Let your preschool private eye discover the subtle oddities and the hiding-in-plain sight “mistakes” in our cutest cold-weather-themed puzzle yet. To get the most out of the adventure, use the tips that follow as a guide.
Have your child “tell” the story
- Encourage your pre-reader to describe her impressions as she looks over the illustrations. What are the various characters thinking? Are they cold or cozy? How can she tell?
- Ask your budding reader to make predictions. Will anyone skate backward? Will someone try jumps? Who might slip or fall? Will the dinosaur do something silly? Will the fisherman catch a fish? Will the skaters organize a race and crown a winner? Why or why not?
Hone his thinking skills
- Ask your child what happens to the ice on the rink when the temperature rises. What happens when it drops? Why does the ice in a skating rink sometimes sound crusty? How does the chopped-up ice get taken away?
- Why might it be difficult to knit while you skate?
- Some skaters and tourists are eating. Which snacks seem out of place this time of year? If you were skating, would you prefer piping-hot hot chocolate or cold, straight-from-the-fridge chocolate milk?
Make math count
- Encourage your aspiring mathematician to count the skaters in the picture.
- Together, count the number of scarves you see. Count the hats. Count the total number of scarves and hats.
- Encourage your number-loving child to find two animals on skates, one knight in shining armor, and two people licking ice-cream cones.
Move the fun outside
- Slip into a pair of boots and take a walk outside after a snowfall. Have your child describe what she sees. Can she find gray squirrels, fallen pinecones, and an animal’s footprints in the snow?
- Inspect footprints in the snow. Which ones are human? Which ones belong to a dog, a cat, a bird? How can you tell?
- Listen for the sounds of winter. Can you hear the birds?
Bring winter indoors
- Put creative juices to work on wintry pictures. Draw or trace circles on paper to make a snowman’s body. Cut them out, decorate, and glue them onto construction paper. Attach toothpick “arms” and “wiggly eyes.” Use clear glitter or cotton balls to make snow.
- Create paper snowflakes together. Folding and cutting sharpen hand-eye coordination.
- Play pass the ice cube. (Let the ice cube melt a little so it doesn’t stick to your child’s fingers.) Download seasonal tunes and launch the winter version of hot potato. When the music stops, the player holding the ice cube is out!
Expand her vocabulary
- Have your child locate the knight, a sombrero, and all the kneepads in the picture.
- Challenge her to come up with five words that describe the skaters in the scene. Think of action words that describe jazzy ice-skating moves, such as jump, leap, twirl, lift, spin, and glide.