Book to Boogie is a monthly series that pairs picture books with dance and movement activities for preschool story time. The series is curated by Kerry Aradhya of Picture Books & Pirouettes and written by a different guest writer each month. We hope that children’s librarians, as well as classroom teachers and dance educators, will find these activities useful and fun!

by Maria Hanley

I was browsing the bookstore one day and the book Waiting For Snow by Marsha Diane Arnold and Renata Liwska popped out at me. I was immediately drawn to the cover illustrations with animals making a circle. As I flipped through the pages, I knew this would be a great book to pair with movement. Here are some movement ideas to use at story time! 

The story features a hedgehog and badger waiting for it to snow. They can’t figure out why it’s not snowing since it’s winter. The hedgehog keeps reassuring the badger that it will snow when it’s time. They try everything to get it to start snowing… 

“Wake up sky” 

The badger drags out his pots and pans. Ask your attendees to make loud noises with their bodies. Stomping, jumping, and other big movements are some ideas. Encourage them to make their bodies loud, without using their mouths to be loud. 

Making all that noise welcomes Rabbit, Vole, and Possum to the story. No snow, though. 

Rabbit has the idea of throwing pebbles into the sky to punch holes in the clouds. That just causes the pebbles to rain back down. 

“Snow dance”

Vole says his granny gave him the idea of a snow dance! What could be in your snow dance? Whirling and twirling? Stretching and bending? The possibilities are endless here. Encourage everyone to make up their own little snow dance. You could even make a circle here, like on the cover of the book, or do a partner dance. A snow dance will surely make it snow! 

“Backward pajamas”

Possum has the idea of wearing his pajamas backwards. He says it always works for possums and in the morning there will be snow! For this one you could explore movements in the backspace. Walk backwards around the room and move arms and legs backwards. 

Badger thinks it has snowed, but when he explores more, he finds his friends on the roof sprinkling sugar! 

All the animals wait and wait and wait, and finally it snows on its own time. 

I love that this story teaches patience and teamwork. Sometimes you can try everything you know how to do and none of it works. It just happens in its own time. 

I hope you can use these movement ideas paired with this book soon! 

Books that would go well with Waiting For Snow are Little Penguins by Cynthia Ryland and Christian Robinson and Leaping Lemmings! by John Briggs and Nicola Slater.

Guest blogger Maria Hanley.

Maria Hanley is an early childhood dance educator with more than 10 years of experience teaching infant, toddler, and preschool movement classes. When she’s not teaching, she writes on her blog, Maria’s Movers, which offers tips and tools for teachers who create with young dancers and movers. She also spends a lot of her time taking care of her young son. Maria and her family recently moved from New York City to Cleveland, OH.  

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