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Early Literacy

Early literacy is what children know about communication, language—verbal and non-verbal—reading and writing before they can actually read and write.

Reading Tip

One early literacy skills is vocabulary – knowing the names of things. If you read picture books to children, you will expose them to words they would not hear in daily conversations with adults. Go to to find these and many other good, vocabulary-rich picture books!

Winter: Books


All Right Already! by Jory John
Duck is super excited and can't wait to play in the snow with his best friend, Bear. But Bear isn't excited about playing with Duck, or going out in the snow.


Bear and Wolf by Daniel Salmieri
Bear and Wolf become unlikely companions one winter's evening when they discover each other out walking in the falling snow.


I Don’t Want to Sleep by Dev Petty
Frog is excited about the coming of winter, until he finds out that frogs sleep through the long cold months while they hibernate.


I Don't Want to Go To Sleep

Into the Snow by Yuki Kaneko
A child plays in the snow and experiences the sensory joys of winter and independence.


Little Bear Dreams by Paul Schmid
This gentle and imaginative tale takes readers on a journey of wintry opposites, including the expected and the unexpected.


Little Owl's Snow by Divya Srinivasan
Little Owl looks forward to his first snowfall.


A Loud Winter’s Nap by Katy Hudson
Unmoved by his friends' attempts to draw him out with singing classes and snowball fights, Tortoise tries to settle down for his annual winter nap and instead stumbles into a wonderfully icy experience.


Mice Skating by Annie Silvestro
Lucy the field mouse's friends avoid going outdoors in winter until Lucy introduces the delights of skating.


Sleep Tight Farm: A Farm Prepares for Winter by Eugenie Doyle
It is December, and there are many things for the family to do around the farm to get it ready for winter.


The Snowy Nap by Jan Brett
After hearing about winter from his friends, Hedgie the hedgehog tries to stay awake to experience its wonders.


Winter is Here by Kevin Henkes
Snow falls, animals burrow and children prepare for the wonders winter brings.



Some non-fiction books may not be developmentally appropriate for every preschooler. You know your children—if any of the text is beyond where you think they are, you can still use the book by discussing the pictures and illustrations.


Best in Snow by April Pulley Sayre
A photographic non-fiction picture book about the wonder of snowfall and the winter water cycle.


Let’s Look at Winter by Sarah L. Schuette
A simple text and expansive photographs bring each season to life while explaining changes in the weather, animal behavior and plant life.


Wonderful Winter by Bruce Goldstone
A photographic picture book providing a comprehensive overview of facts about winter.


Winter: Songs and Rhymes

I’m a Little Snowman

(Tune:I’m a Little Teapot”)
I’m a little snowman,
Short and fat. (bend your knees and form a circle with your arms)
Here are my buttons, (point to imaginary buttons on your body)
Here is my hat. (point to your head)
When the sun comes out, I can’t play. (form a circle with your fingers)
I just slowly melt away! (slowly fall to the ground)


The Mittens on My Hands

(Tune:Wheels on the Bus”)
The mittens on my hands,
Keep me warm.
Keep me warm.
Keep me warm.
The mittens on my hands,
Keep me warm.
All winter long!

Other Verses:
Hat on my head (pat your head)
Jacket on my body (hug your body)
Boots on my feet (stomp your feet)


The Mitten Chant

Here is a mitten, (hold up one hand)
A snug, fuzzy one. (rub palms together)
With a place for my fingers, (wiggle four fingers)
And a place for my thumb. (wiggle thumb)

Here are two mittens, (hold up two hands)
A colorful sight! (wave hands back and forth)
One for my left hand, (hold up left hand)
And one for my right. (hold up right hand)

Here are our mittens, (hold up two hands)
As soft as can be. (stroke the back of the hand)
A warm pair for you, (point to neighbor)
A warm pair for me. (point to self)


Ten Little Snowflakes

(Tune:Ten Little Indians”)
One little, two little, three little snowflakes,
Four little, five little, six little snowflakes,
Seven little, eight little, nine little snowflakes,
Ten little snowflakes on my tongue. (stick your tongue out)

Other verses:

Ten little snowflakes on my hat (pat head)
Ten little snowflakes on my mitten (wave hands)
Ten little snowflakes on my boots (stomp feet)


Five Little Snowmen Chant
Five little snowmen on a snowy day.
The first one said, “Let’s play, what do you say?”
The second one said, “Let’s stomp on the ground.”
The third one said, “Let’s roll around.”
The fourth one said, “Let’s run and run and run!”
The fifth one said, “I’m afraid I feel the sun.”
“Oh dear!” cried the snowmen, as they looked toward the sky.
And the five melting snowmen waved a fond goodbye.


Snow on my forehead, (touch forehead)
Snow on my knee, (touch knee)
Snow on my glasses, (touch eyes)
Getting hard to see.
Snow on my boots, (touch shoes)
Snow on my hair, (touch hair)
Snow on my mittens, (touch hands)
Snow everywhere. (wave hands all over)


Make a Snowball
(Tune:Are You Sleeping?”)
Make a snowball, make a snowball, (pretend to make a snowball)
Throw it now, throw it now. (make a throwing motion)
Make a snowball, make a snowball, (pretend to make a snowball)
Throw it now, throw it now. (make a throwing motion)

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