Here’s a fun collection of winter themed learning activities for preschoolers! Work on counting, literacy, and fine motor skills. Explore some science concepts too!
I have some links throughout the post with supplies that we used, and then check the bottom of the post for the supply links all in one place.
This post contains Amazon affiliate links.
Jonathan turned four over the Christmas break, and we are getting started with a little more organized preschool than what we did when he was three. I still allow plenty of time for play at this age, but Jonathan loves school activities and asks to do them!
This was so simple to set up. I bought these snowflakes last year at Michael’s – they are made out of acrylic and I think they are for scattering on a table as decoration or using in crafts. Here is something equivalent on Amazon – Acrylic Snowflake Jewels. You can also search “snowflake confetti” or “snowflake jewels.”
I made a quick worksheet for Jonathan to use for counting snowflakes, and he thought it was great!
Then we used the snowflakes to make a big letter “S.” S is for snowflake! Jonathan placed the snowflakes on the big S shape. I think that activities like this help kids remember the shape of the letters more than just seeing the letter on paper.
Our snowflakes came in white, blue, and aqua, so we built patterns with them!
Penguin Writing Tray
This was my favorite activity, and Jonathan really got into it way more than I thought he would. We used Safari Toob penguins to write letters in sugar in a shallow cake pan. You can also use salt for this. I chose sugar because I am paranoid about Janie (20 months) eating salt out of the tray. She has very little discernment when it comes to putting things in her mouth! Vegetables are yucky to her, but crayons, dirt, junk off the floor – all delicious! Ugh. Anyway, sugar won’t hurt her if she tastes it but I don’t want her eating a bunch of salt.
I made some letter cards for Jonathan to copy.
There are two penguins in the TOOB that are on their bellies, and I thought they worked very well for writing in the sugar. Jonathan, however, preferred to use their feet or their wings for writing.
Jonathan just turned four. He has not had a lot of success writing with a pencil, and he has only just started drawing pictures of things that we can recognize. However, he really had a lot of success writing with penguins! I love the look of satisfaction on his face after making a “J” that faced the right way.
Penguin Ice Sensory Play
Okay, maybe this one was actually our favorite! So much fun.
We added a couple of drops of blue food coloring to some water and froze it in plastic containers. Jonathan was pretty impressed with that step in and of itself!
Then we played with our ice islands and our Safari Toob penguins! Jonathan was thrilled to pour water from a pitcher by himself.
I put the ice islands in a large plastic tub with a towel underneath to catch any spills. I also put out some measuring cups and a turkey baster for playing with.
I figured that the ice would melt really quickly, but the ice islands lasted for a good 30 minutes – long enough for plenty of play! We were playing indoors in a room at about 70 degrees.
Snowflake Play Dough Stamps
I decided to glue a few of our acrylic snowflakes to some wood cubes to make play dough stamps.
They make such neat prints!
More Winter Ideas:
Make some geoboard snowflakes – great fine motor practice!
Learn how arctic animals stay warm with this simple arctic science experiment.
Another science experiment – Learn why animals in snowy regions have large paws. This also is a great demonstration of how snow shoes work, and it’s really simple to do.
If you’re not doing the play dough stamping activity, snowflake confetti would work just as well.
Wooden cubes – 1 inch. These can be found at most craft stores in the wood crafts section.
Deborah Jan 11, 2016
Those snowflake jewels are so versitile. I love the way your boy was using the penguines to write in the snow, and I know my kiddos would love the water bin experience. So many fun ideas and ways to explore water. Thank you so much!
AZ TX Mama Jan 15, 2016
Thanks for posting these ideas! Great work! Hope to do them with my kiddos next week. BTW, next time in DFW visit Central Market HEB (if you haven't already!).
Sarah Jan 16, 2016
Yes, we live in DFW and I love Central Market! I don't shop there regularly but it's definitely an awesome store!
Amy Jan 4, 2018
Thanks for these! I am headed to pour a pan of sugar write now. My little ones will LOVE this. I'm also making a strip of paw prints for a counting game. Lots of original (to me) ideas. I appreciate it!
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