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Pre-K activities, learning games, crafts, and printables


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Winter-themed activities for children

In Quebec, winter is the longest season of the year. Unlike many parents, winter is most likely the season children enjoy most.

 

Just think of the twinkle they get in their eyes when they see the first snowfall of the season. They are always excited to build the first snowman of the year.

 

Here are several activity suggestions for children of all age groups. Take advantage of sunny days to present as many outdoor activities as possible. However, many ideas can be used indoors when the weather outside is too cold for little ones.

 

Have fun with your group and enjoy winter!

 

0-12 months old:

  • Explore cold sensations and contrast with warm sensations.
  • Fill a container with snow and bring it inside. Provide spoons and bowls and let children play with the snow.
  • Sit children in the centre of a blanket. Drop a large quantity of cotton balls on the blanket.
  • Even if children are not able to move around a great deal outside, have them sit on a pile of snow and help them discover snow and all the fun things they can do with it.
  • Use a bottle of water to create your very own snowstorm. You will need a clear plastic bottle. Fill it with water and add a few drops of baby oil and a small quantity of artificial snow. Seal the cap and encourage children to shake the bottle.

12-24 months old:

  • Fill a glass or jar with snow. Bring it inside and watch the snow melt
  • Make angels in the snow.
  • Even if children are just beginning to walk, let them try to walk in the snow on their own. They may fall down, but this activity is great for developing their sense of balance.
  • On cold days, create indoor snowstorms. Give children black construction paper and encourage them to stick cotton balls all over.

2-3 years old:

  • Bring a cardboard box outside. Make snowballs and have children throw them in the box.
  • Glue white craft items (flour, marshmallows, sugar, salt, etc.) on dark construction paper.
  • Let children dress themselves when it is time to go outside. Illustrate the steps involved and display them in your cloakroom. Follow them step by step with your group.
  • At this age, children are ready to begin using scissors. Give each child a winter-themed drawing (snowman, snowflake, etc.) and a strip of white or light blue construction paper (width of 1 inch). Have children cut their strip of paper into tiny pieces and glue them all over the drawing.
  • Play soccer with snowballs.

3-4 years old:

  • Decorate cardboard boxes with your group. Bring the boxes outside and use them as sleds. Pull children around in the boxes or let them slide down small hills.
  • Prepare a snowy treasure hunt for your group. Hide objects in the snow throughout your yard. Children will enjoy discovering the objects.
  • Pour a mixture of water and poster paint in a spray bottle. Mix well. Spray the mixture on snow and use it to draw a variety of snow shapes.
  • Invite children to draw objects in the snow while you try to guess what they are.
  • On mild winter days, serve the morning or afternoon snack or even lunch outside. Bring a blanket and cushions and have children sit on them to eat.

4-5 years old:

  • Leave pieces of dark paper in the refrigerator. On a stormy day, go outside and invite children to use the paper to catch snowflakes. Study the snowflakes closely and name their characteristics with your group.
  • Make lots and lots of snowballs and stack them to build a variety of structures.
  • Build a safe snow castle with your group. Begin by digging a hole in the snow and use pine tree branches to build a roof. Never let children play in a snow structure or tunnel that could collapse!
  • On very cold days, provide a printed picture of a simple shape for each child (snowflake, pine tree, snowman, etc.). Have them trace the outline of their shape using white glue before sprinkling it with glitter. This activity helps children practice precision and tracing skills.
  • Introduce children to baking using white food items (coconut, vanilla ice cream, etc.) or by decorating winter-themed cookies as a group.

Share activities you enjoyed doing with your family as a child during winter or any winter memories you may have with your group. You may inspire them to have even more fun this winter!

 

 

Claudine Richard

Early childhood educator


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