Happy January, Book Learners!

It may be a new year, but as far as I’m concerned, the winter weather is already getting old.

The sky is constantly overcast, the snow has long since turned gross, and leaving the house involves bundling up like a reluctant Arctic explorer. Native Michigander or not, I am counting the days until spring.

So I thought today I’d come up with some activities to help fight the winter doldrums.

Naturally, the first book I thought of was Now It Is Winter by Eileen Spinelli. In it, a young mouse with a serious case of cabin fever keeps asking his mom when it will be spring so they can actually start having fun again (this mouse speaks to me on a spiritual level). But his mom responds by pointing out all the things they can enjoy now, the things that make winter special.

Activity #1: Gain some perspective by making your own list.

Give yourself and each kid a piece of paper and a pencil.

Start a timer for one minute and have each person list as many good things about winter as they can think of. These can be favorite activities, family traditions, fond memories, etc.

When the timer buzzes, have each person read out their list and treat it like a game of Scattergories: the person with the most unique answers wins.

Not only will this activity help to while away the time, it will help to remind you that winter isn’t wholly and completely terrible, even when it feels like it is.

Bonus: Pick an activity (or hey, do several. I’m not here to stomp on your ambition) that was listed and go do the thing!

Activity #2: Build a blanket fort (for reading, obviously).

Being stuck inside isn’t fun, but somehow building a fort (and thus confining yourself to an even smaller space) totally is. Grab a bunch of blankets and the Christmas lights you just got done putting into storage and make the most beautiful blanket fort the world has ever seen. Then grab some snacks and a big stack of books (they don’t even have to be Eerdmans books, though Eerdmans books are the best) and get cozy!

Tip: If you’re a teacher, you can do this in the classroom for reading time. Ask the kids to bring a couple blankets and pillows from home (you’ll probably want to bring extras for the kids who inevitably forget), and have them use their chairs and desks to build mini-forts. And then accept your trophy for Coolest Teacher Ever.

And finally . . .

Here’s some suggested reading for your blanket fort (or wherever you choose to do your winter reading):

  • Now It Is Winter by Eileen Spinelli
  • Blizzard by John Rocco
  • Wolf in the Snow by Matthew Cordell
  • Persephone by Sally Pomme Clayton
  • Bunny Slopes by Claudia Rueda
  • The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats