Fun Winter Activities

Written by: Lincoln Park Preschool and Kindergarten

The weather is cold! Here's a fun list of winter activites to try at home:

Activity: BANG!
Place words/colors/letters (any concept you are working on) on index cards and then into a bag. Also include a few cards with a picture of a stick of dynamite and the word “BANG!” written on it. Have your child reach into the bag and pull out a card. He names what is on the card and keeps it. Then you do the same. Take turns back and forth. When the word “BANG!” is pulled, all the cards you have earned must go back into the bag and you start over. 
This game is good for children of all ages, as the concept focus is easily changed.
Activity: Clipboard Number Observations
Think of a special number or number of the day. Give your child a clipboard with paper and ask him to walk around the house/yard/neighborhood and find groupings of that number. So if you are talking about the number 3, he will search for items that are in 3s. When he finds a grouping, he will draw it on the paper. Examples: 3 siblings, 3 photos next to each other, 3 apples on the counter…
This is a great game for children ages four through seven.
Threes and fours
Activity: Ice Block Sledding
Fill a casserole dish with water. Lay a piece of rope partially in the pan and partially out, so that it forms a handle or something to hold on either side. Set in the freezer overnight. Once frozen, take it outside and lay a dish towel over it. Let your child sit on the towel and hold the handles. Then, gently push the block and watch it slide. 
This is good for ages four through adult!
Activity: Clothespin Counting
Draw or print out a variety of animal pictures. Cut the pictures, minus the legs. Laminate the pictures if possible for stability, or print on cardstock/cardboard. Give your child a handful of clothespins and the pictures. Show your child an animal and ask him questions about it: “What is this animal? Where do you think it lives? Does it have a tail? Does it have legs? Oh no, we forgot the legs! We can use these clothespins as legs. How many legs does this animal have? Let’s count out that many legs and place them on the animal!” Count each leg and help the child attach it to the body of the animal. Continue with the next animal.
This is a great activity for ages two–six.
All ages
Activity: Snowmelt
Bring snow or ice block in from outside. Try adding/doing various things to see what makes it melt. Salt? Flour? Sugar? A blow dryer? 
All ages
Activity: Language Prompt Box
Cover a shoe box with butcher or construction paper. Wrap bottom and lid separately. Cut a hole in the top that is large enough to put a hand through. Print out and cut apart cards with various language prompts* and place them in the box. Have children reach in and draw out a card. Use the prompts to ask questions or guide discussions. This is a great way to assess a child’s comprehension skills and verbal abilities.
*Prompts may include questions about a story you read just before using the box, general questions about an experience, favorite things or idea generators.  Examples: 
“Tell about your favorite food.”
“What was the dog afraid of in the story we read?”
“What is a word that rhymes with hat?”
“What would you do if you could visit another planet?”
“How can you be helpful?”
Variation: Instead of prompts or questions, put letters, numbers, shapes or pictures on the card and have children identify. This is a great way to use the box for younger children to practice verbal skills.
All ages
Activity: What’s Missing?
Collect three to eight items from around the house. Line up items and cover with a blanket. Remove an item while child closes eyes.  Have the child guess which object is missing. For a challenge, mix up items or have two colors of the same item.
Ages three to five
Activity: Letter Scavenger Hunt
Identify a letter to search for. Brainstorm and write words on cards that begin with that letter (things you can find around your home or neighborhood). Go on a scavenger hunt for these items; hang up the card on the refrigerator once you find the item, or just search for the letter and make tally marks on a card as you search.
Ages three to six
Activity: Letter Basketball
Cut paper into squares; write a letter (uppercase is best) on each card. Spread letter cards out on the floor. Identify a letter for the child to find. Once he finds the letter, he crumples the paper and shoots it into a basket (trashcan, laundry basket, bucket, etc.).
Ages two to five
Activity: GAK
Mix equal parts liquid starch with Elmer’s school glue (1 cup each or more for larger batch). Add food coloring if desired.
Posted on January 10, 2013 at 9:49 AM