22 Winter-Themed Activities for the Kindergarten Classroom


When it’s time to come back from winter break or Christmas break – it’s time to hit the ground running in kindergarten. There is explosive growth that happens from now until the spring in both reading and math.

Let’s capitalize on that learning-growth spurt and plan some great winter kindergarten activities.

Here are winter-themed math, science, and literacy-based activities, along with some art projects, crafts, and a set of free worksheets that I have found.

I hope they can be helpful to you as you make your January and February lesson plans.

Math activities

Here are two math resources that help you pick up where you left off in December and grow your learners.

Winter bump

free Wintertime adding bump game for kindergarten with 2 dice

Grab this free winter-themed math addition game for kindergarten. Your kinders will play “bump” using dice and linking cubes (or another manipulative) and work on adding numbers.

You’ll love that this game includes multiple levels so it’s already differentiated for you.

Frozen composing teens

Practice composing numbers 11-19 with this fun, Frozen-themed game. Students play on a printable game board, moving characters like Sven and Olaf after they make numbers using groups of tens and ones.

First one to the snow-capped village wins!

If you have a class that loves Frozen movies, you may just want to use this entire Frozen unit for the month of January.

Winter estimation

Winter estimation activity for kindergarten - cotton balls on polar bear outline

As students are learning larger numbers in the second semester, capitalize on seeing such numbers with this simple estimation activity.

All you need are fingerprints and cotton balls! So fun and perfect for winter.

I think it’d be a great tie in to using ten frames to predict how many and record their findings.

If you want to differentiate – just use the polar bear template laminated and use marshmallows to estimate. [Use mini-marshmallows for students who can count up to 100, regular-sized marshmallows for students working with numbers to 30, and jumbo marshmallows for students who can count to 20.]

Science activities

Let’s dig into science with simple, standards-based activities.

Expanding snowman

Ziploc bag full of snow with hand-drawn snowman face
source: sciencekiddo.com

When the snow hits your area (or grab a bag of ice at Sonic or ice cubes and grind them in a blender) then you’re ready to make an expanding snowman.

You can easily make this as a class, or the supplies are cheap enough for everyone to do the activity. Use brand-name freezer storage bags for best results.

Students watch Alka-seltzer interact with snow and you can observe and discuss what changes take place.

Snow slime

Did you know you could make this?

Penguin toy on top of white slime mountain
source: epicfunforkids.com

I think this super-strong snow slime recipe would make for the coolest writing springboard…

Let each kinder have a turn to create a scene – snap a photo and print it out for them to use as a book front cover or writing prompt illustration.

Go from science to writing in one awesome afternoon.

Here is a great alternative snow slime recipe that doesn’t require hard-to-find ingredients.

Igloo STEM challenge

Igloo made from mini-marshmallows on styrofoam plate
source: makingmerrymemories.blogspot.com

Students plan and design how to make an igloo in small groups using simple supplies. Then they test out their plan by using the simple materials.

Grab some marshmallows, frosting, and use the empty frosting container – this could be fun!

Turn this into an individual STEM challenge by substituting mini marshmallows and a condiment cup or styrofoam cup as a base.

How do penguins stay dry experiment

Water droplets form on a crayon-resist colored penguin

Explore how penguin feathers help them to stay dry in the Antarctic waters.

I like this idea since it is really simple and uses materials that are easy to produce in the classroom. Each student can do this activity.

Another good activity that explores how arctic animals (including some penguins) stay warm is to make a blubber mitt. We did this every year as a whole group experience.

An alternative idea is to crease the paper down the middle and only color on one half of the penguin. That way students can see what would happen if the oily residue didn’t exist on the penguins feathers.

Literacy-based activities

Let’s connect reading skills to all things winter.

The Mitten easy reader

Open The Mitten emergent reader

This is a free printable emergent reader that comes in four different levels. You can make a set to keep in your classroom or make one for students to take home.

This is based on the popular book, The Mitten.

Here are a few more resources and activities you my like based on The Mitten for kindergarten:

Sneezy the Snowman

5 Clever Sneezy the Snowman Activities for kindergarten

Enjoy exploring these 5 clever Sneezy the Snowman kindergarten activities – they are awesome!

This story is hot on most kindergarten teachers’ lists. It’s a cute read aloud and these activities make it super simple to extend the story.

January kindergarten read-alouds

Read books! January is a great time to fit in extra read-alouds.

Here is a list of great read-alouds for January to go along with the winter theme (and many of these resources on this list).

Art activities

These art activities turn out beautiful. Each project focuses on the creative process and each kinder’s creation turns out unique.

Winter mittens art – warm and cold colors

Warm and cold colors mitten art project
source: klassenkunst.com

These tissue paper mittens turn out beautiful. The warm and cold color contrast turns makes these stand out as a beautiful display.

Here’s how to make it:

  1. Cut warm colors of tissue paper and glue it onto a mitten outline. Cover it completely and past the edges.
  2. Cover it with Modge Podge to make it shiny and everything lay flat.
  3. While it’s drying, paint a background piece of paper by dabbing on blue and white paint – mixing the colors with a sponge.
  4. Add white snowflakes (maybe stickers, stamps, confetti or die cuts) on the blue background.
  5. Cut out the dry mitten.
  6. When everything is dry, glue (or hot-glue) a clothespin on to hang the mitten in front.

Pull-off polar bear paint project

Polar bear imprint left behind with paint around
source: playtolearnpreschool.us

Oh my goodness. I love this pull-off painting project with winter colors! Although – you could totally do it with any shape if you didn’t want to do a polar bear…

Use a combination of strong fingerpaint paper, tempera paints in blue and white, and an artic animal cut from a piece of newsprint paper.

The process is rather simple, a little messy and the final product turns out awesome.

Oil pastel and watercolor snowflakes

Kindergartner painting with watercolors around a snowflake
source: wondersinkindergarten.blogspot.com

We did this and I loved it! {okay, my students loved it too}

Investigate how the shapes of snowflakes are unique (using your favorite books and videos) and then create a snowflake masterpiece.

Students will draw a snowflake using a pattern, outline it with white or gray oil pastels. Then by painting a background in shades of blue and purple watercolors, the final product is just as unique as each snowflake!

Snow crafts

Here are some snow-related crafts that are just right for the kindergarten classroom.

Snowman craft

Cut some simple shapes to make this snowman craft. The perspective of the snowman looking up to the sky is what makes this uber-cute.

You’ll need construction paper, scissors and crayons or markers to make this one happen.

Planning for a sub this month? Stash this project away for them to work on with your class.

Snowman directed drawing

Row of kid-drawn snowmen
source: proudtobeprimary.com

This turns out so sweet! A snowman directed drawing art activity with step by step directions so everyone can do it

Sponge-painted snowflakes

Blue snowflake with glitter cutout
source: terrificpreschoolyears.blogspot.com

Cut a large, simple snowflake shape from blue construction paper to make these sponge-painted snowflakes.

Make splotches of blue and white paint and then dab to begin blending the colors together. Finish off with some glitter. Beautiful!

Other winter resources

Here are a few more worthwhile-mentions of winter-themed resources I didn’t want you to leave without seeing.

Paper plate snowman

Kid behind paper plate snowman cutout
source: meaningfulmama.com

Snap a quick cute photo with this easy paper plate snowman craft. You can also skip the popsicle stick and print an enlarged photo of your students face in the hole.

This would make a great display piece to accompany a writing prompt of “if I were a snowman.”

Winter worksheets

Oh man, you know that I loathe worksheets, right? But, I also know that a time comes when you need to pull one out or find one you like and want to use it in your centers as a rinse-off overhead.

So, if you need some worksheets to stash in your substitute folder for January – this printable worksheet set is just right for kindergarten standards.

Let’s wrap it up

There you have it – winter activities for a kindergarten classroom that are fun and hands-on.

I hope these can help you save time as you plan your lessons.

Need more for January? You might like these 17 Kindergarten Videos for January – Read, Move and Learn!

Woah, wait. Are you about to hit the 100th day of school? So many schools have their 100th day of school fall in January and February.

You may just want to read How to Plan a Not-So-Crazy 100th Day of School (or Any Minor Holiday) so you can use the daily classroom routine you’ve built to your advantage.

And here are 13 Free 100th Day of School Ideas and Activities for Kindergarten so you can pull off a fun, themed day with learning at the forefront.

More Themed Activities for Kindergarten

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