This is the time of year when the winter blues start to hit. The holidays are over, your commitment to New Years resolutions is starting to fade, and the cold, gray winter days seem to stretch on forever. It’s enough to drive a person crazy. And if you have children, especially young ones who are cooped up inside all day, it can be harder and harder to come up with ways to entertain them.
We all know that reading is a great indoor activity that can help pass the time, but we also know that kids AND adults get tired of reading the same books over and over. That’s why we’ve put together a list of books to help you beat the winter blues! These books are not only entertaining reads, they can also open the door to lots of other fun activities and discussion. Since most of them don’t necessarily have to be read the same way each time, you and your kiddos will (hopefully) not lose interest after two or three read-throughs. Give this list a glance, try out a few books, and work on beating those winter blues!
And speaking of the winter blues… Don’t forget that blue manatee is having their Winter Blues Sale this week! Everything in the store is 20 percent off, with certain items at additional markdowns. Don’t miss it!
Beat the Winter Blues Books:
Snuggle the Baby by Sara Gillingham
This interactive book comes with a pop-out cardboard baby (located on the next-to-last page) that young ones can tickle, feed, and tuck in as the book describes. Taking care of their own baby will keep your little ones occupied for hours!
Little Explorers: On the Move by Ruth Martin & Allan Sanders
The ultimate book for vehicle enthusiasts. Each spread provides an overview of everything wheeled or winged, from buses and trains to bikes and planes, with lift-the-flaps offering additional information and pictures.
Baby Unplugged series by Dr. John Hutton
This award-winning series promotes imaginative, screen-free play. What could be better? Choose from many creative themes, such as boxes, pets, and water, all of which are perfect for inspiring play time on long winter afternoons.
Penguin on Vacation by Salina Yoon
Travel far away from the cold (even if only in your imagination) with this warm and sunny book featuring our favorite Penguin. Kids will love watching Penguin try to ski and skate in the completely wrong environment. Afterward, have your readers draw pictures of themselves having adventures in their own vacation spot!
The Jolly Postman by Allan & Janet Ahlberg
The Jolly Postman delivers mail to your favorite fairy tale characters. What do their letters say? Open each included letter individually to see what they’ve been up to after the stories end! And if you want some added fun after the book is finished, have kids write their own letters to their favorite storybook characters.
Press Here by Hervé Tullet
Go on a colorful, interactive adventure with Press Here. Press the yellow dot, then turn the page. What happens? Kids will be amazed at having the power to make the dots move around, change color, and disappear with only a touch in this one-of-a-kind picture book, and may even be inspired to create their own colorful art. For added fun, check out the companion book Mix It Up!
Not a Box by Antoinette Portis
What’s the big deal? A box is just a box… unless it’s a race car, a mountain, or a rocket ship, of course! Inspire hours of imaginative play (and put some old cardboard boxes to good use) with this winner of the Geisel Award about a box that’s, well, not a box at all.
Wordless Picture Books
Wordless picture books might feel unnatural at first, but trust us. They’re great. You can read them again and again and not hear the same story twice, and you’ll be surprised at some of the twists and turns your little storytellers come up with! There are tons of wordless books out there, but some of our favorites include Jerry Pinkney’s The Lion and the Mouse and The Tortoise and the Hare; Chris Raschka’s A Ball for Daisy; and The White Book.
Thing Explainer by Randall Munroe
It really is the book for every occasion. An appropriate read for older children, Munroe’s hilarious book is perfect for any budding engineer or constant question-asker. He explains everything from microwaves to stars to elevators in language that’s easy to understand. After reading this book, don’t be surprised if your kids start looking at the world around them in a whole new way.
Find the Constellations by H. A. Rey
Explore the endlessly fascinating world of outer space with the author of the Curious George series. Just imagine how exciting it will be when, after reading about the constellations, kids can find them for themselves in the night sky. The ever-talented H. A. Rey does a great job of making a complicated concept into a very doable practice.
Are there any other books that help you beat the winter blues? Tell us in the comments below!