Winter Activities in Kindergarten
It’s snowing outside, the perfect time to teach about winter. You need a lot of good winter activities in kindergarten when teaching about this snowy season.
There is nothing better than teaching a well-crafted lesson. One that is thoughtful, engaging, and effective. A lesson that warrants applause. You may not actually get the applause, but you know when you deserve it! In order to design such a lesson or an entire unit composed of many such lessons, teachers need lots of great resources, and TIME. Well, I think we can help you with both. In this blog you will find plenty of resources, along with some fun winter activities for kindergarten.
Nonfiction Winter Books Perfect for Kindergarten
Nonfiction books are great when teaching winter to kindergarten. I start with a review of the seasons and why we have them. A great book for this is The Reasons for Seasons by Gail Gibbons. Other topics I teach during the winter unit are animals in winter, winter clothing, winter activities, winter weather and of course SNOW! Here are some of my favorite nonfiction books about winter: Over and Under the Snow, written by Kate Messner, illustrated by Christopher Silas Neal; Animals in Winter, written by Henrietta Bancroft, Helen K. Davie, and illustrated by Richard G. Van Gelde; The Story of Snow by Jon Nelson and Mark Cassino; How Do You Know It’s Winter? by Ruth Owen.
Here are some nonfiction books which are read online. I’ve only included books where the copyright has not been infringed upon.
Story Time: Over and Under the Snow (6:09): This is a very good online version of Kate Messner’s book, Over and Under the Snow. This book brings everything I teach about winter together in one beautiful story where a child learns all about what is going on under and over the snow, while cross country skiing with her father. It has added animation and background music, and the illustrations really pop.
All About Winter Read Aloud | Winter Read Aloud | Winter Non-fiction Read Aloud | Books About Snow (1:52): This nonfiction online read aloud is from Mr. Corder’s Kid Book Read Alouds, it’s a brief overview of the winter season with real winter photographs. It was written by Mr. Corder, a kindergarten teacher. Great for preschool.
It’s Winter Time | Winter Read Aloud | Winter Nonfiction Book | All About Winter | Books About Snow (3:34): Another nonfiction book Mr. Corder’s Kid Book Read Alouds. This book discusses winter as a season, when it begins, the cold weather, snow, hibernation and trees. It has a vocabulary page for the words bare and evidence. There is also a main idea discussion page at the end of the book. You can get your own online copy of the book It’s Winter Time.
The Snowy Day Read-aloud, an animated story (3:28): No winter unit would be complete without reading A Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats. The EJK Foundation has created a delightful version of this popular read aloud. There is added animation, along with music. I know it’s fiction, but it’s a classic.
Winter Videos for Kids
When I teach, I like to add some quality videos. I use them for introducing and reinforcing the concepts I am teaching. Here are some free educational videos on winter to enhance your winter science unit.
Where Do Snowflakes Come From? (3:41): SciShow Kids make great science videos for children. This video is all about snowflakes. Each snowflake is a six-pointed work of art, and this video explains and demonstrates how nature makes snowflakes.
SNOWFLAKES – Dr Binocs | Best Learning Videos For Kids | Dr Binocs | Peekaboo Kidz (3:50): Dr. Binocs is an animated creature with binoculars for eyes. He’s all about science and kids love him. This video is about snowflakes. Dr. Binocs knows how explain complex concepts in a way that keeps children entertained.
LEARN ABOUT WINTER | winter theme preschool, kindergarten (7:00): Mister Kipley does a great job teaching us all about winter. Along with his puppet friends, Freddy the Yeti and Charlie, you will learn about the Winter Solstice, winter weather, hibernation, migration, and more.
Fun Winter Activities for Kindergarten
Now it’s time to do some hands-on science activities. Snow is a big part of winter. If possible, bring in some snow and let your students explore it using their senses. Using 4 of their 5 senses (you can guess the sense they don’t use) students examine and describe the snow. I like to make a list of their descriptive words. I follow this up with a writing activity where the students write adjectives to describe the snow. Can’t or don’t want to use real snow? Use InstaSnow, developed by Steve Spangler Science. This stuff is perfect for indoor snow exploration. I explain to my students that although it is not real snow, it shares many of the same properties. It’s white, wet and really fun to play with.
Outside Winter Activities
If you are lucky enough to get snow where you live, take your students outside for science. They will love it. Have your kiddos work together to build a snowman. Show them how to make a snow angel. Measure the snow angel and the snowman. This is also a great time to notice and discuss the temperature and what people wear in the winter. And of course, use those senses to investigate and describe snow.
More Winter Activities for Kinder
- Take a winter walk. When you return to the classroom, have students discuss and draw what they saw.
- Keep a record of daily temperatures. Look for patterns. Compare a week’s worth of temperatures in the winter to a week’s worth taken in the fall.
- See how long it takes a cup of snow to melt.
Puffy Snowman Art
No list of winter activities in kindergarten would be complete without a winter art project. Here’s an adorable puffy snowman your children will love to make. For the puffy snow, mix equal parts of glue and shaving cream. First, have your kids draw a snowman with a white crayon. They can also draw a winter background at this time, if they choose. Next, have them use a spoon, paintbrush or their hands to apply the puffy snow. Finally, add cut-outs such as eyes, buttons, hat, etc. to complete the snowman. Pair it with a fun book like Stranger in the Woods: A Photographic Fantasy by Carl R. Sams II and Jean Stoick and you have a really FUN winter art project.
Winter Science Unit from 4 Kinder Teachers
Don’t have the time to create your own winter unit? We at 4 Kinder Teachers have created a wonderful unit on winter. This Kindergarten Winter Science unit focuses on Winter Weather, Animals in Winter, Winter Clothes and Winter Activities. The digital slideshows make it fun and engaging for kids. The detailed lesson plans and differentiated writing templates make it easy to implement and accessible to all.
Included in this unit are:
- detailed lesson plans with objectives and vocabulary
- google slideshows for 4 separate lessons
- 24 printable, differentiated writing templates
Winter Activities for Preschool
I love teaching about winter. There are many winter activities for kindergarten, but you can also use these winter activities for preschool. They may need a little extra help, depending on the activity, but most can be adapted for the preschool curriculum. Have fun teaching about winter!