Montessori Winter kindergarten kids activities to engage little learners through the power of hands-on sensory invitations to learn and play!
Happy January my friends! Whether you are rejoicing in the sun (hello friends from southern regions) or playing in the snow and enjoying the cold crisp January air, I will be sharing some fun hands-on sensory invitations to learn and play during this winter month! You will notice a lot of snow activities since we live in a climate where seasonal changes are yearned for! And, we love snow, so when the forecast calls for none, we will be ‘making’ snowy scenes indoors! So, I do hope you will follow along with our Montessori homeschool Winter Study! Besides, you will find fun sensory play tray ideas that you can easily set at home, as well as lots of activities with a numeracy twist to tinker with those little minds! And, most importantly, through this kindergarten and preschooler Montessori Winter inspired unit study, I will be sharing educational kids activities that will advance fine motor control and promote language, social interaction, and reasoning skills!
WINTER SENSORY PLAY
Sensory play is extremely important for children since it promotes language development, cognitive growth, dexterity, and problem-solving skills. As your child learns through play, s/he triggers multiple neurons when tactile, visual and language stimuli are sparked off! Besides, ‘learning’ trays, such as these Salt-Sugar Snow Play Trays, are generally easy to set up with materials you have handy. Most importantly, sensory small-world play-trays offer an opportunity for simple yet engaging activities that promote important developing skills such as fine motor and bilateral and hand-eye coordination.
Winter Forest Train Tracks Sensory Bin
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.)
MONTESSORI Kindergarten Winter MATH Activities
Teach REAL before ABSTRACT! Dr. Montessori observed that children learn early mathematical concepts through hands-on manipulation such as touching, sorting and stacking. It is through such learning by doing they master counting, recognize quantities, learn sequencing and so forth! For example, one of the ways to incorporate learning through hand-on investigation is to explain mathematical concepts through sensorial work! “What the hand does, the mind remembers!”
The goal of Montessori primary program is to create a strong foundation of the numeral to quantity association or in other words 1:1 correspondence. Let them TOUCH each as they COUNT aloud!
Once your child recognizes numbers and understands the concept of addition, play this simple addition game. It’s super fun and effective. For example, by seeing a number 5 as traced in a salt tray, and also as represented by snowflakes in its quantitative form, a child is able to make an abstract symbol concrete!
To make this DIY, simply cut a pine-tree shape out of felt. You will also need a snowflake puncher and a dice. So, you would offer your child to roll the dice: it’s your first addend. Then, offer to roll again: it’s your second addend. Lastly, add both addends and trace the sum in ‘snow.’ (You can use either salt or sugar as your tracing medium.) During this hands-on numeracy game, your child is developing hand-eye- coordination and advancing fine motor control, as well as learning simple addition and numeral to quantity association.
This pine -cone counting activity is suitable for smaller children, who are just beginning to understand the numerical value and are not yet able to compute addition problems. So, if you have a two-year-old, roll the dice and introduce a mere 1:1 correspondence! “This number says 3” and “Here are three pine cones!” Also, encourage your child to trace the number in green-dyed rice to trigger tactile senses and offer multi-sensorial stimulation.
Stick Tree Snowflake Count
For this DIY, you will need recycled cardboard and nature tree sticks. So, use this as an excuse and venture outdoors on a stick-hunt! Once collected, use a larger thicker stick as a trunk and hot glue the thinner ones as ‘branches.’ Then, punch snowflakes which you will be using as manipulatives/counters. (I am using glitter foam for extra sparkle!) Lastly, use numerals as a visual representation of numerical symbols. (These wooden numerals are part of my Hearts Play Dough Set ~ buy HERE.)
Note that you can easily introduce this activity to a two-year-old, but start with numbers one through three. Thereafter, as the child masters the set, keep adding the next numeral. Most importantly, with this fun nature-inspired DIY, your little one is learning hand-eye coordination and fine-motor control, as well as 1:1 correspondence and numeral to quantity association. And all that cognition is happening through the power of tactile hands-on sensory play!
P.S. If all the snowflakes will not fit on a single branch, let them rather ‘fall’ from branches to the ‘ground.”
Snowflake Q-Tip Painting Numer Recognition
Another fun DIY, part of Montessori Winter Kindergarten |Preschool Kids Activities, is q-tip painting. You will position one q-tip in the middle and six around it, secured by the rubber band, to resemble snowflakes’ hexagon shape. Besides, young toddlers can enjoy a free non-structured creative play, while a preschooler can learn alphabet or letter formation. If you have a kindergartener, turn this DIY into name recognition simply by writing a child’s name instead of numbers. So, you will need recycled cardboard, white paint, and q-tips. This DIY is super fun! Most importantly, you probably have all the materials handy at home! And, to make this number recognition a fun hands-on 1:1 correspondence, just add punched out snowflakes and invite your child to match them to each numeral. Thus, besides learning proper number formation, number sequence and 1:1 correspondence, your child is also learning numeral to quantity association while developing hand-eye coordination and fine motor control.
- cotton facial cleaning pads
- recycled caps either from water bottles or milk cartons
- a marker to write numerals
AGE 2Y + ⚠️Always supervise your child!
- hand-eye coordination
- one-to-one correspondence
- numeral to quantity association
- fine motor control
Kindergarten Winter Kids Activities are a great tool to teach REAL before ABSTRACT! Dr. Montessori observed that children learn early mathematical concepts through hands on manipulation such as touching, sorting and stacking! It is through such learning by doing they master counting, recognize quantities, learn sequencing and so forth! Explain mathematical concepts through sensorial work! Let them TOUCH each snowman’s snow-ball as they COUNT aloud! What the hand does, the mind remembers!
FAKE SNOW SENSORY INVITATIONS
Have you tried freezing hydrogels? What about freezing gelatin block? Add some instant snow, animals, pine 🌲 trees and your little one will be occupied for a good hour! Check my ARCTIC KIT HERE.
TASTE SAFE BLOCKS: AGE 2Y + ⚠️ HOWEVER, although taste-safe, gelatine can be a choking hazard! TIPS: I use unflavored gelatine, so do not add any sugar to discourse tasting!
Exposing children early on to sensory play in an age-appropriate, child-driven environment is the key to building confidence, knowledge, and mastery as it supports language development, cognitive growth, fine motor control, problem-solving skills, and social interaction. As your child learns through play, s/he triggers multiple when tactile, visual, and language stimuli are sparked off! Besides, with this Arctic sensory learning kit, all the thinking and prepping was done for you, so the set up should be minimal.
5 SIMPLE DIY SNOW IDEAS
Here are SIMPLE DIY snow substitutes:
1. INSTA ❄️ SNOW (add 2 oz of water for each scoop! Here, is the exact amount you get with Arctic Kit, so add 6 oz 💦 of water)
2. SUGAR ~ TASTE-SAFE for babies 👶🏼
3. SALT ~ TASTE-SAFE though NOT edible
4. BAKING SODA (or cornstarch) + little of 💦 water ~ might contain bacteria!
5. SHAVING FOAM or use WHIPPED CREAM/TASTE-SAFE
ARCTIC ANIMALS LAND vs WATER SORT
Tactile stimulation is extremely important for the developing brain since the “sensitive period” (which Dr. Montessori defined as a period of special sensitivity to particular stimuli) from birth till the age of five is sensory refinement. So, set SIMPLE invitations to learn and play to trigger sensory stimuli through the power of tactile play since whatever is perceived through the hand goes directly to the brain!
Please, always supervise your children.
I hope you liked our KINDERGARTEN Winter Kids Activities. Leave a comment on which one did you like the best! Also, check our PRESCHOOL Winter activities HERE.
If you have missed our Holiday Inspired unit, see here a roundup of December activities in a Christmas Inspired Unit Study.
Also, for Valentine’s activities, see here ❤️Valentine’s Inspired Unit Study.
Lastly, for St. Patrick’s hands-on fun, see here ☘️St Patrick’s Day Kids Activities.
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Thanks for following along,