Thursday, December 18, 2014

Picture Book of the Day: Snow Sounds + Sensory Play

Simple Snow-Inspired Sensory Play and More Letter S Learning Activities

Typically our children's book collection at home is largely dominated by library books (we'll have 20-40 out at a time) with a small collection of books that we own. Snow Sounds by David A. Johnson was one of the few books that successfully made the switch, meaning that we picked it out at the library and the boys loved it so much that I went ahead and purchased the book. Two years later, it remains a favorite of Caterpillar (3) and Wild Thing (5).

Snow Sounds is a simple picture book with few words -- all of which are onomatopoeias (words that sounds like what they mean, i.e. slush, jingle, scoop, scrape). When we read it my boys are mesmerized and love repeating the sounds with me. The beautiful watercolor paintings of this poetic book also bring the books magical feel to life for little readers. 

We don't get any snow where we live (well, it has snowed once in the last 5 years and that was minimal), but we thoroughly enjoy books that bring the snow to life for us. This book does that so well.

During our PreK Letter of the Week experience, we pulled this book out as we focused on the Letter S and used some packing peanuts to create a simple sensory play experiences inspired by snow. Not cold and wet, but still fun. 

P.S. We did purchase the book, ironically, from a library -- hence the marked out bar code. I swear we didn't steal it!

We also used our "snow" to make the letter S, adding into a winter scene piece of artwork that one of the boys brought home from school. 

When we explore a letter, we focus on each of the five senses. Our "snow" was for the sense of touch, and we discussed what real snow feels like. 

We also focused on shapes for the sense of sight. 
Our shape sensory tray and shape books.
Caterpillar (3) exploring our shape sorter.
Wild Thing (5) creating a rocket ship from shapes.
Sunflowers for the sense of smell. 
Simple Sunflower Sensory Bin.
Scooping practice with sunflower seeds and a muffin tin.

Strawberries for the sense of taste, comparing fresh strawberries, strawberry jam and strawberry yogurt. 

And we compared lots of difference sounds (S is for Sound!) by exploring our homemade instruments and some typical household objects to see what sounds we could create.
Our Sound Sensory Tray. Caterpillar loves clapping lids together to make cymbals.
A bonus letter S activity the boys loved was our simple sock sensory basket and sock sorting (which also was very helpful for me). I loved this as well because it allowed us to focus on counting and to teach the boys what a "pair" was. 

For more photos of our Letter "S" experiences and activities, please check out our Tot School/PreK Photo Album at The Good Long Road on Facebook where I add even more pictures of our learning activities. 

More from The Good Long Road:
Holiday Books + More
Winter Sensory Tray


  1. I love all of the fun activities you did featuring the letter 'S.' I'm off to pin this now.

  2. Yeah I have used this “Snow Sounds” picture book. Actually I am a preschool teacher in a famous Phoenix preschool. So I have used this great book to teach my little kids. I highly recommend using this book.