards and have them earn prizes for getting 5-in-a-row based on book themes, authors, characters, etc.
- Do reader’s theater! Find scripts online to perform together. Play Scripts for Kids is one resource and your public library might also have electronic script options for download.
The winter months don’t have to mean a halt on reading activities!
Use these fun, hands-on ways to keep your preschool through 4th grade students engaged with books all season long. Adjust ideas as needed for your child’s age and reading level. Most importantly, make it fun and don’t forget to set an example by reading yourself.