top of page

The Snowy Day Book Day Tutorial

Step-by step instruction manual how to bring books to life in your home!

The start of a new year is a spring board for new ideas. As I decided which book to highlight in January, I thought it would be fun to focus on something seasonal.


Of course, after Christmas, the trending theme is winter and everything that it brings-particularly SNOW! While some may find it a common experience, or even a nuisance, here in Texas, snow brings a sense of wonder, even for adults! It seemed like the perfect element to add to a January Book Day. What better themed winter book than the ultra classic, The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats!


This month, Book Days brought to life The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats. I hope you enjoy the following tutorial and glean inspiration for your own Book Day!


Decorations


Book Days starts with the backdrop. The area designated for the theatrical reading sets the tone for the whole day. Here are the two steps to create your Book Day room:


1. BACKDROP- The first thing I do, is pick the color of the back drop based on the book. For this book, I picked red to go with the major colors of the book. Then I added strings of snowflakes from Amazon across the backdrop to add a whimsical and 3-D flare.


2. FOCAL POINT- For this Book Day, the focal point was the snow from the snow machine. Since the plot of the book describes Peter walking to and fro, one physical focal point did not seem appropriate. Snow machines are so fun to have on hand for kid events and they are very easy to operate! You just pour the snow liquid and plug it in. Find an affordable machine here along with snow fluid. To add some dimension to the set, I also used pillow stuffing from the sewing section of Walmart to sprinkle around the room. It is very easy to clean up. The pillow stuffing adds a more permanent snow element, whereas the snow machine suds quickly vanish.


Accessories


The use of accessories really gets the kids involved. Sometimes that includes outfit elements, but most of the time it is as simple as a "hat" or "headband" they wear to the reading. One of my favorite materials to use as themed headbands is border for bulletin boards! This border comes in all colors and styles and with a few staples, is a pre-made accessory. I chose a bright sparkly red border to match the color of the day. Find a variety at Walmart, Office Depot, or Amazon.



Snack


Book Day snacks are the biggest hit of the day. Keep in mind that the creative element is as important as the snack itself.


I took ordinary styrofoam cups from Walmart and three different color Sharpies to create individual snowmen filled with popcorn.



Sensory


One of my favorite Book Day activities is the sensory play! Every bin introduces a larger understanding and exploration of the world around them. It is ideal for infants and toddlers, but still so beneficial for Pre-K and elementary age children. One of the biggest benefits of sensory play is how it fosters social interactions between children. (Source).

Here are the products used to make this sensory bin:


-1 Storage box from Walmart

-1 Bag of fake snow

-1 Pack of small food storage containers

-1 Pack of mini shovels

-1 Pack of wooden sleighs

-1 pack of wooden balls

-1 pack of mini wooden people

-1 Sheet of red felt

-1 Bottle of red and white acrylic paint

-Hot glue gun and glue sticks

- Black and orange permanent markers


Begin this sensory bin by painting the wooden balls white and the wooden people and sleighs red. Let dry. Use your hot glue gun to add red felt as hats on your wooden people resembling Peter. Then hot glue together the wooden balls to create the snowmen. Add facial features with colored permanent markers. Next, in a large storage box create the snow using the provided powder and water. Finally, strategically place the sleighs, Peter dolls, shovels, snowmen, and food containers in the bin. Enjoy!


Craft


One of the beautiful things about kids crafts is that they can be simple without a thousand parts and a novel of instructions.

The themed craft of the day was an invitation to create a Snowy Day portrait.

For inspiration, the kids used a white cutout of Peter on a blue sheet of construction paper. To begin, each child used crayons, stencils, or markers to color their Peter. Then they used white paint to create their own snow landscape. The younger kids created simpler landscapes and the older ones were able to add various textures and depth in their artistic impression. Then they placed their Peter cutouts on top of the paint that acted like glue to complete their portrait.


I love invitations to create because it allows kids more creativity and imagination rather than a cookie cutter project. While the final products may vary due to age, each child is given the same license to discover no matter the age.


Fine Motor


Fine motor activities are important because they strengthen children's hand grips that are essential for every day tasks, such as tying shoe laces. (Source)


The fine motor activity for this Book Day was called "Gather the Snowballs." I bought two bags on cotton balls to resemble snowballs. My sister and I threw them from the second level of the house for the kids to catch in red pails, but more importantly, pick up off the ground to exercise their fine motor skills. It looked like the winter version of an Easter egg hunt.




STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math)


I added this category to the original curriculum because I didn't want literacy to be separate from the sciences. My hope is that children doing this program, will not only have a greater love of reading, but experience a wholistic bundle of developmental activities.

This STEM activity was called "Build a Snowman." The children used large marshmallows to engineer the biggest snowman they could. Some of them used toothpicks to hold their snowmen together. The younger ones enjoyed observing the creations and eating the marshmallows! At times the STEM activity might require a little guidance, but definitely give the kids room to explore cause and effect, after all, STEM is about have a curious mind.


Final Comments


I hope this post has inspired you to see the depth of wealth that is sitting on your children's book shelves! Bringing books to life at home can provide an out-of-the-box event while creating an engaging hands-on educational experience. Whether you do one activity or all five, I know the kids in your life will be invigorated to read more and approach learning with a passion. Remember, everyone has a role to play in early childhood education. Whether you are a mom, dad, aunt, uncle, or grandparent you have the ability to bring wonder through the lens of a book!


I want to challenge you to create a Book Day in your home! Let us know about it (info@bookdays.org) so you can be featured on our page "Book Days Across America."


Until next time,


Kassi



20 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
bottom of page