The Snowman by Raymond Briggs is a beloved wordless storybook for kids. The illustrations are wondrous and capture the magic of a winter wonderland through the dream of a child. If you've ever read or watched Frosty the Snowman and wondered what it would be like to experience a snowman that comes to life, this book offers a delightful glimpse into a glorious dream world that lingers in the heart long after the book is done.
The Snowman by Raymond Briggs: Counting and Letter Activities
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Suggestions for Reading Wordless Books with and to Children.
To truly experience a wordless picture book with kids, try some of the following suggestions:
- Show the children the book you’ve chosen to read. Say the name of the author several times and ask your kids to say the author’s name back to you. Practice often so they become familiar with the author’s name over time.
- Look at the book’s cover (front and back). Ask the children what pictures they see on the cover that might help them predict what the story is about. Chart the predictions on a whiteboard or piece of chart paper.
- Look at the book with your children and ask the following questions when finished. What characters or animals are in the book? What items are in the book? Where does the story take place? What happens at the beginning of the story? In the middle of the story? How did the story end?
- While the children may not know the answers after the very first reading, they will catch on as you open the book and look for characters, items, and the setting/theme within the book. Repetition is key to all learning with kids; the more opportunities they have to listen and look at the author’s book, the more kids can truly experience the magic inside.
- Remember, exposure to literacy is key. When we plant seeds of literacy early with kids and make it FUN, they will begin to apply knowledge to future readings at home or in the classroom.
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Counting and Letters Activities for Kids to Extend The Snowman by Raymond Briggs
As kids finish with The Snowman by Raymond Briggs, invite them to snowman counting and letters activities by creating an invitation to playful learning. You'll need the following supplies:
- Free Printable Snowman Templates (print here).
- Assorted Buttons
- Crayons or Makers (use dry erase markers if the snowmen templates are laminated).
- Letter or Number Stamps (optional)
There are MANY ways to use the FREE snowman templates to encourage math and literacy skills for kids. Below you'll find just a few suggestions for hands-on, playful learning at home or in the classroom. We'd love to know how YOU choose to use the snowmen templates for literacy or math in your own home or classroom.
LETTERS ACTIVITY SUGGESTIONS:
- Print one copy of the snowmen for each of the children and cut out all of the snowmen (if desired, laminate the snowmen for durability and to re-use prior to cutting them out). Next, glue the snowmen to a sheet of construction paper or heavy paper. The children can then stamp or write the focus letter of the week, their own names, or any letters they are currently learning.
- Kids can write or stamp sight words or word families on the snowmen. Write "____at" on several copies of the snowmen. Label additional snowmen with letters that belong in that word family (C, H, P, B, M, etc.). Kids can choose one lettered snowman and write or stamp the corresponding letters.
- Kids can write or stamp color words on the corresponding color of the snowmen hats. Play a simple matching game to encourage learning color words.
MATH ACTIVITY SUGGESTIONS:
- Use buttons to encourage one-to-one correspondence skills with kids. Label the snowmen templates with various numbers the kids are learning. Kids can then count out the corresponding number of buttons and place on top of the snowmen. To learn more about one-to-one correspondence, see here.
- Invite kids to explore basic addition by labeling the snowmen with various numbers. Kids can then add the numbers on two of the snowmen and place the corresponding number of buttons to solve the problem.
- Kids can also subtract using the snowmen templates. Label a snowman with any number 1-10 or 11-20. Place the corresponding number of buttons on that snowman. Call out a smaller number and invite the kids to take off that number of buttons from the snowman and count the number of buttons that remain.
The Snowman by Raymond Briggs is a magical story to invite kids to counting and letter activities to extend the book. Through playful learning, kids will garner skills that encourage a love of literacy and math with hands-on ideas to make learning stick.
Darla is an educator and a home preschool/childcare provider of 33 years.
She is also owner/editor of The Preschool Toolbox Blog which provides playful learning activities and creative curriculum for kids ages 2-7.