As I sit here typing away on the computer we are in the midst of a blizzard -"there's lizards outside," my three year old informed me, the snow plow was forced to give up half way through plowing my driveway, and I am beginning to fear that I may be trapped inside with my two children until Spring.
As the winter weather hits, it becomes increasingly difficult to ensure that our children get the daily dose of activity that keeps them, and as a result the adults who love and spend time with them, healthy and sane. Afternoons at the park, daily walks around the neighborhood and even the relief of daily errands give way to dreams of afternoons at the park, yearnings for daily walks, and surprisingly, even longings for the relief of daily errands.
In an effort to counter the winter-inflicted doldrums, Laughing Giraffe Books offers the following suggestions for books to help encourage young children to wiggle, spin, thump, jump and shimmy their extra energy away:
Barnyard Dance by Sandra Boynton (infants and preschoolers)
A rhyming, lively book that inspires young children to square dance with a group of spirited barnyard animals. Do-si-do, swing your partner, and "scramble with the little chicks- cheep, cheep, cheep."
Boing! by Nick Bruel (4-7)
A mother kangaroo, with the help of a frog, grasshopper and rabbit, tries to teach her baby to jump. Children will be inspired to jump, leap and boing all the way to the surprise ending.
Can You Make a Scary Face? by Jan Thomas (infants and preschoolers)
A bossy ladybug leads young children on a wiggling, blowing, leaping, chicken-dancing adventure. Be prepared for lots of laughs....
Clap Your Hands by Lorinda Bryan Cauley (3-6)
Full of reasons to get up and dance, this board book will have youngsters stomping, wiggling, roaring, and spinning along with a menagerie of zany animals.
Dinosaurumpus! by Tony Mitton (3-6)
Gleeful rhymes encourage children to "shake, shake, shudder," run, boom and shake with a variety of dinosaurs at a wild, earth-pounding party.
From Head to Toe by Eric Carle (2-6)
Young children will copy the antics of a variety of animals as they shout the refrain, "I can do it!" Kick like a donkey, thump your chest like a gorilla, and banish the bad weather blues.
Giraffes Can't Dance by Giles Andreae (infants and preschoolers)
You are invited to the Jungle Dance, where "warthogs waltz, the chimps cha-cha, and the lions tango." Children will be inspired, along with Gerald the Giraffe, to boogie to their own tune.
How Do You Wokka-Wokka? by Elizabeth Bluemle (3-6)
Children will have a "shimmy-shakin', be-boppin'" good time as they explore a lively city neighborhood. How do YOU "wokka-wokka"?
Like A Windy Day by Frank and Devin Asch (5-7)
Discover what the wind can do..."by dancing, whirling, and playing along with it!" Children will blow through tons of energy during this exciting windy-day adventure.
Move! by Steve Jenkins and Robin Page (Infants and preschoolers)
"Animals move! Follow them as they swing, dance, float, leap, and slide from page to page, then learn why these animals move the way they do."
Shake My Sillies Out by Raffi and Allen Allender (infants and preschoolers)
Children will shake, clap, jump and wiggle along with Raffi's version of this favorite childhood song. With any luck your children will be yawning as they reach the end of this musical book.
Wiggle by Doreen Cronin (2-4)
"Do you wake up with a wiggle? Do you wiggle out of bed? For energetic toddlers (are there any who aren't?), here's a book that invites them to wiggle along with the story. Told in rollicky, wiggly rhyme that begs to be read again and again, Doreen Cronin's latest romp will have toddlers wiggling, giggling, and then (hopefully) falling into bed, blissfully exhausted!"
The above mentioned books can be found in the following collections offered by Laughing Giraffe Books: