Activities for Teachers of Young Children
A winter garden of preschool learning activities and ideas with early childhood education lesson plans that enhance preschool curriculum. Also, fingerplays, nursery rhymes and art activities wrapped snugly in a winter theme. Plus, a few melting experiments for young scientists, and you won't even need any snow!
Preschool Winter Activity Theme
Once you have 10 patterns and 20
snowflakes take two snowflakes of like patterns and write the number
1 on one and draw one circle on the other. Take the second like pattern
and write the number 2 on one snowflake and draw two circles on the
other and so on, until you have done that for all 10 snowflake patterns.I did each number in a different color. Then laminate all
There are more Art
Recipes that add spice to children's creative art & crafts
in the Rainbow Resource Room.
Sock SnowmenWinter Time Poem
Older preschool and kindergarten learn about estimation and have fun making a snowman that they can take home during this winter activity from Shannah S.
Materials: Rice, white adult
socks, colored children's socks, hot glue gun, hot
Description: Place a white sock
in a 8 oz. drinking cup, opening the top of the
Have each child count how many cups of rice it took to make their snowman. After making each part of the body, with the rubberbands, hot glue around the rubber band and squish it down. Fold the remainder of the white sock down to create the rim of the hat. Take a children's colored sock, cutting the toe out and cut strips up to where the cuff of the sock begins. Place over the top of the white sock to make a colored hat. Rubberband the colored hat where the strips end and the cuff of the sock begins ~ to create fringe like strips hanging off of the hat.
under the colored hat to attach it to the white rim part of the hat,
some white showing. Have the children paint a face on the front of the
snowman, and cut strips of fabric. Tie the strips around the neck
to create a scarf. Then
the children color the pointy part of a toothpick orange with an orange
marker, and glue on as the nose. Place 3 buttons down the front
the snowman and add bells if desired.
Materials: A bare winter tree. The size of the tree depends upon how much room you have or how much room you want to use. Seasonal cutouts corresponding in size to your tree. Those cutouts would include apples, leaves, turkeys, snowflakes, hearts, shamrocks, whatever you want to use to write the children's name on.
Description: Everyday at the beginning of circle time each child takes a turn at finding his or her name and putting it on the tree. The teacher needs to put the names off to the side before the children begin each morning.
Comments: This leads into a discussion of the different seasons and holidays.
Recognition Activity Theme is in the Rainbow
Materials: Different style or color of winter clothes (several hats, mittens, scarves, etc.)
Description: One student
will be chosen to be the "snowman" that you have to dress. Put
scarf, mittens, etc. on the snowman and have the other students close
their eyes. Change one clothing item ( e.g.. put a different hat
on) or take a clothing item away. Ask the children to uncover
their eyes and guess what is different about the snowman. Make
sure they are descriptive and don't just label.
Materials: Hats, mittens, coats and boots tracers. Yarn and various collage materials.
Description: This is a
week long project. We start on Monday with the hat. The children
choose which hat they want to trace, then trace it, cut it out and decorate
it. On Tuesday we work on the coats, Wednesday the mittens and
Thursday, the boots. The children trace all of these and cut out
all items and decorate them. Friday is spent finishing up.
As the week goes along the teachers punch holes and connect the pieces
Materials: Soap flakes, water, liquid starch, and white powdered tempra.
Description: Mix soap flakes with water into a thick paste. Let children mix with a hand beater. Add a small amount of liquid starch and tempra. Let children create designs by painting with this mixture.
There are lots of Art Recipes & Activities
in the Rainbow Resource Room.
Materials: 1 large box, white paper and glue.
Description: This is a messy but fun project. Starting a few days ahead, teachers paint the box white, cut a U shape on one side of box then, bring box into class. Ask the kids (2 at a time) to sit inside the box and cut or shred paper. Save the paper at the end of the day in a bag. Keep putting the larger pieces of paper back into the box to be cut into smaller pieces. When you have collected enough paper you announce to the class, "Tomorrow it's going to snow in our classroom."
The next day teachers turn the air conditioner on to make it chilly and you can add ice to the sand/water center, Bring in the bag of collected paper and start throwing the shredded paper in the air to make a snow storm. You can also wad up paper to make snow balls for throwing.
To clean-up this mess you can glue
that was on the floor onto the white box and create an igloo. You can
cut large paper circles out of butcher block paper and glue on snow
to create snow men. At the end of your Snow Day if
there is still paper around, you can put a trash can in the room and
"First to finish picking up paper will receive a treat!" I give
smarties. Hope you
Comments: You may wish to decorate your classroom with snowflakes that you can hang from the ceiling. To the home center add mittens, gloves, hats, scarfs, even an over sized coat.
Five Little Snowmen
Materials: Chart with words of the song, real hats for dramatics, puppets, models or cut outs if used to illustrate the song.
2. Children sing while five children at a time wear hats of their choice and act out the melting at end.Five Little Snowmen fat,
This forms a custard that should be cooked before adding the snow. In fact, it should be cooked the night before using with snow. Pour the custard over one gallon of fresh clean snow and Stir until thick.Snow ice cream
A fun follow up would be to make and bake chocolate cupcakes. Kids love
to be told that they can stick out their tongues and think it's funny
when the teacher does, too!
Snowman Matching Game
Materials: File folder, cut outs of twenty snowmen, twenty colored scarfs for the snowmen and a laminator or clear contact paper.
Description: Teachers cut out the snowmen and scarves then place a different colored scarf on each snowman and place ten of them on the file folder. I use the colors: red, orange, green, yellow, blue, violet, pink, brown, black, and white. Now, laminate the file folder. Next, take the other snowmen and scarves and laminate them separately. Cut them out and place them in an envelope on the back of the file folder for a matching game.
Comments: I have done this with fire trucks, turkeys, bears, letters, and different size pumpkins.
If you're looking for a winter theme about Hibernating Animals, you'll find one in the Rainbow Resource Room.
Materials: Tissue Paper, balloons, helium, glitter, construction paper, markers hot cocoa, cookies and treats, special friends and family.
Description: When we returned to school after the Holiday break we began preparing for Winterfest in early February. We made invitations for our families and VIP's from construction paper inviting them to join us for an evening of fun, music and treats to eat.
Each class chose what they wanted to do in their room. The kindergartners invented winter theme carnival games for our guests to enjoy. The Pre-K class decided on a craft project and had everything prepared for their guests to create the project with them and two younger groups enjoyed stories and fingerplays with their special guests.
After an hour of enjoying individual activities in the classrooms we gathered in the "Great Room" for a sing along led by the children, hot cocoa and yummy treats which were prepared by classroom mothers and fathers.
Each room made their own decorations, but to decorate the "Great Room" the children made snowflakes from tissue paper and we wrote their guests names on them in glitter. The afternoon of the event we filled balloons with helium and attached the snowflakes to them with different lengths of ribbon. We let these go in the room and they floated to the ceiling. We held our sing along under "falling snowflakes" and each guest took home a souvenir with their name on it!
Comments: Several parents remarked how nice it was to have something fun to do at a time of the year when not much is going on.
Lots of activities that teachers
to parents are in Home
" Ice Block Designs"
Materials: Large ice blocks
(We made them by freezing water in empty one gallon milk containers).
When the water is completely frozen, tear off the cardboard
Comments: If possible, give each child his or her own block of ice. They love watching the changes that occur as the blocks melt away!
Snack: Winter Snowman
Materials: Large marshmallows, pretzel sticks and raisins.
Description: Give each
child 2 marshmallows, 3 pretzel sticks and a few raisins. Have them
take a pretzel stick and put it into the middle of one of the marshmallows,
then place the other marshmallow on top. Now take the other two pretzels
and use them for the arms. Use the raisins for eyes, nose, and mouth.
A recipe for Pretzel Letters is in the Food and Nutrition Theme in the Rainbow Resource Room.
Sticker Matching Lotto Games
Materials: Packages of winter stickers that contain enough stickers to make one set of "calling cards" and several individual game boards.
Description: Choose winter stickers that will be appealing to children in a specific age group. Make one set of "calling cards" approximately 2" x 3" in size. Cut out several individual game boards, I usually make at least 4. Mark off each board into 6 or more sections that are large enough to place a sticker in. Vary the stickers so that no 2 game cards are the same. Also have handy buttons, circle tokens, etc. to use to cover the stickers on the game boards as the "calling cards" are shown as when playing BINGO.
Place the "calling cards" in a bag, box, basket, or face down on the table. Each child will take a turn to pick a "calling card" and show it to the others in the group. As a Speech Language Pathologist I use this activity to develop language skills. I ask the children to describe the pictures by stating a few attributes about the sticker picture or to describe the actions of the sticker characters. I encourage full sentences that are grammatically correct.
Comments: Teachers can choose theme based or holiday related stickers. I have several lotto sets made with Halloween stickers, Christmas stickers, Easter stickers, winter related stickers, and some that depict characters performing various actions, Mickey and Minnie Mouse and Disney friends, etc. The children love this activity and never tire of playing lotto games.
Language: Snowy Day Activity and Song
Materials: Construction paper, crayons, markers, glue or glue stix and paper circles from using a hole punch constantly.
Description: Have children draw a winter scene onto construction paper using markers and crayons. Coat paper with glue (glue stix work best) then sprinkle paper circles onto paper. The color of the circles doesn't matter. Press circles down to be sure they're stuck. Teach children this song:
Oh, What A Rain!
Comments: Using this song, the color of the circles doesn't matter. The children enjoy imagining that the circles are different candies after hearing the song and will have an amazing time telling you about their artwork.
What Should I Wear?
Materials: Dress-up clothes for various weather conditions: mittens, winter hats, sunglasses, rain boots, snow boots, sandals, sweater, sun hat, raincoat, winter coat, scarf, bathing suit, etc.
Description: Choose children in turn to be 'dressed up' or dress teacher or a life sized doll. Teacher describes the weather conditions by saying, "Ooh, I woke up this morning and I looked out the window and it was COLD and SNOWY. What should (child's name) wear?"
Children can call out suggestions
dress the chosen child in the appropriate outfit. Children get
pleased and giggly if they're allowed to 'correct' the teacher's
Winter Scenes in Southern Climates
Materials: Old Christmas cards with outdoor scenes, white glue and iridescent white glitter.
Description: This is especially helpful for students who are not able to experience snow because their part of the county is too warm for snow. I have the students select, from old Christmas cards, an outdoor scene. They brush on a water and glue mixture over the whole picture. We then sprinkle the card with the iridescent white glitter. They are amazed at the results. I often hear "Ms. Sharon, it's like magic rain."
Of course we have already discussed the change
in the season, experienced snow through many books, and spent some time
in the walk-in cooler to have an up close and personal experience.
But the true magic of snow is so elusive, this craft helps capture that
Songs for Winter
Do you have a preschool activity you'd like share?