Winter learning activities for preschoolers and kindergarteners can be fun and engaging when they are hands-on. Read below for a variety of great ways to add hands-on learning to your preschooler’s days.
Do you have a preschooler or kindergartener at home? If so, you know that they just love to learn and they learn best through hands-on play. Keep reading for ideas to keep your little ones learning this winter with fun, hands-on learning activities.
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When you have little ones at home, it can feel like they are constantly moving from one activity to the next. One way I like to keep my little one busy is by keeping a variety of hands-on activities ready to go. But it can be difficult to keep up with ideas for fun, hands-on learning. So in this post, I’m sharing some of my favorite winter learning activities perfect for preschoolers and kindergarteners. Hopefully these ideas will help you come up with more learning activities for your own little ones.
Fun Winter Learning Activities for Preschoolers
One way to keep learning activities fresh and engaging for preschoolers is by using seasonal materials. It’s fun for kids to have winter-themed activities in the winter months, spring-themed activities in the spring, and so on. Below I’ll show some of the winter activities I have out for my kindergartener. These are also perfect for teaching preschool at home too.
1. Winter Sensory Activities
Most of my kids have loved sensory activities, my youngest especially. I started creating sensory bins for him around the age of two and while he doesn’t play with them quite as often now, he still enjoys them years later. Sensory bins and other sensory activities, like playdough, are incredibly easy to theme for seasons. When he was younger, his winter sensory bins had items he could scoop, pour, and pick up with tongs. Now that he’s a bit older, I add in items he can count or use letters or numbers.
To make winter-themed sensory bins, simply look for items around your house or in the dollar store that are in shades of blue or white. Small figurines like snowmen or polar animals are also fun in winter sensory activities. Cotton balls are easy to scoop or hide small toys, letters, or numbers in. Uncooked white rice is also another idea. To color rice blue, add some to a zip top baggie with a few drops of food coloring, shake it and let dry on a paper plate or parchment paper. In just a few minutes, you can create several fun sensory bins for winter learning.
2. Winter Literacy Activities
Literacy skills, like letter and beginning sound recognition, should be introduced in the preschool years. Make these skills fun to learn with hands-on, themed activities. Using the sensory bins I mentioned above, add in puzzle letter pieces or the magnetic letters you can find at the dollar store. Your preschooler can use a scoop, tongs, or even a magnetic wand if using magnetic letters to grab a letter. They can record the letter they find on a sheet of paper, match it to a letter card, or write the letter in a salt tray.
Practicing beginning sounds is also more fun with winter-themed activities. I created a beginning sound activity in my winter math and literacy activities where children sound out a picture on a hat card and match it to the uppercase and lowercase letters found on mitten cards. This can also be used in sensory bins, either by putting the hat cards in the bin, or having kids pull letters out of the bin that match the hat picture sound.
3. Winter Math Activities
Along with literacy skills, math skills like number recognition and counting are also important preschool skills to learn. Again, practicing these skills with fun, hands-on activities is great for preschool. Adding in winter-themed items makes the activities more enjoyable too. Winter math activities can be as simple as gathering some winter mini erasers like mini snowflakes and polar animals to count. You’ll find eleven math and literacy winter activities for preschool and kindergarten in the resource I created.
Children can use playdough to form numbers or to roll into balls to count. Playdough mats make these activities easier and more engaging. Using these winter math activities, children can also find different ways to represent numbers 1-10, which is also practicing the skill of number sense. Color and shape activities are also great ways to work on math skills during winter.
4. Winter Fine Motor Activities for Preschool and Kindergarten
Math and literacy skills aren’t the only important preschool skills for little ones to learn. Fine motor skills are also very important to develop. Children need to build strength in their little hands before they can properly use pencils or scissors to write and cut. Luckily, working on these skills is really fun!
My kids have always loved playdough, which I think is one of the best materials to build fine motor muscle strength. It’s so versatile as well because you can use different colors for different themes. Plus kids can use it alone to roll out letters or balls for counting. Or create fun playdough trays with various small items to create scenes for play. In the winter, use white or light blue playdough and add in small blue gems, mini erasers, white and blue pompoms, small twigs or winter figurines. Your preschooler will be strengthening hand muscles through play. Find nine fun hands-on fine motor activities for preschool and kindergarten in the resource I created.
Another easy fine motor activity is to fill a small wooden or plastic tray with salt, fine sand, oats, rice, or any other small item. Kids can practice forming letters, numbers, or shapes in the material for fun fine motor practice that also incorporates the senses. Use white or blue-colored material to make it perfect for winter.
5. Winter Themed Art Activities for Little Ones
Art activities are wonderful for preschoolers. They allow little ones to express their creativity and also work on fine motor skills. My little guy loves to watercolor. I’ll get out some watercolor paints, a small cup of water, and some paper for him. He’ll paint picture after picture, telling me about each painting. He’s also recently started using acrylic paints more often. I’ll buy small canvases when I see them on sale, and he’ll put them on a little easel to paint.
He also really enjoys using chalk pastels. They are such a forgiving medium and make a fun sensory experience as little ones use their fingers to smudge the chalk. All of my kids (and me!) love the You Are an Artist video lessons. They even have special preschool lessons, though my youngest participates in all of the lessons my older kids do as well. It’s a great multi-age activity.
6. Winter Themed Music Activities
Most preschoolers and kindergarteners really enjoy music. They love singing familiar songs and dancing. One way I include music in my kindergartener’s day is with Clap for Classics. They have a wonderful The Four Seasons: Music and More preschool curriculum that includes great online music lessons, as well as STEM, art, and poetry lessons for each season. This curriculum is also included in the All Access Membership, along with other fun benefits.
Winter weather might keep you stuck indoors more often than you’d like with your little ones. But these fun winter activities keep your preschoolers and kindergarteners busy learning and having fun indoors. Gather a few materials mentioned above for easy set-ups and you’re ready to go have fun!