Endless Winter Activities for All Students!
Winter break is winding down, and you’ve been enjoying every single second of turning off your alarm clock, taking afternoon naps, and having movie marathons with friends. You might not feel quite ready to kick into full gear with your classroom on the first day back to school in January. Don’t worry: you can keep relaxing because we’ve done the planning for you! We’ve pulled together some fun winter-themed activities you can use to ease your students back into the school year after winter break. The bonus is that you can send your students home with these activities to do on snow days too.
Winter activities break up those long winter breaks and snow days when kids are stuck inside most of the time. You know that many of your students will start to get bored and spend far too much time mindlessly absorbed in technology—and not the good kind of technology either—unless their teacher was kind enough to give them plenty of fun things to do over winter break and on snow days.
Your students are not the only ones who will appreciate you. Parents will certainly be thankful when their children have an abundance of things to do during winter besides getting bored and making a mess at home. Plus, it gives students and parents a chance to bond and learn together.
So let’s take a look at some play-based holiday activities for kids that will make a major impact this winter. Just remember: the key to creating the perfect winter break activity packet is to make it feel like fun. So roll up your sleeves, put your thinking cap on, and start searching for some winter recess inspiration.
Winter Theme Ideas
Winter theme ideas are a great way to get kids interested in learning more about the winter season and help you organize the learning activities you choose to send home with them.
Here are three winter-themed ideas you can include in the winter break activity packet for your students:
- Winter Activity Sheets
Winter activity sheets are a great way to stay on-theme and give your students a lot of variety. Plus, you can create winter-themed activities for preschoolers all the way up through seniors so you have plenty of opportunities to reinforce what they’ve already learned this year.
Younger students love things like count and color sheets, word scrambles, word searches, mazes, dot to dots, and coloring pages. Older students enjoy activities like crossword puzzles, Sudoku, TED talk reviews, and themed journal entries.
- Cardboard Box Snowmen
Don’t let all those empty boxes go to waste after all the holiday gifts have been opened! Assign a building challenge in which students decorate all of the empty cardboard boxes and then build cardboard box snowmen inside the house. To make it even more fun, have them upload photos of their snowmen to your class website to share with their friends.
- Holiday-Themed Activities
Of course, some of the most exciting things about the long winter break are all of the fun holidays that surround it. So now is the perfect opportunity for your students to learn how people celebrate various winter holidays around the world.
From Christmas activities to Hannukah, Kwanzaa, Diwali, and more, you can encourage your students to make meaning by conducting research, trying out new recipes, and even starting new family traditions based on what they learned.
Science is fun! And there are so many great ways to incorporate science into your lesson plans this winter break.
Here are 11 winter science activities for preschoolers through older aged kids that are so engaging that the whole family will want to get involved:
- How do penguins stay dry experiment
- Dry ice bubble volcano
- Christmas lava lamp
- Snowstorm in a jar
- Frosty’s Magic Milk
- Polar Bear Science Experiment
- Exploding Snowman
- Christmas Ice
- Fizzing Candy Canes
- Spinning Christmas tree
There are also tons of unique ways to incorporate math into your winter activities for preschoolers and beyond.
Winter math activities for preschoolers can include things like counting marshmallow snowballs, building small, medium, and large paper plate snowmen, and a snowmen stacking challenge. Older kids will enjoy a race to the snowman dice game, the box is locked math challenge, and an elving around area and perimeter unit.
Don’t let your students spend all of their time watching Youtube and playing Roblox over winter break. Instead, harness the power of technology to inspire them, encourage their creativity, and help them grow.
Here are seven technology activities your students will love this winter break:
- Winter-themed typing challenge based on popular holiday stories
- Trading card creator for characters in popular holiday stories
- Creating binary code ornaments
- Digital snowman activities
- Design an ugly sweater
- Write your own winter-themed adventure
- Make a snowman app
Arts & Crafts
Lastly, there is so much inspiration online when it comes to winter art projects for elementary students and beyond. A quick search for pre-K winter crafts or winter crafts for kindergarten will return thousands of ideas.
To make it easy for you, here are 12 arts and crafts projects that will keep your students entertained over winter break:
- Winter tree art
- Winter wonderland art
- Beaded snowflakes
- Salt and watercolor snowflakes
- Winter stem symmetrical snowflakes
- Kids winter hat project
- Sponge printed winter landscape
- Handprint cardinal craft
- How to make snow clay
- Snowman yarn wrapping craft
- Mixed media elf shoes
- Gingerbread man mosaic
As you can see, your options really are endless no matter what grade you teach. What matters most is that any winter break activities are play-based and engaging for the whole family.
Your students need some downtime just as much as you do. But that certainly doesn’t mean that all learning should stop. These winter break activities will encourage thinking, learning, and growing to continue until you all meet back up again this January.