Brace yourselves, winter is upon us. For parents, especially parents of homeschoolers, this can mean some very wound up children. If you live in a cold area, the kids will probably spend more time inside, which can lead to a lot of pent up energy.
Luckily there are a ton of activities that you can engage in with your kids that will not only keep them distracted from the cold, but will keep their minds working as well.
Some people think of winter as the time that most animals hole away and birds fly south. This isn’t completely true though. Not all birds are migratory, and the ones that are still around are still pretty active and would probably appreciate some food and water during the cold season when so much has frozen over.
Look up what birds frequent your area in the winter and find out what food will attract them. Then teach the kids about the birds and have them keep track of sightings at your bird feeder.
Check out our popular post on DIY birdfeeders (that are super-low cost!)
Study Animals in Winter – Free Lesson Printable
Enjoy a study of animal behavior in winter. We have put together a 65 page study of animals in winter. This resource includes:
- A 19-page read-aloud mini-reader that easily assembles and includes a cover for your child to color. It is packed with age-appropriate information and beautiful photos.
- Hibernating bats STEM activity
- 4 animals in winter posters for your homeschool area
- Staying Warm Clothing Experiment
- How Does Fat Keep Animals Warm activity
- Build a Hibernaculum Activity
- Hibernating Homes Activity Sheet and Bats in Winter Activity Sheet
- Hibernate, Migrate, and Adapt animal photo cards for sorting games
- Hibernate, Migrate, and Adapt “Sorting Mat” and storage pockets
- 14 Animal Tracks 3-part Montessori Cards
- 14 Animal Sorting cards to match Animal Tracks 3-part Montessori Cards
- Cover Your Tracks Activity
- Migration fingerplay activity with printable “props”
- Two additional fingerplays
- 4 Math Activity Pages
- My Winter Journal nature journaling cover and pages in a woodland animals theme
- ADDED BONUS – 8 Animal Tracks Playdough Activity Mats
While Bird watching can be done from the comfort of the house, you shouldn’t let the snow scare you away from seeing wildlife in its natural habitat. Hiking in the snow can be a blast, provided you bundle everyone up. Start with short, easy hikes so your kids can get used to the physical activity in the inclement weather.
Snowshoeing is also a great winter pastime that I feel gets overlooked a lot. Both hiking and snowshoeing provide time for the family to do something together in a new environment. Whether you use it as a chance to catch up with each other, or an opportunity for introspection, a lot can be gained for some time in the wilderness.
Winter hiking affords your family a chance to see wild bird species they would never see at home. Snow makes everything look different, so the experience will be exciting and new, even if you’re in an area you’ve been before. It also comes with a built in second opportunity: snowball fights. Just make sure to stay safe!
Learn About the Science of Snow
Why not study the science behind snow? Check out our post on the science behind the beautiful snow flakes! Snowflake Study Resources
I hold a master’s degree in child development and early education and am working on a post-baccalaureate in biology. I spent 15 years working for a biotechnology company developing IT systems in DNA testing laboratories across the US. I taught K4 in a private school, homeschooled my children, and have taught on the mission field in southern Asia. For 4 years, I served on our state’s FIRST Lego League tournament Board and served as the Judging Director. I own thehomeschoolscientist and also write a regular science column for Homeschooling Today Magazine. You’ll also find my writings on the CTCMath blog. Through this site, I have authored over 50 math and science resources.