As the days get shorter and the weather begins to get a bit nippy, take the time to discuss the changing seasons with your children. Kids love to learn about things they can see, so this is the perfect time to share a book and then expand the learning by taking a walk around your neighborhood. Here are a few of my favorite books on the seasons. Some of these titles are specific to autumn or November, but many explore the entire circle of the seasons.
Autumn by Mary Pat Finnegan is part of a four book series about seasons. They are found in the non-fiction area at the Aurora Public Library but are very appropriate for children as young as preschool.
Of these two books about the coming of winter, Winter’s Coming by Pat Thornhill is better for younger kids and Winter is Coming by Tony Johnston is better for older kids. Johnston’s picture book features exquisite illustrations by Jim LaMarche.
The next two books give very simple explanations of how Earth’s rotation causes the seasons.
Poetry is a fun way to explore the changing seasons!
Long Night Moon by Cynthia Rylant and Thirteen Moons on Turtle’s Back by Joseph Bruchac both use the Native American practice of naming each full moon as the structure for a book about the seasons. The moon names used varies by tribe; you can find a list at American Indian Moons.
Perhaps as a family, you could track the times for sunrise and sunset during a month. This information is available on the ten-day forecasts on www.weather.com. Just keep in mind that these are official times and the way sunrise and sunset actually appear at your house can vary depending on the location of your house and weather conditions. I’ll have a book of seasonal poems at the desk in the children’s room at the Aurora Public Library, so stop by and I’ll be happy to share a poem with you!