Fun Winter Activities for Kids

Fun Winter Activities for Kids

Does the winter weather have your little ones experiencing cabin fever? If you’re out of fresh ideas for entertaining the family during the chilly winter days, Red Apple Reading is here to help! Check out this list of 10 winter activities your kids are sure to love.

 

 

  1. Winter Walk – It’s tempting to stay in a warm house when it’s cold outside; but there’s no rule that says walks are strictly reserved for warm weather. In fact, winter walks can be beautiful. Quiet snowfall, frozen lakes, and trees filled with winter berries make for a scenic stroll to remember.
  2. Supplies for Shelters – The cold weather season is an ideal time to think of others who have fallen on hard times. Gather up some gently used blankets, scarves, hats, and gloves and deliver them to the local homeless shelter. You will not only bring a little warmth to someone in need but also teach your kids the importance of social outreach.
  3. Camp Fire – Who says fires are only for camping? Gather up your family and some firewood and enjoy an evening by the fire. While you’re at it, roast some marshmallows and enjoy a few s’mores. You and your children will look back on those fireside nights with fondness.
  4. Winter Reading – There’s nothing better than curling up with a good book on a blustery winter day. Encourage your little one to peruse her book shelf and find a good read. For some great cold weather themed titles, check out Buggy and Buddy’s favorite winter themed children’s books!
  5. Ice Skating – This winter embrace the cold temps and lace up those skates! Ice skating is good, classic cold weather fun. No outdoor ice rinks in your area? No problem! Indoor ice rinks can be every bit as fun as the outdoor ones.
  6. Hot Chocolate Bar – Hot chocolate has been pleasing cold kiddos for ages! Add a little zing to the next frosty day in your area with a delicious hot chocolate bar. Grab the mugs, lay out your hot cocoa fixings (marshmallows, whip cream, caramel, etc.) and enjoy! Take a look at these great ideas for spicing up your hot chocolate from Lifehack.
  7. Make Your Own Snow – Maybe you’re like me and live in an area of the country that doesn’t see much snow. Don’t fret – you can make your own snow! Growing a Jeweled Rose has a simple sensory snow recipe that your kiddo will love!
  8. Snow Spelling – Here at Red Apple Reading we love creative hands-on-learning. Take advantage of the latest snow fall in your community and have an outdoor spelling lesson. Kids love to play in the snow; so find a stick (or a spray bottle with water and food coloring) and let your little one practice his ABC’s in the freshly fallen snow!
  9. Family Game Time – If the winter weather has your brood stuck indoors, then bust out the board games! Children value time spent together as a family and playing a fun game together is something everyone will enjoy. If you have little ones who aren’t ready to play on their own, then let them team up with you or a sibling. A little friendly family competition is sure to cure the winter doldrums!
  10. Red Apple Reading – Get online and play some Red Apple Reading games with your child. Your kiddo will love the fun games and you will love the improvement you see in their reading! Check out our free sample lessons today!

 

Indoor Activities for a Cold Day!

Indoor Activities for a Cold Day - Red Apple ReadingWith the recent “Polar Vortex” that has hit our country, many of us have taken to staying indoors. Perhaps you and your little ones have been stuck inside for an extended period and are beginning to experience a little “cabin fever”. What is a parent to do with small children who have pent up energy and are chanting that all too dreaded mantra – “I’m bored!”? Don’t despair Mom and Dad! Red Apple Reading has compiled a list of 10 fun indoor activities fit for a frigid day.

 

  1. Hit the Kitchen – 1 frigid day + several bored children + 1 cozy kitchen = the perfect recipe for kitchen fun! Kids love to be in the kitchen with mom and dad. While it may be tempting to “shoo” them away, let them stay and create a delicious treat instead. If you’re unsure what to prepare for your culinary creation, visit Red Apple Reading’s Yummy Treats board for some great ideas.
  2. Organize – Let’s take a moment to remember those wise words spoken by the immortal Mary Poppins – ”In every job that must be done there is an element of fun…”. Why not make the most of a day indoors and do a bit of organizing? Muster the troops and spend an hour cleaning out closets. As an incentive, offer a small prize for whichever child has the cleanest closet at the end of the hour.
  3. Read – There is absolutely no better way to spend a chilly day than wrapped in a blanket reading a good book! Have your children pick up that book they haven’t yet gotten around to and pass the day reading. Or better yet, have everyone pile up on the couch and read the book aloud to each other!
  4. Build a Fort – What child doesn’t like to get out all the blankets and chairs and build an enormous fort? Let the kiddos take over the living room the next time a frosty day rolls around. Build a castle, fort, school, house – the possibilities are as endless as your child’s imagination!
  5. Make a Movie – If you want to keep your kid from sitting in front of the TV, then put him behind a camera instead! Let your little one exercise his imagination by filming his very own movie. Afterwards, pop some popcorn and watch the debut film.
  6. Have a Fashion Show – Do you have a little diva in your home? If so, have her raid her closet (and possibly yours) and put on a fashion show for the family. Siblings or friends can play the paparazzi and make pictures of the aspiring model as she walks the runway.
  7. Have a P.J. Day – Cold, winter weather makes for a great pajama day! After all, if it is freezing outside, chances are you won’t be going anywhere. So take advantage of a day inside by letting the little ones (and mom too!) keep on their p.j.’s.
  8. Visit RedAppleReading.com – A cold day is a good time for the kiddos to brush up on their reading skills. Log in to redapplereading.com/freeplay and let your little one spend some time playing fun reading games.
  9. Play in the Bath – Normally small children get their baths at night. But there’s no rule that states you can’t put your kid in the bathtub in the middle of the day! So fill the tub with warm water and lots of bubbles and let your youngster have some bath-time fun!
  10. Make a Book – Make use of those old magazines lying around the house – have your little one cut out pictures and create her very own book. All you need is glue, scissors, crayons, and some out of date magazines and your kiddo is ready to go!

Don’t let the cold weather get you down! If you find yourself stuck inside the house all day- keep calm, keep warm, and have a little fun!

Winter Stories to Warm Your Heart

With the Christmas holidays behind us, there is a good possibility that you or your kiddos have a gift card or two waiting to be used. Red Apple Reading has 10 winter-themed book suggestions for the children in your life. So snuggle up with your little one and a warm cup of hot cocoa, and enjoy a wintry tale tonight!

104862Preschoolers and early elementary students will love the pop-up book, Winter’s Tale. Robert Sabuda captures the beauty of winter with his stunning pop-up artwork.

 

 

8227Join little Laura as she and her family prepare for Winter Days in the Big Woods (My First Little House Books) (Laura Ingalls Wilder). 4-8 year olds will take pleasure in this uplifting classic.

 

 

 

Snow! by Cynthia RylantCynthia Rylant reminds readers of the many wonderful gifts that snow brings. Preschoolers and young readers will enjoy Snow and its beautiful illustrations.

 

 

9780399233463_p0_v2_s260x420A Redwall Winter’s Tale (Redwall Companion Books) Brian Jacques – Older children have enjoyed Jacques’ Redwall series and now younger children can have a turn with this picture book! Join Bungo and Tubspike as they hear the story of Snow Badger, Lord of Wintertide.

 

 

6653158In Winter Shadow, by Richard Knight, young Maria discovers a wolf pup on her way to school one day. Readers will learn how Maria’s relationship with the cub develops as she nurses him back to health. This is a good read for the 2nd-4th grade crowd.

 

 

timthumbWhat happens when the Amazons and Swallows along with Dorothea and Dick (the D’s‘) plan a race to find the North Pole? When the D’s’ disappear, will the Amazons and Swallows be able to save them? Older elementary students will find out the answers when they read Winter Holiday by Arthur Ransome.

 

9781849395960Young readers will discover how a cold blooded amphibian keeps warm in the winter (with some help from his friends!). Frog in Winter, by Max Velthuigs is a heart-warming tale about the importance of friendship.

 

 

snowmen at nightIf you’ve ever wondered how snowmen spend their evenings, you will enjoy reading Snowmen at Night (Caralyn Buehner). Preschoolers and early elementary students will giggle as they peek into the secret lives of snowmen!

 

 

9781442417427_p0_v1_s260x420In Keith Baker’s book, No Two Alike, readers journey with two red birds who learn that the world is full of unique things and people. With beautiful winter landscape pictures, 3-7 year olds will like this one!

 

 

thCA3DFU5VWildlife photographers Carl R. Sams II and Jean Stoick show readers how different woodland creatures react to a snowman in, Stranger in the Woods: A Photographic Fantasy. Children of all ages will love the stunning wildlife photography in this book.

 

3 Winter Holiday Celebrations

What do you think of when you hear the word “holiday” around this time of year? Today, Red Apple Reading is exploring the origins and traditions of 3 different holidays celebrated during the winter season in the United States.

1731636Hanukkah

Hanukkah is celebrated each year on the 25 of Kislev (according to the Jewish calendar) and lasts for eight days and nights. This year Hanukkah was observed November 27 – December 5. Hanukkah commemorates the triumph of the Maccabees in the second century B.C.E. over the Syrian Greeks (who occupied Israel) and the subsequent purifying and rededication of the temple. Also known as the “holiday of lights”, Hanukkah is celebrated with the lighting of the Menorah (Hanukiah) after sunset. Each night one additional light is lit until all eight candles are burning on the 8th night. This commemorates the “miracle of oil” that lasted eight days instead of the expected one. Some Jewish individuals choose to give a gift each night of the eight night celebration. The spinning of the dreidel is a popular Hanukkah game played using a top with 4 Hebrew letters engraved on each side. Each player spins the dreidel once per turn and gets or gives game pieces depending on the outcome. Jewish families often eat fried foods such as latkes and jelly doughnuts during this holiday. Maida Silverman’s book, Festival of Lights: The Story of Hanukkah, will help children who want to learn more about this holiday.

The-Story-of-Kwanzaa-Washington-Donna-L-9780064462006Kwanzaa

Created in 1966 by Dr. Maulana Karenga, Kwanzaa is celebrated from December 26-January 1 each year. Kwanzaa is derived from the Swahili phrase, ‘matunda ya kwanza’, and means “first fruits of the harvest”. According to Dr. Karenga, Kwanzaa is “a deeply meaningful and special time of remembrance, reflection and recommitment for us as a people throughout the world African community.” The seven principles of Kwanzaa are unity, self-determination, collective work, responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity and faith. Each night of the celebration a candle is lit on the kinara and a special feast (a karamu) is held on the evening of the 31st. Usually, gifts are exchanged on the last day of Kwanzaa. If you are looking for a children’s book about Kwanzaa, check out The Story of Kwanzaa, by Donna L. Washington.

61j5ap7ibKL__SX258_BO1,204,203,200_Christmas

The Christmas season is the time of year that Christians celebrate the birth of the Savior, Jesus Christ. Although the actual day of His birth is unknown, Christians celebrate Christ’s birth on December 25th. Another name given for Jesus in the Bible is “Immanuel”- which means “God with us.” Christians regard Christ’s birth as the most important birth ever because God took on human flesh and offered the gift of eternal life to those who would trust in Him for salvation. Many families display a nativity or creche in their homes during the Christmas season. Some households also celebrate Advent (“the coming”) with the lighting of advent candles on each Sunday of Advent. Many Christians also exchange gifts during the Christmas season. Of course not everyone who celebrates Christmas believes in the religious aspects of the holiday and choose to celebrate from a purely secular perspective. The First Christmas Night (Keith Christopher) is a nice retelling of the birth of Christ for children.

We hope you learned something you didn’t already know about these different holiday celebrations. We found the sites listed below helpful to our research. Red Apple Reading would like to hear how your family celebrates during the holiday season. Leave us a comment and tell us some of your favorite traditions. And remember, if your family exchanges gifts during the holidays, you can’t go wrong by giving the gift of a good book!

http://www.myjewishlearning.com/holidays/Jewish_Holidays/Hanukkah.shtml
http://www.judaism.about.com/od/holidays/a/hanukkah.htm
http://www.beliefnet.com/Love-Family/Holidays/Kwanzaa/Kwanzaa-Primer.aspx
http://racerelations.about.com/od/historyofracerelations/a/Celebratekwanzaa.htm
www.officialkwanzaawebsite.org/index.shtml
http://christianity.about.com/od/christmas/f/christmashistor.htm