Winter can be a challenge for parents and early childhood educators! How can we help make it exciting for children while helping them fortify important skills like social development, fine motor skills, and so much more.
When you can’t go and enjoy the beautiful outdoors, there are still lots of ways for preschoolers to have fun while learning and developing at the same time.
These activities aren’t just for fun either, they help your child grow and cultivate important skills too! Keep reading to learn about the top ten wintertime activities you can at home or add to your preschool lesson plans.
1. Tracking Animals In The Snow
Tracking animals is a really fun activity for children, not just to develop their observation skills, but also to learn more about the animals that we share this world with.
In this activity, you and your preschooler can search for a certain animal, follow tracks, and make up a story about what the animal was doing while leaving the tracks.
You can also put this in your lesson plan to help preschoolers to understand which animals hibernate or the birds that stay behind, while all the others fly south for the winter.
2. Mixing Colours In The Snow
Snow painting is a great way to help a preschooler learn about colours. Being white, a fresh blanket of snow is a perfect blank canvas to mix colours and create artwork right outside.
You can use paint or food colouring for this activity. With the tools, your preschoolers can learn about the 3 primary colors and how to mix them to make secondary colours.
If there isn’t any snow outside, you can use flour to create fake snow on a tray. To take things up a notch, you can even add glitter for some sparkle to their artwork.
3. DIY Snowflakes
Making DIY snowflakes are a great wintertime activity for preschoolers, especially if the weather doesn’t allow for outdoor time with your toddler program.
There are two ways you can do this; using popsicle sticks that your preschoolers decorate as their own, or by using a sheet of paper or paper plate and cutting with safety scissors.
Either way, you are helping the preschoolers to refine their motor skills and to express themselves creatively while letting them decorate for the season.
4. Sensory Artic Bin
Using a tray or bin, set down some vase-filler gems that have been previously frozen. Then, layer it with artificial snow or flour. Lastly, throw in some artic animal figurines like polar bears, caribou, and penguins.
Get the children to tell a story, while their imagination runs wild. This can be a great way to aid in sensory development, as well as storytelling and language, as they describe the scene they’ve set.
This helps to encourage creativity in their own imagination, as well as all of the senses. You can even add real winter elements like pine branches for a wintery aroma.
5. Scavenger Hunt
A scavenger hunt is one of the best educational activities you can do with preschoolers, no matter the season. Create a winter-themed scavenger hunt list, using all the senses to fine-tune their observation skills and to learn more about the five senses.
Here are some ideas for your preschool program scavenger hunt:
- Find a pinecone
- Find something that smells like Christmas
- Find a bunny footprint.
- Describe the taste of apple cider or hot cocoa.
- Make a snow angel
6. Making A Christmas Village
Christmas is a wonderful time of year, especially for children. Set the scene and have your preschool class create a Christmas village as part of your preschool lesson plan.
You can use cardboard to make houses, a train, and many more things that make a great introduction to shapes. Add some artificial snow and some figurines of people and have the children explain what the village is doing, why they love Christmas and other questions of that nature.
If you’re at home with your preschoolers, you can also have them help you set up a Christmas village in your home and ask the same kinds of questions.
7. Alphabet Snowmen
Reading and writing are essential, and the more fun you can make your preschool lesson plan, the easier it is for them to pick up.
Prepare by having cut-out circles with letters. Have them spell out their name to make a snowman with the cut-outs. After the children make the snowman, they can decorate them and display them around the classroom or take them home to put on the fridge.
You can also encourage social development and sharing through the children sharing letters they don’t need from their own collection with a child that has multiples of the same letter in their name. For example, Tyler doesn’t need an A or N, but Anna will.
8. Bottled Snow Globes
Snow globes are magical, and children love them. They’re sparkly, with little worlds inside for a preschooler to discover. And, when they can make their own, it’s all the more fun!
Start with an empty water bottle. Have the children pick the colour they want the snow globe to be. Then, fill the bottle back up with water, add some glitter and a couple of small figurines, give the bottle a shake, and watch the children’s eyes sparkle in awe.
This helps with the exploration and development of touch and sight and can make a great gift for children to bring home for their parents!
9. Themed Drawing Practice
Drawing and doodling are incredibly important for children, to expand their minds, cultivate a healthy imagination, creative self-expression, and best of all, improve their fine motor skills.
You can give your class a prompt or take them outside to get ideas. Get them to paint or draw a picture, it could be whatever they want.
When they’re done, get them to tell you the story of what’s going on in the picture. Their imagination will run wild, and the drawings can be put up as winter decorations in the classroom!
10. Cookie Cutter And Playdough Crafts
Playdough is a palpable way to gauge a child’s creative expression and development levels. You see, as a child develops, what they create becomes more realistic.
And through creating, a child becomes more confident and skilled in the art of bringing what’s in their imagination to life.
Use multiple colours of playdough or salt dough that they can paint and decorate, and then take home to put on their Christmas tree.
Want To Learn More About Enrichment For Preschoolers? Contact Us!
Here at Montessori Learning Centre, we dedicate ourselves to natural learning and the free development of skills. We plan our lessons for the day so as to ensure we are meeting the needs of each child. We take great pride in the preschool program we offer as well as the child care offered within the full day program.
Whether you’re a parent or educator, learning more about Montessori Education can do a world of good for your children!
If you’re interested in learning more about daycare, preschool, full day and half day programs where lesson planning is catered to each individual child do contact us ! We can’t wait to meet you!