Winter Theme for Preschool
This theme includes all kinds of weather! Not only is it windy but there is ice and.......SNOW! Here in New Hampshire, we see LOTS of it! Unfortunately, sometimes it is just too cold to actually go outside and play in it. What do we do? You guessed it: Bring the snow and ice inside!
This page is filled with preschool activities and ideas for all areas of your classroom. Let the Snow Theme planning begin!
You can either scroll down through this page to see all of the preschool activities for your Winter Theme or click the link below to go to specific preschool activity types you are looking for.
Materials Needed: Large bucket of snow, powered tempera paint (any colors will do!); white paper and mittens!
With mittens on, have the children make a snow ball.
The teacher sprinkles some tempera paint onto each child's paper*
Encourage the child to either roll the snowball on the paper or use the snowball as a paintbrush!
VARIATION: Place the paper into a shallow tray or box. Place the paper in the box and sprinkle the powdered paint on the paper. The child then places the snowball on the paper and tips the tray or box back and forth to paint!
VARIATION: Try both the activity or the above variation using ice cubes instead of snowballs.
*Adults only should sprinkle this so that it does not get into eyes.
Snow Flake Scenes
Materials Needed: small, round blocks, white paint in shallow trays, light blue paper.
Show the children how to dip the flat, round end of the block into the paint and stamp circles onto the paper. What a scene!
Materials needed: aluminum foil, thinned paint, eye droppers.
Have children drip paint on the edge of the foil. Hold foil up and let paint drip down the foil. Continue with many colors. Let dry. Mount onto black paper. Shine flashlights to reflect the "ice"!
Soft Snow Piles
Materials Needed: Cotton balls and cotton batting (polyfill)
Simply add these materials to your block area with trucks and cars. The children can plow the snowdrifts around!
Table Block Snowmen
Put out your colored blocks and beads. Provide several pre-cut snowmen shapes and encourage the children to use the blocks and beads to make the face, buttons and even the arms! Have many snowmen cut outs available--many of our kids try to recreate what their friend made!
Circle Time is such a great time for children to learn the social skills of being together as a large group AND to learn more about your Winter Theme!
5 Little Snowmen Fingerplay
Materials Needed: None
Tell the children to hold up one hand and pretend that their fingers are snowmen. Say the following fingerplay with them. Encourage them to count how many are left and sing on with you!
5 little snowmen made of snow.
5 little snowmen in a row.
Out came the sun and it shone all day.
And one little snowman melted away. (put one finger down).
Ask "How many left? Let's count! 1-2-3-4
4 little snowmen made of snow....
repeat until gone.
EXTENSION: Make snowmen out of felt and use a felt board for this activity. Place feltboard and snowmen in Library center for the children to use during Interest Center time.
EXTENSION: Make snowmen out of paper and have at the math table for the children to use and recount while singing the song.
January's a cold month- Shiver, shiver, shiver!(wrap arms around self and shake) Button up (pretend to button your coat) Cover your ears (pretend to put on your hat) Quiver, quiver, quiver
What We Do In The Snow-Class Book
At circle time, ask the children what they like to do in the snow. Write down their answers. Encourage them to draw a picture of them doing that activity in the snow.
Write their description on the picture, make a cover for the book, staple it and read it at your next circle time!
EXTENSION: If you have small pictures of the children, tape their picture onto their page. Place the book in your class Library. I promise you, it will be read a lot!
Cooking with children helps develop their math skills and helps them to learn how to follow directions. It also allows for some great conversation! Ask many questions while cooking with your children to encourage conversation! Be sure to ask specific winter theme questions while making these fun snacks!
Ingredients needed: Frozen yogurt, bananas and other banana split items! Why not?!
Graham Cracker Snowflake
Ingredients and items needed: Graham cracker squares; small paper doilies; powdered sugar (confectioner's sugar); tray for extra sugar.
Place doily on graham cracker.
Have child shake sugar on.
Lift doily off to see snowflake design. Shake of extra sugar into a tray.
Ingredients and materials needed: Refrigerated biscuit dough; small amount of flour; rolling pin; raisins; thin pretzels; small snow man cookie cutters.
Roll out dough onto lightly floured surface.
Child cuts out a snowman and places it on a cookie sheet.
Bake as directed.
Give children raisins (for eyes, nose and buttons) and pretzels for arms.
Materials needed: Wading pool or large bin, plastic fish and fishing pole set, or you can use plastic fish and butterfly nets!, campfire (made of firewood or, make one out of paper towel tubes and provide orange and red paper flames); pans to cook on and plates to serve food!
Fish for food and cook on your pretend campfire!
Precut white circles, chalk
Add to your classroom decor after the children have decorated snowballs!
Clip dark colors of construction paper onto the easel.
Place warm water into cups and mix in several spoons of salt. Mix to melt salt.
Dip sidewalk chalk into water and draw!
The salt gives quite the sparkling effect when dried!
A Snowman to Make
Provide white trash bags and lots and lots of newspaper! The children should crumple the newspaper and toss it into the trash bag.
Fill 3 bags of different sizes to make your own classroom sized snowman!
Snowball Throwing Practice
Place a large basket outside for the children to try to throw snowballs into. If you can't get outside, provide clean rolled up socks to aim into the basket as well as different sized balls.
Book Suggestions for the Library
The Biggest Snowball Ever! by John Rogan
Chicken Soup with Rice by Maurice Sendak
The First Snowfall by Anne and Harlow Rockwell
Frozen Noses by Jan Carr
It's Snowing by Olivier Dunrea
Katy and the Big Snow by Virginia Lee Burton
Sadie and the Snowman by Allen Morgan
Snow Dance by Lezlie Evans
Snow Is Falling by Franklyn M. Branley
Snow? Let's Go! by Karen Berman Nagel
Snow on Snow on Snow by Cheryl Chapman
Snowballs by Lois Ehlert
The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
The Snowman by Raymond Briggs
The Snow Storm by heather Amery & Stephen Cartwright
There Was a Cold Lady Who Swallowed Some Snow by Lucille Colandro
Yay! A Snow Day! by Bill Cosby/Little Bill
Wintertime by Ann Schweninger (book of poems)
Library Wall Winter Theme Decor
Hang pictures on the wall of different types of winter scenes: snowmen, snowstorms, icicles, glaciers, etc. as well as pictures of cold areas of the world like Alaska, Greenland, etc.
If possible, provide winter themed magazines and pictures to look at.
Winter Snowball Counting
Materials: Muffin baking pan; cotton balls; tongs or spoons; precut circles to fit into tins with the numbers on them that you are working on with your children.
Place a number circle in each compartment. Encourage the children to place the corresponding number of cotton balls into each circle, using the tongs.
Icy Hand Dancing!
Materials needed: A bowl of ice cubes (do not let the children see them!); a metal tray; a CD player.
Tell the children you are going to drop something and ask if they can guess what it is. Drop an ice cube on a metal tray. Let them guess! Try a few more times. If they don't guess, give clues (It's cold. It's hard. etc.).
Have the children sit in a circle. Tell them they are going to pass the ice cube around the circle as the music plays. When you pause the music, they should freeze (HA- get it!) and the child with the ice cube holds it while you count to 1. Play music and repeat, next time count to 2. Next time ask, what number is next? We counted to 1 and then to 2? Continue as there is interest!
EXTENSION: To get them up and moving, play a game of "Freeze Dancing" with the music! If you're really brave, give them each an ice cube to dance with!
Sand the Icy Roads
Materials Needed: Sheets of ice; play sand; ice cubes; toy trucks and cars
In advance, freeze thin layers of water in shallow trays (like foil cookie sheets). Place sheets of ice in the water table and provide the children with cups of sand to put on the ice to sand the roads! We have actually placed the actual sheets with the ice in it directly into the water table rather than chancing having the sheets of ice break while taking them out!
This stuff is SO cool! It can be purchased at a teacher store or some department stores have it as well. It is so much fun to make with the children!
Place several tablespoons of Insta-Snow into a plastic up for each child.
Have them hold their cups over the water table.
Pour warm water in, quickly, as they hold the cup to fill the cup to the top with water.
Have children wait....within seconds the snow will begin to overflow the cups!
Empty cups of snow into the table. As the children handle it, it will fluff up a bit more!
You can also put a few teaspoons in each child's hand and pour water into their hands. It feels really cool as it "grows"!
Insta-Snow is NON Toxic. It is a polymer and is cold to the touch when mixed with water!
It was actually a mistake made by a Japanese company. They were working with polymers to make a substance for inside of diapers (you know, that gel-like polymer that collects all of juniors...well, you know!) but the incorrect amounts were put in. Imagine if THIS stuff were in diapers??!!!
Check out this cool video showing how it works!
Click this link => Insta-Snow In Action!
Materials Needed: plastic bowls, items from outside (twigs, leaves, rocks, etc.); a piece of ribbon for each child; water
Fill each bowl about half way with water.
Ask each child to guess if the item they are going to put in the water (twig, leaf, rock, etc.) will sink or float. Have them place it in. Where they right? Repeat for each item except for the ribbon.
Now, place the ribbon so that both ends are in the water and a "loop" is out.
Place bowls in the freeze overnight.
The next day, when you remove the ice from the bowls, there will be the ribbon loop sticking out of the frozen water so that you can go outside and hang it from a tree!
EXTENSION: Take guesses about what will happen, how long till they melt, etc.! If you can't get outside, be creative! See if you can hang them somehow in the classroom perhaps over the water table where it can drip while you watch!
Fill spray bottles with water colored with food coloring. Bring them outside and let the children spray the snow! If you can't get outside try this:
Bring in different sizes of bowls of snow, spray them with the water bottles and then let them melt. Once melted, freeze them overnight.
The next day, put the different colors and sizes of ice in a bin (or your water table) and let the children sprinkle salt on them! They'll be amazed at what the salt does to them!
How Cold Is It Today
Provide several thermometers for the children to look at. Discuss how they measure how cold it is, that the line goes up when it is warmer, etc.
Place one outside to check the temperature. Record the temperature each day.
Provide extra thermometers and many cups of water at different temperatures for them to experiment to see what each type of water does to the thermometer.
Window Fog Pictures
C'mon! Be brave!
Wash the outside front glass door. Let the children "breathe" on the glass to see the fog and then draw pictures on it! Explain why this happens: the outside air is cold and the air in their mouths is warm and that makes fog!
Clean the door and let a few more children make fog! (For germ reasons! only allow a few children at a time do this.)
Winter Letter Match
In advance, cut out 26 snowflakes. Print one letter in the middle of each snowflake.
Cut out 26 circles that will fit in the middle of the snowflakes. Using dashes or dots, make the shape of one letter in each circle. Laminate the circles.
Provide the children with dry-erase markers and encourage them to trace the dots/dashes on the letter and then match it to the snowflake.
VARIATION: Have the children find the snowflakes with the letters of their name on them and spell out their name with the snowflakes. Then have them find the matching letter circle, trace the letter with the dry-erase marker and match it to the snowflake.
VARIATION: Rather than make all 26, just make snowflakes for the letters you have already covered with the children.
No need to plan a trip this time of year! Just take a walk! Look for winter changes: no more leaves on trees; abandoned birds' nests; snow; ice; animal tracks!
Contact your local Highway department or department that plows the roads to come in with their truck and talk about what they do, how early they get up, etc. Or, check with your families- does someone own a snow plow truck that they can bring by?
There are many opportunities with a Winter theme for visitors to your classroom! Survey parents for opportunities as well as your local community!