Seasonal changes are so much fun for curious toddlers, who love to learn about everything in their world. This sweet story about Mouse, his Poppa, and some fresh snow is a great way to introduce concepts like winter, snow, and fun family activities. Action and sound words, rhymes and predictable text make this story interactive and enjoyable -- while promoting beginning reading skills.
Before, During and After Reading
Talk about the picture on the front of the book with your toddler. Introduce her to Mouse and explain that the book is about Mouse’s first time playing in the snow. This is a great time to use rich, descriptive words your toddler may not know yet. You might say:
Sometimes when it is very cold outside, snow falls from the sky. Snow is cold and wet, so when we play in the snow, we have to dress in warm clothes. Do you see what Mouse is wearing to play in the snow? He is wearing a red hat and scarf to stay warm and cozy. Let’s read our book to see what fun things Mouse does in the cold snow!
Action and sound words are shown in blue or red. These words either rhyme, such as “Whoosh, swoosh!” and “Tumble, rumble!” or have the same beginning sound: “Flap, flop!” and “Pitty-pat!” Draw your toddler’s attention to these sounds by emphasizing how these words sound alike. Explicitly talk about the word sounds.
You might say,
Zzzippity, Zzzip! That’s what it sounds like when Poppa skates on the ice, zzzzzipping around the frozen pond. Isn’t that fun to say? Those words start with a ‘zzz’ sound. Zzzzzzipity Zzzzzzzip! ‘Zzz’ is a fun sound to make!
In the story, Poppa shows Mouse how to do fun things in the snow, like build a snow mouse that looks just like him. Mouse always comments, “I can do that too!” Now would be a great time to encourage your toddler to “draw” her own snow mouse. Provide paper, crayons, markers or paint and model how to use the materials you have. Then, tell her that she can do it too! Your toddler may be just learning about holding crayons to make marks and scribbles on the paper, so be sure to encourage all of her efforts and creativity. You can offer to write something for your toddler on the paper.
You might say:
I love your wonderful drawing! Would you like me to write your name on the paper and we can hang it on the refrigerator so everyone can see what a great job you did?
For more stories about fun in the snow, check out these recommended books: