Winter is the season for curling up together with a good book and a great craft project!

Winter is the season for curling up together with a good book and a great craft project! This collage is fun for the whole family and centers around Ezra Jack Keats' classic "A Snowy Day." The beautifully illustrated book serves as the inspiration for your own snowy day collage, and it's a great way to reuse any gift-wrap paper scraps that are still lingering in the house.

WHAT YOU NEED:
a copy of "A Snowy Day" by Ezra Jack Keats 1 piece of cardstock or thin cardboard, approximately 8.5 x 11 inches (the inside of a cereal box works great) white tissue paper scraps of leftover gift-wrapping paper, colorful envelopes or other festive pieces scissors glue (glue stick, Elmer's school glue, or any other basic glue) HOW YOU DO IT:

Read a copy of the book aloud with your children. The story and the illustrations will inspire you to create your own collage of snowy day activities. Talk about the illustrations as well as the story, and think about the kind of snowy day activity you might want to portray in your collage. Snowman building, snowball fights, ice skating and sledding are all fun outdoor activities. Choose one or two of your favorites! Lay out your paper supplies and cardboard. The cardboard will serve as the base of your collage and the white tissue paper will be the snow. The other paper scraps will be used to create background, landscapes and people. The nice thing about collage is that you can lay out your entire project before gluing anything down. Start with the background. Cut or tear paper scraps for the sky and lay or glue them to your cardboard. Do the same with your white tissue paper as snow on the ground. Tissue paper can be crinkled to add texture; be sure to apply multiple layers to make sure the glue doesn't make it transparent. (Hint: Tearing the tissue paper works just as well as cutting it with scissors.) Take this opportunity to discuss depth and distance with your child - items that are far away in the picture should be smaller than items that are close by. Also, you can discuss how basic shapes like circles and rectangles can be put together to represent people and objects. Everything has a basic shape and sometimes just the shape can provide a beautiful representation of the object or person. Glue the pieces of the collage down. Put the collage off to the side to dry. Most glues should be hardened within a few hours. Hang your collage up near a window in your home and enjoy it while sipping on a fresh cup of hot cocoa!