"The farm is ready
for down quilts of snow,
the shh-shh of the wind."
While reading Sleep Tight Farm by Eugenie Doyle, we were filled with warm and comforting feelings. This was just what we needed on this cold winter day. We loved taking this close look at a farm as it gets ready for the snow of winter.
So, this needle felted wool snowflake handicraft seemed to be the perfect match for this story and this day. It was warm and comforting as well!
"Of all the forms of water, the tiny six pointed crystals of ice called snow, that form in such quantities with the cloud during storms, are incomparably the most beautiful and varied."
As a small boy, Willie Bentley loved snow more than anything else in the world. He said snow "was as beautiful as butterflies and apple blossoms". He grew up to be one of the first known photographers of snowflakes. His story is very interesting and inspiring. We love reading about his great passion and perseverance in Snowflake Bentley by Jaqueline Briggs Martin. We also love looking at his amazing snowflake photographs in his book Snowflakes in Photographs.
We recorded some of the most beautiful snowflakes we saw from the photographs in our nature journals. We also went outside to catch our own snowflakes. Have you ever looked closely at a snowflake? They really are amazingly beautiful!
Each one a pattern
All its own-
No two the same-
We made cut-paper snowflakes after reading Snowflakes Fall by Patricia MacLachlan. The kids loved this classic craft. They loved cutting and cutting. They loved not knowing what the snowflake would look like, until it was completely unfolded. No two were the same-all beautiful! Amazing!
"And while the snow
this brief moment,
let us take a walk
and see how beautiful
the world is"
Snow by Cynthia Rylant celebrates the beauty of snow... all kinds of snow...the soft snow, the heavy snow, the light snow, and the fat snow. It also reminds us that snow is beautiful, but it can be brief. That is how the snow has been for us here in Tennessee so far this winter. Beautiful, but brief. We all long for more snow and for the kind of snow that stays around for a while. But until then, we are running out to greet the snow. We are looking up into the sky and watching it gently dance through the air. We are reaching out to catch it. We are watching it slowly melt into our mittens. We are walking through the snow and noticing our footprints as we go.
After reading Snow, we made oil pastel and watercolor resist snowflakes that will help us celebrate the snow all season long!
We are celebrating the wonder and beauty of snow!
We always begin our snow celebrations with The Story of the Snow Children by Sybille von Olfers. Then, we baked vanilla snowflake cake and sprinkled powdered sugar "snow" on top. Let it Snow!!!
The Saturday before Christmas was an important day at our house. We decorated Christmas sugar cookies. This is one of the most anticipated Christmas traditions of all! Everyone loves to spread the frosting and sprinkle the sugar on our soft and thick sugar cookies. Audrey really takes her time and decorates with great detail and beauty. Ethan loves to use orange on his cookies. Sophie really made her cookies look cute and realistic. And Ava, well, she piled the frosting and sprinkles on so high that her cookies would have broke from the weight of it all if we did not hold and support them correctly.
During the Christmas season, we always host a Gingerbread Party. Since our cousins now live in Tennessee with us, we invited them over for this year's party. First, we read Gingerbread Baby by Jan Brett. Then we mixed, stirred, rolled, cut, and baked our own gingerbread baby cookies. Finally, we decorated gingerbread houses together.
We read The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree by Gloria Houston. This is such a touching story of the year a small town in the Appalachian Mountains almost did not have a Christmas Tree. We then needle felted our own Christmas Tree ornaments using a Christmas Tree cookie cutter, some felting needles, and colored wool. This is a fun handicraft for children because it is simple and beautiful. To me, this story and these needle felted ornaments celebrate the simplicity and the beauty of the Christmas Tree!
We read Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree by Robert Barry. This is such a charming and cheerful story. Mr. Willowby gets a very large tree for his very large home but it is just a little too tall. So the very top is cut off. The top of the tree is then given to the maid, but it is just a little too tall for her home. So the very top is cut off again. This keeps going on until the very "tippest" of the top is given to the tiny mouse family. Now everyone has their very own perfect Christmas Tree cheering up their home. It is just too cute!
We made these Christmas Tree cookies to go with our story. The kids had fun swirling the green icing and sprinkling the colored sprinkles on top. They turned out so simple and so sweet.