Monday, February 16, 2009


Book Ideas:
Kumak’s Fish by Michael Bania
On a beautiful Arctic morning when Kumak and his family go ice fishing, Kumak hooks what seems like an enormous fish, and the entire village gets involved.

Diamond in the Snow by Jonathan Emmett
One wintry afternoon, Mole finds something smooth and sparkly sticking out of the snow. It must be a diamond! As Mole rushes to show his new treasure to his friends, it keeps changing shape in his hands. Could the diamond be magic?

The Ice Child by Nick Ward
a classic tale of friendship and fitting in to society. Villagers discover a lonely ice child and take him into their village. When people learn about his special "talent," they turn against him one by one, and he retaliates and starts turning everything and everyone to ice. Eventually a young girl befriends him, and he gains an invaluable companion.

Pearl’s New Skates by Holly Keller
Pearl has new skates. They are real skates (not double runners), and she can't wait to try them. Pearl inches out onto the frozen pond. But instead of twirling, she topples. Instead of spinning, she falls -- splaaat! Will Pearl ever skate in real life the way she skates in her dreams?

Omar on Ice by Kovalski
Omar loves drawing pictures and wishes he could be as good at it as his classmate Elsie. But his teacher, Ms. Fudge, can never figure out what Omar's pictures are- no matter how hard she tries. When the whole class goes ice-skating, however, Omar's true talent emerges. He shows Elsie how he can glide and whirl and spin.

Activity Ideas:

Idea #1: Ice Art

Read one of the books and then paint with colored ice.

First you will need to freeze some colored water in home-made Popsicle containers (ice cube trays with a craft stick stuck in the center works fine too). I just added drops of food coloring to the water (it works best if you add a lot of drops so the color is nice and dark).

Let the Popsicles melt a little before using them or run them under water. Give your child a piece of white cardstock or construction paper and let them paint the paper with the melting, colored ice.

Set aside to dry.

Idea #2: Wax Paper Ice Skating

Read one of the stories about ice skating and then "ice skate" in the house. All you need to do is tear off two pieces of wax paper (one for each foot) and then slide around the house like your ice skating. Put on some music while you slide across the room. (Works on carpet or hardwood flooring).

Idea #3: Ice Fishing

Read "Kumak's fish" or one of the other books about ice and then pretend to go ice fishing.
You'll need a large plastic container (Yogurt, cottage cheese etc..). Cut out a whole in the top of the lid and then cover both the container and lid with tinfoil, to look like ice.

You will also need some sort of magnetic fishing pole. I have one from a magnetic puzzle. If you don't have one, make your own homemade one (a string and magnet will do). You will also need to print-off and color several fish onto cardstock (you'll need to make the fish smaller).

Write a different summer or winter activity on the back of each fish and attach a paper clip to each one. Here are a few ideas:
Summer: Going for a picnic, swimming at the lake, riding bikes, playing at the park, mowing the lawn
Winter: Skiing, building a snowman, playing hockey, sledding, shoveling the snow, Ice skating

Place the fish inside the container and let your child go "Ice fishing" for fish.

As you pull out the fish, read the back and have them sort the fish under either summer or winter activities.
For Toddlers, you may want to just reinforce their colors by asking them what color the fish is as they catch each one.

Idea #4: Ice Science Experiment
Read "The Diamond in the Snow" or one of the other stories about ice and talk about what they think makes ice melt. Show your child a tray of ice and ask them to think of different ways to melt each cube. Make a list of the methods they suggest and ask your child to predict which method will make the ice cube melt the fastest and/or slowest. Here are a few ideas: Place one ice cube in cold water and one in hot water.

Sprinkle one with coarse salt.

Sprinkle one with sugar.

Sprinkle one with sand.

Your child may enjoy wrapping the ice cubes in different materials and predicting which cubes will melt the fastest. You can use aluminum foil, plastic wrap and cloth. Remember to write their predictions down, do the experiment, and then refer back to what the children had thought would happen.
Idea #5: Sugar Cube Igloo
Read one of the stories and then talk about how some people live in houses made of Ice and Snow. Then make a sugar cube igloo. For directions go click here. (I haven't tried this activity-- but if I were going to do it, I would probably let my child just build their own "ice house" out of the sugar cubes, however they want, rather than following the specific directions.)

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