Winter in early childhood settings is a fun and exciting time for young children. Children are noticing more changes in the season’s, Christmas coming up and the much colder weather. Winter within early childhood can be explored in many different ways. Maybe the child is experiencing snow for the first time, exploring the winter clothing, discussions about things that happen in winter, the list is endless. Exploring winter as a whole for children gives children a new learning of the world around us. It may include winter animals such as the polar bears, penguins or exploring the colder hemisphere and staying safe during winter. It may include a discussion on the weather forecast, a woodland walk that includes flowers such as snowdrops or bluebells, or maybe creating a winter collage. Below is a list of art and activities;
Art and Activities;
- A discussion about winter clothing. For example, hats, scarfs, gloves, wellies and a coat. This may follow about wrapping up warm when playing outdoors.
- Paper puncher paper as snow within a sensory tray. it could have items such as hats, scarfs, gloves etc.
- Making a snowy tree. This may be made with brown tree cut out and using a cotton bud and white paint painting snow onto the tree.
- Creating their own hat using a paper plate, wool and materials such as gems or paint etc. The children can decorate the pattern on the hat and using cotton wool as the bobble on the hat.
- Make your own snow owl. This may be made by painting white onto black paper or card. The wings may be made by cutting a paper plate in half. The eyes may be made using yellow paper or paint. For further detail cotton wool may be stuck onto the snowy owl. To add further detail the child could dab grey paint onto the owl.
- Make your own cardboard decorated wellies using materials such as paint, gems, cotton wool, stamping etc.
- polar bear using white cotton wool and either white paper or card as a bear shape. The child may paint black paint or black paper.
- Create their own penguin. The child cuts out black paper penguin shape. Then using white cotton bud and white paint for the middle of the penguin. The child then would cut out a orange/yellow triangle for the nose and orange/yellow circles for the feet.
- Sensory winter bottle using a plastic bottle, water, silver glitter and icicle shapes.
- Painting pebbles as penguins, snowy owl, polar bear or snow fox.
- Ice cubes sensory tray. The ice cubes could be mixed with blue food colouring. The early years educator could explore with the children how ice stays frozen in winter, then using a little mildly warm water (keep child back from warm water) explore how in warmer weather snow melts. This may led to discussion on the artic hemisphere.
- Animals that live in the hemisphere, polar bear, penguin, snowy owl, cheetah etc.
- white stars using modelling clay. The child could create the shape and paint and glitter to decorate their star. This may led to the song twinkle twinkle little star.
- A conversation about being careful when their is snow and ice. E.g. questioning and exploring and thinking. Questions such as should we run in ice? Can we always see ice?
- A winter picture. Paint a sheet of white paper or card. Paint using light and dark coloured blue paint. Using a cotton bud dab white paint. Then using glitter (silver or blue) sprinkle on the picture.
- A discussion on the differences outdoors during winter. e.g. trees have no leaves apart from fir trees(Christmas trees).
- Make their own mug using lollypop sticks. The child sticks the lolly pop sticks to a mug shape (white card or paper). The child can decorate their mug as they want. The child then can make the handle on the mug using pipe cleaners or card.
- Sensory winter tray using cotton wool balls and icicles, blue gems, stones, pine cones.
- Sensory feely bag using cotton wool, glitter, paper cones etc.
- Make a snow globe. A plastic jar and cotton wool, glitter, pine cones into the jar. The child may make their own snow tree, winter animal or person for inside the jar. It may be stuck into the jar using playdough.
- Winter playdough. White playdough using glitter and cinnamon fragrance.
- Winter construction area. With blue stones, gems, cotton wool, glitter.
- Decorating a Cookie as an icicle.
- ginger bread penguin using black, yellow and white icing.
- Marshmello stamping or make a marshmello animals.
“Snow provokes responses that reach right back to childhood”
“When there’s snow on the ground , I like to pretend I’m walking on the clouds”.