Archive for the ‘Winter Children’s Books, Learning Games and Printables’ Category

Snow and Snowmen for Preschool, Kindergarten and Grade School

Posted on January 19th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart


Storytime Standouts Snow and Snowman Theme

Our free “Building a Snowman” printable for kids has been enormously popular this month so I thought I would pull together some more snow-related materials that would be great for a preschool or kindergarten snow theme. I have added more Snow and Snowmen materials today. I would love to hear about your favourite resources and suggestions.






Board Books

cover art for Welcome Winter picture bookWelcome Winter written by Jill Ackerman, illustrated by Nancy Davis
Winter theme board book published by Scholastic

This sturdy, fun board book caught my eye and will have great appeal for toddlers. The illustrations and text are simple and yet very engaging. I especially liked the description of “snow crunching under boots” and a matching slippery, noisy surface that begs to be touched. Very young children will thoroughly enjoy checking out a variety of textures as they learn about the season of swirling snowflakes, cold temperatures and wind.

Welcome Winter at Amazon.com

Welcome Winter at Amazon.ca

Winter and Snowman theme Picture Books


All You Need for a Snowman book cover imageAll You Need for a Snowman written by Alice Schertle and illustrated by Barbara Lavallee
Snow theme picture book published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers

All You Need for a Snowman is a book that I have used with 4, 5 and 6 year olds many times. Bright, energetic illustrations and lyrical rhyming text tells the story of a group of children who build two enormous snowmen. This is a book that preschoolers gravitate towards – they enjoy watching the process of building a snowman and celebrate the end product, a giant, happy snowman.

All You Need for a Snowman at Amazon.com

All You Need For a Snowman at Amazon.ca


In the Snow book cover imageIn the Snow written and illustrated by Peggy Collins
Snow theme picture book published by Applesauce Press

In the Snow tells the story of a young boy who is excited when he awakens to snow. Eager to have fun, he dresses in warm clothes goes outside with his father. They fill the bird feeder and notice some animal tracks in the fresh snow. The father and son have a happy, playful relationship and soon get to work and build a huge snowman. Also vividly illustrated, In the Snow will be enjoyed best by preschoolers.

Note: the brief mention of animal prints in the snow as well as the action of filling a birdfeeder, provide opportunities for a discussion about urban wildlife and further extension activities.
In the Snow at Amazon.com

In the Snow at Amazon.ca

Owl Moon – written by Jane Yolen, illustrated by John Schoenherr
Winter theme picture book published by Philomel Books a division of Penguin Young Readers Group

In 1988 the Caldecott Medal was awarded to Owl Moon. A special 20th anniversary edition is now available and provides an opportunity to discover the picture book’s wonderful, timeless magic.

It is very late at night when a father and his young daughter venture into the cold. They are seeking a glimpse of a great horned owl. The companions walk together silently and eagerly under an Owl Moon.

Beautifully illustrated, this is a remarkable book that will be enjoyed by the entire family. The depiction of the young girl’s excitement will no doubt inspire parents to bend their bedtime rules and enjoy a moonlit, late night walk.

Owl Moon at Amazon.com

Owl Moon at Amazon.ca

cover art for Perfect SnowPerfect Snow written and illustrated by Barbara Reid
Snow theme picture book published by North Winds Press, an imprint of Scholastic Canada

Great for school-aged children, Perfect Snow features a combination of Plasticine artwork complimented by ink and watercolour illustrations. It tells the story of the excitement of a snowy day at school and the students’ decision to work together and build “The World’s Greatest Totally Massive Snowman Fort”

Perfect Snow at Amazon.com

Perfect Snow at Amazon.ca

cover art for SnowSnow written by Cynthia Rylant and illustrated by Lauren Stringer
Snow theme picture book published by Harcourt, Inc.

What could be more wonderful for a young child than waking up to freshly fallen snow? Ms Rylant’s evocative writing and Ms Stringer’s lovely paintings beautifully capture the wonder and delight of a snowy day in Snow. An exuberant young girl shares the special day with a friend and her grandmother. This beautiful book will surely leave you wishing for a magical snowy day to share with your youngster.

Snow at Amazon.com

Snow at Amazon.ca


image of The Snow Day book cover artThe Snow Day written and illustrated by Komako Sakai
Snow theme picture book published by Arthur A. Levine Books, an imprint of Scholastic

When an overnight snowfall grounds flights and forces the cancellation of kindergarten, a young rabbit spends a quiet day at home in The Snow Day. Mommy and her child play cards together and enjoy a day together at home. Late in the evening, when the snowfall stops, the two go outside for some quiet play in the cold, snowy darkness. Gentle, evocative illustrations beautifully depict the peace of a snowy day. A great choice for kindergarten.

The Snow Day at Amazon.com

The Snow Day at Amazon.ca

image of cover art for The Three Snow Bears
The Three Snow Bears written and illustrated by Jan Brett
Published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons a division of Penguin Young Readers Group

When Baby Bear’s soup is too hot and burns his mouth, he and his snow bear family leave their igloo and go for a stroll. Meanwhile, Aloo-ki is searching for her sled dogs. She happens upon the bear family’s igloo and is soon inside, tasting soup, trying on boots and sleeping in Baby Bear’s “just right” bed. Beautifully illustrated, this is a truly inspired adaption of Goldilocks’ story.

The Three Snow Bears at Amazon.com

The Three Snow Bears at Amazon.ca

For New Readers

image of cover art for Houndsley and Catina and the Quiet Time, an early reader set on a snowy dayHoundsley and Catina and the Quiet Time – Written by James Howe, illustrated by Marie-Louise Gay

When Houndsley and Catina are unexpectedly snowed in, Houndsley is quite happy to relax and enjoy The Quiet Time. Catina is not nearly as content. She has things to do and places to go. Eventually the two settle in and spend an enjoyable day playing board games, baking cookies and writing poetry. In the evening, they join their friends for a snowy outdoor concert. The musicians “began to play so softly that the notes fell on the listening ears like snowflakes on waiting tongues, gently, softly, there for a flicker before melting away.”

Terrific for newly independent readers, the Houndsley and Catina books are also a very good choice for children who are ready to enjoy a longer read-aloud book.

Houndsley and Catina and the Quiet Time at Amazon.com

Houndsley and Catina and the Quiet Time on Amazon.ca

Snow and Snowmen Theme Printables for Preschool, Kindergarten and Grade School

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Step 3 – Choose from any of our 250 free downloads, including these free Snow and Snowman theme printables.



Storytime Standouts #free #printable sequencing activity 'Making a Snowman' for #prek #kindergarten

image of PDF icon  Building a Snowman Sequencing Activity

image of PDF icon  Writing paper for kids - Snowman

Snow theme interlined paper for beginning writers.

image of PDF icon  Winter Picture Dictionary

Free printable Winter picture dictionary for readers and writers in kindergarten and grade one.


Storytime Standouts #free #printable Snowman writing paper for kids #kindergarten #prekWinter and Snow Theme Printables for Preschool and Kindergarten

image of PDF icon  Counting Snowmen Rebus

image of PDF icon  A Winter Alphabet

Free printable wintertime theme letters for preschool or kindergarten

image of PDF icon  Winter Fun Word Search

A free printable Winter theme word search for children

Winter Preschool or Kindergarten Circle Time

image of PDF icon  Winter Snow Fingerplays

Winter snow fingerplays for preschool and kindergarten

image of PDF icon  Five Little Snowmen

Use as a fingerplay or felt board story

image of PDF icon  Frosty the Snowman


We invite you to check out Storytime Standouts’ Snow and Snowmen Board on Pinterest

Follow Storytime Standouts’s board Snow, Snowmen and Ice for Preschool and Kindergarten on Pinterest.

A Picture Book Celebration of Love – Love is You and Me

Posted on January 18th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

Storytime Standouts looks at picturebook Love is You & MeLove is You & Me written and illustrated by Monica Sheehan
Picture book published by Simon and Schuster



Just in time for February 14th, Monica Sheehan’s celebration of love arrives on bookshelves.

Intended for very young children, my copy of Love is You and Me is in a boardbook format. Fun, breezy illustrations introduce a handsome mouse and his dashing canine friend. They adore spending time together; driving in a convertable, sharing a milkshake, holding hands. riding a roller coaster. Whether doing something exciting or nothing at all, true friends know,

Whever we go love will always be…because…love is you and me.

A perfect book to share for Valentine’s Day, Love is You & Me (Monica Sheehan’s warmhearted follow-up to be happy!) delivers a reassuring message that will be enjoyed equally by young children and all those who care deeply for them.

Love is You & Me. at Amazon.com

Love is You & Me. at Amazon.ca

You will also be interested in our Valentine’s Day printables. Storytime Standouts is on Pinterest – Check out our Valentine’s Day Board




Monica Sheehan’s be happy!

Valentine’s Day Printables Have Arrived

Posted on January 17th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

We’ve just added a selection of new, free Valentine’s Day printables to our selection of early learning resources for children, their teachers and caregivers. Today we’ll highlight the printables alongside some great picture books

Storytime Standouts selection of Valentine's Day theme picture books and free printables for kids


Young children, their caregivers and teachers are sure to enjoy these Valentine’s Day theme printables.

* Two kinds of Valentine’s Day writing paper for kids
* A Valentine’s Day picture dictionary for children who are beginning to read and write
* Five Little Valentines – a rhyme that could be perfect for your Valentine’s Day preschool circle time , adapt it as a felt board story
* Counting Valentines – a Valentine’s Day song, sung to a familiar tune, also great for Valentine’s Day circle time
* Making a Valentine – a Valentine’s Day sequencing activity. This could also be used as a matching game.
* Make New Friends – a song sheet





Storytime Standouts is on Pinterest

Follow Storytime Standouts’s board Valentine’s Day for Kids on Pinterest.

Five Fun Picture Books for Valentine’s Day

The Day it Rained Hearts written and illustrated by Felicia Bond
Valentine’s Day picture book published by Harper Collins

You are no doubt familiar with Felicia Bond’s lively illustrations in If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. Here she tells the story of Cornelia Augusta, a girl who is caught in a rather unusual rainstorm.

On The Day It Rained Hearts Cornelia collected hearts of all different shapes and sizes and then set to work making Valentines for her special friends. Before setting to work, she thinks carefully about each individual and she creates cards and gifts that suit each perfectly.

She found seven that were more or less alike and strung them together with a needle and thread.”I know just the right person for this one,” she thought.

The Day it Rained Hearts encourages thoughtfulness and creativity. A lovely choice for your young Valentine or for sharing at a February storytime.

Extension activities could include a search for hidden hearts, comparing and categorizing hearts and creating Valentine’s Day cards and gifts.

32 pages, Ages 3 to 5

The Day It Rained Hearts at Amazon.com

The Day It Rained Hearts at Amazon.ca

cover art for Lilly's Chocolate HeartLilly’s Chocolate Heart written and illustrated by Kevin Henkes
Valentine’s Day picture book published by Harper Collins

Lilly is a beloved picturebook character. Best known for Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse , she also appears in Lilly’s Big Day, Chester’s Day, Wemberly Worried and Julius The Baby of the World.

Before going to bed on Valentine’s Day, Lilly must decide what to do with her one remaining foil-wrapped Valentine’s Day chocolate.

“Lilly wanted to find the perfect place to keep the heart. She looked under her bed, but it was too dusty. She looked inside her dresser, but it was too messy.

Those who know Lilly, will agree that she is exhuberant and sometimes just a little bit impulsive so finding the perfect place for the precious chocolate is quite a challenge.

Lilly’s Chocolate Heart will be a delicious treat for Lilly fans who will no doubt notice her purple plastic purse hanging from a dresser drawer handle and a painting of the purse that hangs on a wall.

Lilly’s Chocolate Heart at Amazon.com

Lilly’s Chocolate Heart at Amazon.ca

Love is You & Me written and illustrated by Monica Sheehan
Picture book published by Simon and Schuster

Just in time for February 14th, Monica Sheehan’s celebration of love arrives on bookshelves. Intended for very young children, my copy is in a boardbook format. Fun, breezy illustrations introduce a handsome mouse and his dashing canine friend. They adore spending time together; driving in a convertable, sharing a milkshake, holding hands. riding a roller coaster. Whether doing something exciting or nothing at all, true friends know, “Whever we go love will always be…because…love is you and me.

A perfect book to share for Valentine’s Day, Love is You & Me (Monica Sheehan’s warmhearted follow-up to be happy!) delivers a reassuring message that will be enjoyed equally by young children and all those who care deeply for them.

Love is You & Me. at Amazon.com

Love is You & Me. at Amazon.ca

image of cover art for You by Stephen Michael KingYou written and illustrated by Stephen Michael King
Picture book about friendship published by Greenwillow Books

Light and breezy, You: A Story of Love and Friendship has got it right. The world is more colourful, more musical and more exciting when shared with a true friend.

In this picture book about friendship, happy and engaging illustrations invite us to watch as a friends work together to transform a drab birdhouse into a bright and inviting home. When the work is done, they joyfully play music together and manage to endure the highs and lows that life brings.

The world is an exciting place, with ups, downs, around and arounds, and far-far-aways. But the most exciting place in my world is with… you.

Well-suited to very young children, You is a picture book about friendship and love. It would be a a great story to share before a parent or friend leaves on a trip.

Be sure to visit the author’s website (link above) and read about Stephen Michael King’s experience as a hearing impaired child and his path to becoming an author-illustrator.

You: A Story of Love and Friendship at Amazon.com

You: A Story of Love and Friendship at Amazon.ca

image of cover art for Zero Kisses for MeZero Kisses for Me written by Manuela Monari and illustrated by Virginie Soumagnac
Picture book about affection and independence published by Tundra Books

I have the good fortune to share read alouds with children regularly in my classes. I always look for engaging stories that will hook my students. Sometimes I am lucky enough to find a book that doesn’t just hook the kids – some books have children talking about the story a week later and begging for a reread. Zero Kisses for Me is one of those delightful books that children love to see, listen to and cheer about.

Life is tough when you’re always being kissed.” When you’re kissed before you go out in the rain and when you’re kissed and called, “Honeybunch” or “Flower Bud.” By the end of the day, you can be “tired of being everybody’s tootsy-wootsy… huggy-bear… kissy-snooks.” You might even demand, “No more mush!” And, you might exclaim, “BLEAH” – the perfect word to make a story memorable and a great word for young children to hear and relish.

Fun illustrations add to the atmosphere in Zero Kisses for Me and convey the little bear’s determination and frustration beautifully. A great read aloud for boys and girls, aged four to six, especially those who enjoy many, many kisses each and every day. Although not a Valentine’s Day book, this would be a terrific choice to reach for on February 14th.

Zero Kisses for Me at Amazon.com

Zero Kisses for Me at Amazon.ca

Storytime Standouts Has Free Valentines Day Printables for Kindergarten and Preschool

Storytime Standouts Has Free Valentines Day Printables for Kindergarten and Preschool

Our early learning printables, including our Valentine’s Day theme printables for preschool and kindergarten are in PDF format, if you don’t already use Adobe Reader, you will need to use it to access the downloads.

Valentine’s Day Circle Time Rhymes and Chants for Preschool or Kindergarten ~

image of PDF icon  Counting Valentines

Great for a Valentine's Day circletime

Five Little Valentines chant for preschool

image of PDF icon  Five Little Valentines

Use as a chant or felt board story

image of PDF icon  Make New Friends

A traditional song that can be sung in a round

Valentine’s Day Printables for Young Readers and Writers ~

Valentine's Day printables picture dictionary for children

image of PDF icon  Valentine's Day Picture Dictionary

Free printable Valentine's Day picture dictionary for readers and writers in kindergarten and grade one.



Free printable Valentine's Day Writing Paper for kids

image of PDF icon  Writing paper for kids - Happy Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day theme interlined paper for beginning writers.

image of PDF icon  Writing paper for kids - Valentine's Day Swirling Hearts

Valentine's Day theme interlined paper for beginning writers.


Making a Valentine Sequencing Activity for Preschool and Kindergarten

Valentine’s Day Sequencing Activity

image of PDF icon  Valentine's Day Sequencing Activity

Cut this Valentine's Day Sequencing Activity apart and have children put it together in the correct order or print two and use as a matching game.

Valentine’s Day Printables for Older Children ~

image of PDF icon  Valentine's Day Crossword Puzzle


Squirrel Theme Circle Time For Preschool and Kindergarten

Posted on January 5th, 2011 by Carolyn Hart

Squirrel Theme Activities for Preschool and Kindergarten

Use these squirrel theme circle time materials to celebrate Squirrel Appreciation Day January 21st!




A number of years ago, my father-in-law was frustrated by some pesky critters in his beautiful garden. Stellar jays were not the only visitors who liked the peanuts he offered, not surprisingly the neighbourhood squirrels were also attracted by the treats. Unfortunately, the squirrels were much less appreciated as guests than the jays – the squirrels dared to dig up his daffodil bulbs! We were sympathetic about the destruction of his flower beds, but we couldn’t resist celebrating Squirrel Appreciation Day with him once we heard about it.

Since January 21st is fast-approaching, I put together some squirrel theme preschool materials for anyone who’d like to join in the fun. These resources will be useful when planning a squirrel theme circle time for preschool or kindergarten.

Let’s begin with some squirrel theme picture books for preschool and kindergarten:

image of cover art for Will and SquillWill and Squill written and illustrated by Emma Chichester Clark

Will and Squillis the story of two very unlikely friends. Will and Squill meet as infants and, although discouraged by their parents, they persist in playing, swimming and swinging together. All is well until Will’s family aquires a kitten and Squill reacts badly to the intrusion into their friendship. Thankfully, it is not long before, Will discovers that a kitten is not nearly as good a companion as Squill and the two mismatched friends are reunited. Well-suited for read aloud, will be enjoyed by children aged four and up.


Will And Squill at Amazon.com

Will And Squill at Amazon.ca

image of cover art for Matthew and the Midnight HospitalMatthew and the Midnight Hospital written by Allen Morgan and illustrated by Michael Martchenko

The Flying Flingallees are the stars of the show in Matthew and the Midnight Hospital. When Matthew decides to put together a circus act, he hopes to enlist the help of some neighbourhood creatures. At the end of a performance for his mom, he scrapes his knee and needs some first aid. Just as the bandaid is applied to his knee, a young squirrel in a tree above misses his branch and falls to the ground. Matthew and his mom are both concerned for the animal. They make the injured squirrel comfortable for the night. Matthew worries about the squirrel’s well-being and is thinking about him as he drifts off to sleep. Shortly after midnight, he discovers that the injured squirrel is to be taken to hospital in an ambulance. Unlike any hospital I’ve ever visited, the midnight hospital offers the perfect antidote and soon Danny and Matthew are flying high. Also well-suited for read aloud, this is part of Matthew’s Midnight Adventure Series and will be enjoyed by boys and girls aged five and up.

Matthew and the Midnight Hospital at Amazon.com

Matthew and the Midnight Hospital at Amazon.ca

image of cover art for Scaredy Squirrel at the BeachScaredy Squirrel at the Beach written and illustrated by Melanie Watt

Scaredy Orville Squirrel whose initials are S.O.S. is an immensely popular character in an equally popular series of picture books. In Scaredy Squirrel at the Beach Scaredy the worrywart is very careful to avoid any sort of real or imagined danger. Rather than encounter pirates, jellyfish, seagulls and sea monsters, he decides to create his very own private backyard beach paradise. After carefully constructing his safe haven, Scaredy realizes that, although his beach “look” is great – his backyard just doesn’t sound like the real thing. The only solution is “Operation Seashell” – a carefully planned and executed mission in search of a seashell that will provide crystal clear ocean sound. Featuring detailed descriptions of Scaredy’s beachware and plans for his mission, Scaredy Squirrel at the Beach will be enjoyed best independently or in a small group or one-on-one read-aloud setting. Best-suited to children five and up.

Scaredy Squirrel at the Beach at Amazon.com

Scaredy Squirrel at the Beach at Amazon.ca

image of squirrel writing paper for kids

To enhance a squirrel theme circle time for preschool or kindergarten, we hope you will enjoy our free early learning printables

All of our early learning printables, including these Squirrel theme printables are in PDF format, if you don’t already use Adobe Reader, you will need to download it to access the files.

image of Adobe Reader


Brown Squirrel Chant for Preschool and Kindergarten

image of PDF icon  Brown Squirrel

An action rhyme celebrating squirrels

image of PDF icon  Writing paper for kids - Squirrel with nuts

Squirrel theme interlined paper for beginning writers.

Five Little Squirrels Flannel Board Activity for Preschool and Kindergarten

image of PDF icon  Five Little Squirrels

Use as a fingerplay or a felt board story (or both)

image of PDF icon  I'm A Little Acorn Brown

A fun addition to a squirrel circle time


If you appreciate our free early childhood printables, including these Squirrel theme circle time materials for preschool and kindergarten, please support this site by visiting and purchasing from Amazon.com or Amazon.ca.


A Favourite Wintertime Picture Book – The Hockey Tree

Posted on December 14th, 2010 by Carolyn Hart

These days we are racing to meet all of my youngest son’s sports commitments. He is playing on the high school basketball team and he also plays “rep” hockey. This year the regular season and his hockey team’s Christmas tournament “collide.” He has ten different hockey commitments between now and next Tuesday – and has turned down the opportunity to ref this week (thank goodness).

Storytime Standouts looks at a favourite wintertime picture book about ice hockey, The Hockey Tree by David Ward and Brian DeinesHockey is definitely his first love and, over the years, we have enjoyed several picture books about hockey together. He’s well past picture books now but I’m not.

The Hockey Tree written by David Ward and illustrated by Brian Deines



In light of the busy week ahead, I thought I would take a moment to write about David Ward’s The Hockey Tree. This is a favourite wintertime picture book that beautifully captures a Canadian winter day. Set in Saskatchewan, Owen and Holly are excited because Humboldt Lake has finally frozen over and it is a perfect morning for a spirited game of pond hockey. The two children are excited to drive to the lake with their dad and before long their skates are laced and the three are laughing and playing together. Unfortunately, just as the family starts to talk about taking a break and enjoying a mug of steaming hot chocolate, Holly smacks at the puck and it flies across the frozen lake and into an ice fishing hole.

The children are terribly disappointed that they’ve lost their puck and assume that the game will have to end. Dad is not quite so willing to concede. He helps Owen and Holly to find a fallen poplar tree near the lake. Once a suitable tree is found, dad saws a piece from the trunk to create a wooden puck and the hockey game resumes.

Brian Deines’ luminous illustrations include icy cold winter scenes that are made warm by his depiction of the joy of playing a favourite sport with friends and family.

A lovely book to share with young children, this is one of my favourite wintertime picture books.

The Hockey Tree at Amazon.com

The Hockey Tree at Amazon.ca

How About a Fletcher and the Snowflake Christmas?

Posted on November 23rd, 2010 by Carolyn Hart

Storytime Standouts looks at picture book Fletcher and the Snowflake ChristmasFletcher and the Snowflake Christmas written by Julia Rawlinson and illustrated by Tiphanie Beeke
Christmas picture book published by Greenwillow Books, an Imprint of Harper Collins





It is Christmas Eve and Fletcher Fox’s rabbit friends have moved into a new burrow. Fletcher suddenly realizes that Santa won’t know about the rabbits’ new home. Together with his forest friends, Fletcher uses sticks to leave a trail of arrows for Santa to follow through the woodland. Unfortunately, a snowfall on December 24th conceals the signs the animals left for Santa. What happens next is truly magical…

Fletcher and the Snowflake Christmas uses rich description and evocative, pastel illustrations to tell a heartwarming story of friendship. A great addition to your holiday bookshelf. A highly recommended Christmas picture book for children aged four and up.

Fans of Fletcher will also enjoy Fletcher and the Falling Leaves and Fletcher and the Springtime Blossoms

Fletcher and the Snowflake Christmas at Amazon.com

Fletcher and the Snowflake Christmas at Amazon.ca

Storytime Standouts has many free Christmas early learning printables – You will find all of our Christmas and Winter-themed printables grouped together here. You will find more posts about Christmas picture books here.





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