Thematic Unit: Winter Time

It’s certainly winter time around here, as the three and  a half foot berm of snow that has been shoveled and blown from our driveway will attest.  If it’s winter in your neck of the woods, I thought you might like a list of ideas for activities you could use in creating a winter themed unit.

In exploring winter, children get the opportunity to use a lot of science skills.  In addition to the process of inquiry, they’ll build knowledge about seasons (Earth Science) as well as learning a lot about states of matter through freezing and melting activities (Physical Science).  All the while, there’s also plenty of room for supporting language skills and social skills along with many others.

Here are some things you might find in a play-based classroom exploring a winter theme:

Dramatic Play

Set up the housekeeping area like a warm winter home.  Provide winter clothes, mugs and cotton balls, perhaps a play fireplace, and plenty of “warm” food on the stove.  You could also create a coffee shop full of warm drinks and treats like this one from 45Wall Design (the things some people can do with a little cardboard – sheesh!).

Fine Motor Working Tables

Beleduc Four Seasons 5 Layer Puzzle

Snowflakes with  Geoboards

Spice Jar Snowman Blocks {No Time for Flash Cards}


Puffy Snowflake Paintings {Inner Child Fun}

Salt Paint for Toddlers {Hands On: As We Grow}

Icicles {Inner Child Fun}

Snowflake Collage {Tinker Lab}


Colorful Ice Wreath {NJC}

12 Outdoor Ideas for a Snowy Day {NJC}

Frozen Bubbles {Craft Interrupted}

Sensory Table / Science Station

Colorful Ice Sculptures {NJC}

Arctic Ice Sensory Play {No Time for Flash Cards}

Icy Water Bead Cubes {Life with Moore Babies}

Snowman in a Bottle {Teach Preschool}

Block Area

Block Play in a Winter Wonderland {Inner Child Fun}

Turn a Pom Pom Drop {Strong Start} into a Snowball drop by using blues and white or by using various sizes of white and using a variety of tubes to match the size.


Snack Time

Homemade Hot Chocolate {NJC}

Snowflake Snack {Creative Food} (So fun, so simple, and relatively healthy!)

Fresh Snow Ice Cream {NCJ} or Snow Cream {Tinkerlab}

Circle Time (Whole Group)

Animals in Winter {Carrots are Orange}

Vivaldi’s Four Seasons {NJC}

Winter Songs, Stories, and Fingerplays {Rhythm of the Home}

Five Little Snowmen Fingerplay {NJC}

These are the Four Seasons {NJC}

Book Activities (Small Group)

Author Study: Jan Brett’s Wintry Books  {NJC}

All You Need for a Snowman {NJC — Old School Style Here!}

Snowmen at Night {NJC}

The Snowy Day {NJC} Follow up by writing in salt like Peter wrote in the snow with his stick.

What are your favorite winter themed activities?

*Post contains affiliate links.



Filed under Learning through Play and Experience, Uncategorized, Unit Themes

7 Responses to Thematic Unit: Winter Time

  1. Love all these great ideas! And you just reminded me that I collected a bunch of great new winter books this year and was planning to post about them soon. Thanks for all these ideas and the reminder!

  2. Pingback: Weekend Reads 1.19.13 | Not Just CuteNot Just Cute

  3. Pingback: Weekend links from around the web | Brussels Sprout

  4. Pingback: Weekend Link Love and a preview of the new Wild Kratts special | Simple Kids

  5. This is such a comprehensive roundup, Amanda. Thank you for all the work you put into this. I love your “warm winter home” suggestion — our family loves to get cozy, and there’s almost always wood in the fireplace. Now to do something about the 70 degree weather we’ve been having lately!

  6. Such a great round up of ideas for winter time! Thank you for including my Snowflake Snack in here! :) Hope you have a wonderful week :)

  7. Pingback: Sunday Surf: Jan 13-19 | Old New Legacy

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *