Use two to three boxes of instant potatoes in your sensory table. We used this as “snow”, and I added mittens, gloves, and winter hats. The children loved this idea.
Because winter can be very cold in the Midwest, I like to bring some of winter inside. I cover some of the cardboard blocks with white paper to use as blocks of ice to build forts. Then I get the extra large pom poms these are about 3 -4″ inches and we don our mittens and hats to have snowball fights! The kids love it but we make sure there are rules to follow. No throwing above the waist. No throwing at someone who is not in the block area. And no throwing outside of the block area. What a ball.
I am doing a unit on the South Pole right now. I gave the kids each a roll of toilet paper and let them do what they wanted. Of course they unrolled all of it and then danced in it and tossed it and buried each other in it… Lots of fun. And then have them help you clean up.
A great idea for a cold winter day. I empty some rice from my rice table and I place it in the oven before the children come to school. I leave it in until the rice is warm temperature. When the children arrive they get to play with some warm rice. What a nice way to start your day!
Snowman Puppet: Give each child two small paper plates which are stapled at one edge of each plate (one plate above the other in a snowman shape). Give the children patterns or pre-cut shapes of a hat, scarf, mittens, and boots made of construction paper for them to glue on the plates in the appropriate places. They can use buttons or crumpled pieces of black tissue paper for eyes. A small piece of orange pipe cleaner can be used as a carrot nose. They can add other accessories as they like using markers, crayons, twigs, construction paper, etc. When the snowmen are decorated, staple half of a small paper plate at the top edge to the back (top also) of each snowman. This makes a little “pocket” for each child’s hand, so now it’s a puppet. It gives you a different way of making a puppet, other than using a paper bag. The children did a great job, and the puppets were adorable.
After studying Winter we end the unit by having a Snow Day. Because we live in Florida, we don’t have snow – but it is fun anyway. We set up different stations. Snow cone making, ice in the water table, pass the ice game (like hot potato), pin the nose on the snowman, ice trays (metal trays with water placed in it and frozen the night before.) Students use cars to slide on the ice, and finally a snow ball toss (make snow balls out of pillow stuffing and white socks.) The children have a great time and love the “cold”!
In the winter our toddler class gathered snow in a 5 gal bucket. They brought it inside and built a snowman in a large shallow baking pan. They put on eyes, arms, nose, buttons (not real buttons) and scarf. They then placed the snowman on the table to watch it melt through the process of the day. Every child in the center made trips to the toddler room that day to see what was happening to the snowman. This was a great hands-on sensory-science project. The kids loved it!
For a cute winter bulletin board, decorate your board with white butcher paper or contact paper making a snow covered hill that slopes down from one corner to the other. Add patterns of children on sleighs with the children’s names printed on them and add a caption like “Sled Us Welcome You To Our Class” This was a big hit this winter in my pre-K class!
For my January bulletin board, we were studying the number 10 so… each child made a paper chain from 10 pieces of paper at the end, I stapled them all together then I placed a dark blue background to the bulletin board and took the paper chains and made it into a 3-d snowman. During our circle time the children helped add the different features to the snowman such as arms, scarf, nose eyes, buttons. Then we names ours!!! EVERYONE loved it!! Not to mention the children did to! They were so disappointed when I took him down!!
Beach Party! This is perfect for the middle of winter. Have parents donate old bathing suits, beach towels, sandals, and goggles. Movement: Balloon Volley Ball Put a line of tape on the floor for the net and use a balloon for the volley ball. Math: Fishing Make fishing poles out of Popsicle sticks, yarn and magnets. Put paper clips on fish of different shapes, sizes, and colors and put the fish in a small plastic pool. Have children “catch” fish and sort them. Or have children catch, for example, only blue fish. Art: Tissue Paper Lays Cut tissue paper into squares or triangles and punch holes in them. Have children string the tissue paper to make a colorful lei. Sensory: Water or Sand Table Fill sensory table with water or sand and include beach toys.