Updated: Dec 21, 2021
Wouldn't it be great to have fun learning activities at your fingertips during the winter break or in your classroom during the winter months? That is what we aim to deliver at Thoughtful Play - fun learning activities for active kids. Our goal is to provide parents and teachers exactly what they need to save them time, energy, and money while engaging young minds in problem-solving and skill building!
Here are 5 Math and 5 Language Arts/Reading/Writing Activities that you can enjoy today! They are winter-themed and come with a pdf download for printing and coloring, and to use as math manipulatives.
If you want more fun activities like these to engage your little ones who are learning to read and building their math brains, check out our kindergarten homeschool curriculum. The curriculum is sure to be a hit with your kiddos - games and fun activities throughout, much of it is designed for kinesthetic learners, and you'll find it involves short, joyful moments engaged in learning!
Let's celebrate winter with fun learning activities for kids ages 4 to 8!
5 WINTER-THEMED MATH ACTIVITIES
For fun winter-themed pictures to use for the math activities, simply click on the PDF below and print in black and white. Bring out some art supplies and invite your child to color the pictures. This helps build their hand strength. Work together with your child to cut each of them out. Again, a great skill to practice and working on those hand muscles. Put on some holiday music in the background, pour a cup of hot cocoa, and savor the moments together.
After coloring and cutting out the printable above, my kids were begging for the math activities. I know yours will be too!
1. Sort and Compare Winter Fun
Invite your child to sort the winter-themed pictures into categories, count how many are in each category, and compare. On a dry erase board, have your child write the names of the categories and use tally marks to keep track of how many of each item. Finally, write comparison statements (e.g., 8 < 9) to compare the number of characters/items! Ask the question, "Which do you have more of, ____ or _____? Which do you have fewer of, ____ or ______?"
2. How Many Winter Items Are Missing?
Working with each category separately, lay the items out in a line and ask your child how many there are. For example, there are 8 candy canes. Next, have them close their eyes while you hide some of the items under your hand or a cloth. When they open their eyes, ask, "How many are missing?" Continue hiding and asking them to calculate how many are missing. Discuss their strategies. For an additional challenge, combine two categories so that your child is working with more than 10 items.
3. Decorating for the Holidays
Place the candy canes and snow globes in two separate locations within one room. Explain that we need to decorate as quick as we can! Have your child grab some candy canes and some snow globes as fast as they can to use to decorate for the holidays. Hurry, hurry, let's count how many decorations we have all together! Use a dry erase board to have them write an addition equation they could use to solve this problem. Next, have them put the snow globes they collected on a shelf and ask them to determine (without counting) how many candy canes are left to hang up. On the dry erase board, ask them to write the subtraction equation they would use to solve this problem. Once they've hung up the candy canes, start again until all of the items have been used to decorate.
4. A Group of Snowmen and Reindeers
Act out math problems with the snowmen and reindeers that require children to answer the question, "How many more do we need to make a group of 10?" For instance, there are 4 snowmen, how many more snowmen or reindeer do we need to make a group of 10? For extra fun, tape craft sticks to the back of the snowmen and reindeer, and put google eyes on each one! Talk in silly snowmen and reindeer voices as you make groups.
A great scaffold for this activity is to make a giant ten frame on a poster board or cardboard. A ten frame is a large rectangle with 10 boxes total. You can organize it in a 5 by 2 grid or a 10 by 1 grid. This helps children visualize 10.
For a challenge, ask, "How many more do we need to make a group of 20?"
5. Winter Counting
Place all of the items together to count. Start by counting each item, one at a time. Next, try putting the items in groups of 2 and counting by 2's. Do you have an even or odd number of items all together? If you aren't sure, see if there is 1 left over or if there is just enough to make groups of 2 with none left over. Next, put the winter items in groups of 5 and count by 5's. Last, put the winter items in groups of 10 and count by 10's. Please note, you'll need to put different types of items together to make groups of 10. When you counted by 10, did you need to count by 1's beyond a multiple of 10? Which way of counting is the fastest? Why?
If you want to give each of your 3 friends gifts of one snow globe and one candy cane, will you have enough? How do you know?
If you want to share your candy canes with three friends and you want to give them each the same amount, how many can you give to each friend? How many are left over?
If each snow globe costs $5 and you have $23, how many snow globes could you purchase?
If your group of reindeer meets up with 10 other reindeer, how many reindeer will there be all together? What if 10 more join the group, how many will there be then? And 10 more? And 10 more? What do you notice happens to the numbers when you add 10 more reindeer each time?
5 WINTER-THEMED READING-WRITING-LANGUAGE ARTS ACTIVITIES
1. Winter Rhyming
Someone says a word associated with winter. Everyone else calls out words that rhyme with that winter word. Here are some examples of words to use: snow, ice, sled, star, tree, red, green, gift, bell. Keep score on a dry erase board using tally marks under each person's name.
2. How Many Syllables in Each Winter Word?
Work together to say the following words out loud and determine how many syllables are in each word: reindeer, mistletoe, pinecones, sled, skiing, evergreen, ornament, wreath, snow, snowman, bell, angel, candles, cookies, winter, boots, poinsettia, pomegranate.
3. Winter Charades
On index cards, write words associated with winter. Review each word together before you begin the game to make sure your child can read the words. Next, shuffle the word cards and play charades by taking turns selecting a card, reading the word, and acting it out. The other players try to guess the word. The person who correctly guesses the word is the next person to draw. Here's some winter words to use: sled, snow, gift, nut, hug, boots, slip, play, hat.
Alternatively, this game can be turned into Read, Draw, and Guess. This involves reading a word card and drawing a picture of the word, while the other players guess what it is (think Pictionary).
4. Winter Spell & Draw:
Engage your child in a phonics and spelling lesson by teaching them the rules below and use these to help them spell the following 5 winter words: sled, sleigh, snow, star, bell. Invite them to draw a picture for each word!
Phonics & Spelling rules:
sled has the 2 consonants "s" and "l" at the beginning that make a blend - put together the sounds /s/ and /l/ to form /sl/
sleigh is spelled with "eigh" at the end, which makes the long a sound
star is spelled with the letters "ar" at the end that when put together sound like you are saying the letter "r" or you can think of the sound as /o//r/
bell has 2 l's because we double the consonant "l" when it comes at the end of most single syllable word (e.g., bell, shell, ball, fall, roll, pull)
Here's additional words to practice that involve the rules above: slip, slap, cow, how, show, blow, grow, weigh, weight, eight, car, far, jar, park, shark.
5. Create a Winter Wonderland Story
Discuss the difference between fiction and non-fiction texts, and together create a fictional story about a winter wonderland. Add on to each other's ideas, or give your child the reins and record what they say. Start with, "Once upon a time...." and encourage their imagination to run wild! Invite them to illustrate each page by leaving room at the top of each page for pictures. Gather as a family and invite your child to read the story out loud, offering support as needed, for a family read aloud!