Montessori homeschool preschool winter kids activities study to promote STEM, literacy, numeracy & fine-motor control through DIYs & hands-on learning.
Happy New Year and happy January! I hope you had a wonderful Holiday Season full of family fun, cheer and crafty glitter all over (not to mention the ton of wrapping paper)! And to avoid the post-Christmas blues, we will be happily crafting, exploring, and learning hands-on during the cold winter months! So, I do hope you will follow along with our Montessori homeschool Winter Study as I will be adding winter-related fun STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) educational activities that will keep you and your little one busy and excited (I hope)! Besides, these Preschool Winter Kids Activities you can easily make at home, most of the time using what you already have!
LITERACY WINTER ACTIVITIES
Name Recognition with Marshmallows
Here is a winter-inspired sensory bin filled with white rice, silver balls, and mini marshmallows. After having satisfied the sensory aspect of this invitation, I offered Adrian to spell his name with marshmallows. This is a very hands-on way to learn letter formation as well as the proper spelling of the child’s name. We are using a traditional Montessori Movable Alphabet (you can also use it with this mat) as a reference. Lastly, I added our DIY magnetic letters to the rice sensory bin and offered a DIY magnetic wand to “fish” out the wooden letters. (To make a DIY “fishing rod” we used a straw and a pipe cleaner and we glued a small magnet to the end. Tape paper clips to your wooden letters and offer your child to fish the letters out!) I made these letters and a magnetic wand for Christmas Magnetic ABC Fishing Activity. Also, see a similar activity here Christmas Magnetic DIY Water Beads Sensory Bin.
Snow Sensory Tracing Tray
Here, I am using coarse salt to create a winter wonderland snowy tray to encourage tracing and sensory play! We are referencing Montessori Lower case cursive sandpaper letters. Smaller children can simply enjoy the texture of coarse salt while sensorially learning through play, while older can trace letters, numbers, shapes, pictures … possibilities are endless! Holding a pine branch can resemble holding a pencil, thus promoting proper pincer grip, however, the tracing shows very thin so Adrian prefers to use these hands instead!
WINTER SENSORY PLAY
Winter Forest Train Tracks Sensory Bin
Sensory play is extremely important for children as it supports language development, cognitive growth, motor skills, problem-solving skills, and social interaction. Please, see the details HERE on how to set up this taste-safe winter play tray.
Winter Wonderland Crystals SENSORY Bin
For this wintery play tray set up, I am reusing the salt/sugar filler I used for the train set up above, but this time adding a child-sized mini colander and a stainless steel flour sifter. (See details HERE.)
Animal Tracks in Play Dough
See here Identifying Animal Tracks in “Snow” Dough
Also, see here Observing Animal Tracks in Real Snow
Right on the tracks, Adrian wrote his name using nature’s objects he found in our backyard: sticks, stones, and fern.
CULTURAL | POLAR REGIONS
Read here North vs South Pole Frozen Sensorial Invitation to Explore
To find out more about our Polar Regions Unit Study |Land-Water-Air ~ see here
Check out here Frozen Hydrogels Icy Arctic Snowy Sensory Bin
STEM | SCIENCE
Read here Rainbow Colorful Skittles Kids Water Science Experiment •101 Series
Also, check out here Snow Volcano Eruption Science Experiment For Indoors &Outdoors
Moreover, see here Magical Hydrogels •Kids Science Experiment Trick 101 Series
Montessori Homeschool Preschool WINTER MATH
Roll and Count Pinecones
Roll the dice and count pine cones! Math can be mundane, especially for little ones, so I am trying to make counting hands-on and fun! This presentation is also a very concrete way to reinforce quantity to the numeral association. And, offer a tray filled with DIY rice to practice fine motor tracing skills! (To make colored rice, simply add few drops of vinegar to dried rice in a ziplock along with desired food coloring ~ shake ~ and lay flat to dry.) To make the tree, I simply cut green felt to resemble the tree’s shape, and a recycled champagne cork made a perfect trunk. (If you don’t have felt, use green paper instead. If you don’t have green cardstock, use cardboard and color it green!)
Roll and Count Snowflakes
Taking the pine cone counting up a notch with this simple math addition counting snowflakes activity. I simply lined our floor table with navy tissue paper, placed our felt cutout pine tree and punched snowflakes from recycled white scrap paper. Offer your child to roll the dice to find out the first addend, and demonstrate (3) snowflakes falling on the left. Then, roll the dice again to find out your second addend, and have (2) snowflakes fall on the right. Now add both addends together (3 + 2) and record the sum (5) in snow ~ salt tracing tray, which I also lined with tissue paper to give it a color pop. Next, find the sum among the wooden numerals, and place on a tree. “Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!”
Punch-Out and Count
This is a festive counting DIY: count, punch out and decorate your Christmas Tree math activity. All you need are paint samples from your local hardware store and a hand puncher. I am using wooden stars (primed with clear nail polish) as numerals (I used a Sharpie) but you can use paper stars or if you have a star puncher, you can punch them out. For the quantity, we are using colorful pom poms, but you can use buttons, large sequins, even small marshmallow (‘snow’) or grains/beans from your cupboard. The goal of this activity is numeral to quantity association (a concept very abstract for smaller ones) and promoting fine motor control (well, and gross motor while punching out). I will also use this opportunity to learn what it means to represent a number in different ways, thus beginning to explore the concept of decomposing: for example, number 5 is 5+0, 4+1, and 2+3. This is a very hands-on and visual way to promote numeracy efficiency, not to mention all the holiday fun!
This is a simple and fun fine motor math cutting activity on subtraction. Whether it is raining by you or snowing (or offer a starry night option) concretely show your child how to subtract ~ cut ~ take away a number by placing marbles or stars or cutting. As control of error: write the answers on the dot stickers.
Minuend – Subtrahend = Difference
A child would subtract the correct number by cutting and figuring out the answer by counting what is left ~ the result, which is called the difference. Also, explain the proper vocabulary: a number that is being subtracted is known as the subtrahend, while the number it is subtracted from is the minuend.
Winter BOOKS Preschool Winter Kids Activities
See here Winter Favorite Reading Collection • Kids Books
Below are some of our favorite books from our Winter Favorite Reading Collection:
- The Mitten Book ~ our absolute Winter favorite book (buy here) ~ see a📎link to a blog post here and below
- The Hat book (buy here) ~ see a📎 link to a blog post here and below
- Ice Is Nice!: All About the North and South Poles, Cat in the Hat’s Learning Library (buy here),
- Winter, First Step Nonfiction (buy here)
- Winter Wonderland, Picture the Seasons (buy here) is an amazing book written by Winter with humorous text and gorgeous photography
- The Secret Life of a Snowflake book (buy here) ~ see a link to a blog post here and below
- The Shortest Day: Celebrating the Winter Solstice book (buy here)
- The Return of the Light: Twelve Tales from Around the World for the Winter Solstice (buy here)
See here The Mitten Book •Winter Favorite Reading Collection
See here The Hat Book Winter Favorite 📖Reading Collection.
Children also made Paper Snowflakes ~see here 📚Learning About Snowflakes Paper Craft
Please, always supervise your children.
I hope you liked our Preschool Winter Kids Activities. Leave a comment on which one did you like the best!
Jan 5 ~ USA National Bird Day
3rd Monday of January ~ Martin Luther King Jr.
Chinese New Year
Jan 20 ~ Penguin Awareness
Jan 27 ~ Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Birthday
Jan 29 ~ National Puzzle Day (More on Puzzles HERE)
Jan 31 ~ Backward Day
Feb 2 ~ Groundhog Day
See here Groundhog Day 2017
Feb 12 ~ Abraham Lincoln’s Birthday (1809)/3rd Monday of February ~ PRESIDENTS DAY/ Feb 22 ~ George Washington’s Birthday (1732)
Feb 14 ~ Valentine’s Kids Activities
See HERE Preschool ValentinePractical-LifeActivities (2019)
3rd Sunday in Feb ~ World Whale Day
Feb 27 ~ International Polar Bear Day
See here International ❄️Polar 🐻Bear Day
Also here you will find books we read for Polar Bear Unit Study
MORE THEMED UNIT STUDIES
If you have missed our Holiday Inspired unit, See HERE 50+Kids-Christmas-Activities
Lastly, for St. Patrick’s hands-on fun, see here ☘️St Patrick’s Day Kids Activities.
Also, for Valentine’s activities, see here ❤️Valentine’s Inspired Unit Study.
Thanks for following along,