Snowy Neighborhood

Purchase Ten Ways to hear Snow, by Cathy Camper at Bookmarks.

A snowy day, a trip to Grandma’s, time spent cooking with one another, and space to pause and discover the world around you come together in this perfect book for reading and sharing on a cozy winter day.

One winter morning, Lina wakes up to silence. It’s the sound of snow — the kind that looks soft and glows bright in the winter sun. But as she walks to her grandmother’s house to help make the family recipe for warak enab, she continues to listen.

As Lina walks past snowmen and across icy sidewalks, she discovers ten ways to pay attention to what might have otherwise gone unnoticed. With stunning illustrations by Kenard Pak and thoughtful representation of a modern Arab American family from Cathy Camper, Ten Ways to Hear Snow is a layered exploration of mindfulness, empathy, and what we realize when the world gets quiet.

Ten Ways to Hear Snow is a pure delight with beautiful illustrations and a lovely story. Preschool and Elementary age children will love this snowy tale. I’ve even heard of middle grade teachers using it in their curriculum! Before starting the project, talk about ways you’ve heard snow. Can you think of any other ways to hear snow that are not mentioned in the book?

Let’s go on a snowy walk like Lina and create a cityscape of some houses covered in snow!

Materials

  • watercolor paper
  • watercolors
  • painters tape
  • salt
  • construction paper
  • scissors
  • glue stick or glue
  • black marker
  • white tempera or acrylic paint
  • paintbrush

Steps

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  • Use painters tape to tape a sheet of watercolor paper to a work surface. Tape all edges. This will help keep the paper flat as you apply a wash of watercolor.
  • Choose colors for your background. Are you going for a walk at night, at sunset, or during the day?
  • You’ll need to work quickly to paint the entire page of paper in watercolor paints.
  • Once the entire page is covered, sprinkle the paper with salt. You can use table salt, sea salt (used in the example) or kosher salt. Any grain size will work – each one will give a different size “snowflake”.
    • You can also work in sections. Paint 1/4 of the page, apply salt, and repeat until you cover the paper.
  • Allow to dry thoroughly.
  • Brush off the salt to reveal “snowflakes”.
  • While the paint dries, cut out shapes from construction paper. You will need squares and rectangles for the house, triangles and trapezoids for the roof, smaller rectangles for the doors and chimneys, and assorted shapes for windows.
    • If you are working with a preschooler, you can precut the shapes and allow them to choose from the assortment. Or, if you are working on scissor skills, you can draw the lines to guide the cutting.
  • Assemble your houses. 
  • Do not glue together yet! 
  • Once the watercolor paper is completely dry, you can opt to glue it to another sheet of construction paper to create a border. 
  • Glue on the houses, roofs, doors and windows.
  • Use white tempera or acrylic paint to paint snow on the rooftops, above the windows and on the ground. 
  • Dry.

Options

  • Don’t have any watercolor paint? Just use construction paper! To create the snowflakes, use tempera or acylic paint, draw them on with a white crayon or oil pastel, or even cut out (or hole punch) white paper and glue the dots down.
  • Don’t have any tempera or acrylic paint? Need something a little less messy for a group of younger artists? Use torn apart cotton balls and glue to create the snow.
  • Take the project a step further. On a separate sheet of paper draw and color yourself. Cut out and paste to the neighborhood so it looks like you are going on a walk!

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