After the hubbub of Christmas, I was ready to get back to our usual routine of school and activities-- everyone here seems to do better with a bit of structure! The girls enjoyed their Winter Theme Preschool Week, and I hope you find something here that you can use with your own kids.
At the time we did these activities, Lena was almost 4.5 and Maggie was 2.5.
If you regularly do preschool using weekly themes, be sure to check out Over 30 COMPLETE Weekly Preschool Theme Units that we've completed as well as my entire list of 52 Weekly Preschool Themes. You may also want to check out of Daily Home Preschool Schedule and this handy FREE Printable Preschool Planning Page.
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Yarn Wrap Snowflakes
Since my Fine Motor Fall Yarn Wrapping was so popular, I decided to make another version for winter. These Yarn Wrapped Snowflakes are perfectly sparkly and wintry, and are super for working on fine motor skills. Maggie isn't quite able to do them, but the difficulty level was just right for Lena.
Winter Sensory Bin
You'll definitely want to see what's in this Winter Sensory Bin! My girls LOVED playing with this material, and asked to pull it out several times during the week.
Mr. Popper's Penguins
Mr. Popper's Penguins by Richard and Florence Atwater is an excellent choice as a first or early chapter book for preschoolers. The story is simple, funny, relatively short, and will have your little ones begging for another chapter. There are also plenty of cute pictures to keep them interested.
Mitten Clipping Math
Clipping mittens onto a string is a favorite preschool activity! Just tie up a string, cut some basic mitten shapes out of felt, and let them clip! You can use regular or mini clothespins, or any other kind of clip. My girls chose to use little plastic clips for this activity. They both really enjoy doing this, and came back to the set-up several times during the week.
In addition to the fine motor practice that clipping affords, we used this activity to practice math skills as well. Maggie counted the mittens on the line, and Lena practiced counting by 2s, since we had a 'pair' of each color of mitten.
I made snowman pancakes for the girls one morning this week. While they tasted yummy, they weren't nearly pretty enough to show you (haha!). Instead, I'll direct you to these fancy ones from The Joys of Boys for inspiration.
This collection of Winter Songs for Preschoolers from Teaching Mama is great! The songs and chants are even available as a printable PDF so that you can easily have them on hand.
I also played Vivaldi's "Winter" (part of The Four Seasons) as we did some of our winter activities. I asked the girls to describe what they heard.
Get Ready for Snow! Gross Motor Game
When you're stuck inside for winter, you may need some activities to keep your kids moving. This Get Ready For Snow! game was lots of fun for my kiddos, and it got their hearts pumping!
For our science this week, we made some totally awesome Instant Snow. Ours was from a science kit, but is essentially the same as the above link. If you've never seen this stuff, it is truly amazing. It starts as a fine powder, you add water, and it suddenly puffs up into light and fluffy 'snow.' It runs through your fingers and feels cool to the touch. It is a super absorbent polymer, and is non-toxic and safe for kids (as long as they don't eat it!). Our package recommends it for ages 4 and up-- use your best judgement with your kids, as always.
Once we made our snow, the girls played with it for over an hour on a tray. They scooped and poured, made mountains and smushed it. THEN we wondered what would happen if we used colored water to make more snow. Sure enough, we ended up with pretty colored snow! This reenergized the play session, and they kept at it for another half hour.
As they played I discussed how the snow was absorbent. I defined the word and gave some examples of things that were absorbent. It was a simple way to tie some science in with their play!
We read some fantastic picture books about winter this week. Read about the best ones in my Books About Winter post.
Cutting Paper Snowflakes
It wouldn't be a winter theme without making paper snowflakes! We kept it simple since scissor skills are still developing. Rather than making 6 sided snowflakes (which would mean having to cut through 6 sheets of paper) I just folded out paper in to quarters.
An easy way to help preschoolers with this project is to draw shapes for them to cut out and shade in the areas that they'll remove-- otherwise its difficult to tell where to cut.
I love these simple Winter Coloring Pages from 1+1+1=1. While coloring is certainly fun, it's a great activity for preschool as well, as it develops important fine motor skills! The more your children enjoy using crayons and pencils, the more they'll want to write when it's time to learn.
Young children can enjoy television that is not children's television (then maybe YOU can enjoy it with them). One of our favorites is the BBC/Discovery Channel's series Planet Earth. One of the episodes is called "Ice Worlds" and is all about arctic and antarctic animals. Lena and Maggie LOVED watching it! There are a couple of scenes where predators capture their prey, but I just zoomed past those parts to avoid upsetting them.
To see more fun winter ideas, be sure to follow Cutting Tiny Bites on Pinterest, or just check out the winter themed board below.
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From Other Great Bloggers:
Winter Fairies Counting Mats from Living Life and Learning
Winter Crafts And Activities For Preschoolers from No Time For Flashcards
Winter Science Activities For Preschoolers from Pre-K Pages
Observing Nature In Winter from Preschool Inspirations