#2093. Winter theme activities compiled: Snow, The Mitten, Weather

other, level: all
Posted Sat Dec 30 07:52:16 PST 2000 by Compiled from primary chatboard and mailring ().
Concepts Taught: Theme: Winter, Snow, The Mitten, Weather,

Posted by Laura/K/TX on 12/29/00

~~Winter Ideas. . .Let's Share~~ **<:-)
Hi again everyone.
I have compiled all the links, activities, sites and ideas
posted here on the mailring and on the chatboard. . . This is a
great compilation of things. Thanks to all who sent things. . .
Just to show how it all began. . .I included my original posts.

Hello everyone,
I will be teaching a winter unit when we return from the
Holidays...of course I am still "doing" Christmas duties at
this time...but wanted to get a good jump on ideas I may
want to use. I would like your great ideas on winter
clothing, snow, snowmen, animals in winter and great
literature/math activities, which revolve around the topic.
Let's share....
Here are a few of mine:
#1 We will read The Mitten and The Hat. . .and do a Venn
diagram comparing and contrasting the two stories.
#2 We will Sequence the Mitten characters and act out the
story with the masks and mitten activity from Jan Brett's
#3 We will play a math game that helps us dress up for
winter. Children roll the correct sum using dice to dress
the paper doll kid. (This is a game I made up)...you could
make up a similar one with any Weather Doll type kit...or
of course draw your own.
#4 We will draw 4 "things" we see in Winter and write them
in creative writing project...In winter I can see ____,
____, _____ and _____, but never ______.
(of course where I live in Texas...Winter is almost
a "fantasy" thing...most of the children I teach haven't
seen it or even experienced it...so I do a lot of "make
believe snow type things) snow ball fight with paper
snowballs, etc.
#5 We will read the Book Snowballs and create our own
snow people out of paper plates, paint and other saved
#6 We will paint our own self-portraits wearing winter
hats and scarves and place in the windows...like we are
looking out at the Snow.
#7 We will make snowman soup and even invite our 3rd grade
buddies over for some...while viewing the Snowman Video.
Ok....now I need some new ideas too.
Anyone have something they always love to do...or would
like to try this year ...if you are teaching a winter unit?
Thanks for your help.

Hi all,
I remembered that I will be using these books from Little
Readers.com too for
my winter study. Our team purchased all of the books to
use as interactive,
supplemental readers for our Reading program. The children
can't wait to
make the next book...they love the pointers...It fits
nicely with Building
Blocks and Predictable Charts too...for those of you using
that method.
The Snow child,
The Penguin Book
How To Make a Snowflake
The Footprint Book (can find a similar idea at Kim's shape
and the book from Totline...Jean Warren Publishing...Snow
on the _____
The kids have loved this series of books all year long.
They have a rhyming
pattern (ABCB) to them and every other line/page rhymes.
The last rhyme is
always...and ______ everywhere!
Whew...thanks for the good posts ...keep 'em coming..and
before we know
it...we will have a beautiful...snowy unit...with more than
enough ideas for
even the longest winter!

First of all, your ideas are really good and I will most
likely use some of them, especially since I teach in 2
languages (I teach in a Jewish Day School in NY and we do
most units in English and Hebrew) and many of them will be
wonderful vocabulary builders.
One game that I made for my class is the "Snowman Game."
It teaches numeration and 1-1 relationships. I made 10
snowmen on 10 8X11 cards (oak tag or card stock). Each
snowman has a number, 1 - 10, on his hat. These cards are
laminated, but you can cover them in contact paper if you
are not as fortunate as I am to have such an incredible
resource. The snowmen are dressed with hat, scarf, carrot
nose, broom, etc, (be creative - the more artsy you are,
the "prettier" the snowmen look). I have a box of buttons
available, with a miniature copy of these snowmen on the
cover. The idea is to match the number of buttons to the
number on the hat. If the snowman has a 6 on his hat, then
the child has to put 6 buttons on the snowman. For some
reason, the kids really go nuts over this. I made this
based on an activity I read in one of the activity folders
from imagination station.
Another activity that the kids can't seem to get enough of
is our matching game. I used this for Chanukah, but you
can adapt it for any occasion. For winter, I would choose
5 or six "winter things" like a snowman, scarf, hat,
mittens, galoshes, etc, and make a graph. I used 5 colors
across the top (red, yellow, orange, blue and green) and
the six objects down the side. Then, I colored each object
in each color. For example, for the scarf, I would have 5
identical black and white scarves, and then color each in
one of the colors that I chose. There would be a scarf to
match across the entire row. That would be true for each
object. if you have 5 objects and 5 colors, you would have
25 cards. Then, the children have to match the red
mittens, for ex, to the correct box on the graph. You'd be
surprised how many children have difficulty with this.
It's good for tracking and problem solving.
I hope I explained this well enough - it's a great
activity, they can do it themselves while you work with
others in a directed activity. I plan to make more of
these, for other holidays and events. Good luck, and
thanks for the ideas!

From Susan McBride-Wentzell
Another teacher at my school did a neat snowman art project
for one of her centers. She cut out large stars for each
of the students, which they painted, blue at the top, and
white on the bottom. It looks like a snowy night when
finished. Once the backgrounds were dry, the children made
snowmen out of cotton balls and used pieces of construction
paper to decorate them. They made a really nice bulletin
board display.

Posted by Marci McGowan
Have you seen Colleen Gallagher's new Winter site? Lots
to do there.

Posted by Colleen Gallagher WA
I am trying to develop a "January center." So far I have
a "build a snowman" activity. You have the pieces, colored
and laminated, and the kids can use their creativity to
a snowman. We are also studying hibernation and winter. I
found a great site for a cute bear book for the kids to
make. It is www.foresitecom.com/kindernet/bears.html
We have a mural that shows a cave, underground tunnels,
and the kids color and attach pictures of animals where
would be spending winter
Here are my winter theme links that include my ideas,
links, and others ideas... ENJOY!
http://www.geocities.com/teachingwithheart/snowyunit.html -
Link to a snowy Unit...
- here is a penguin unit
http://www.geocities.com/teachingwithheart/mitten.html -
here are some ideas to use with the mitten...
http://www.geocities.com/teachingwithheart/snowyday.html -
here is a snowy day unit...
Hope this helps --

Posted by Carol Weinberg
If you go to my site, I have numerous penguin links. Hope
they are helpful

Posted by Susan McBride-Wentzell
The Art teacher at my school did a neat art activity for
winter with the other Primary class. She had them paint
and dab snowflakes on blue construction paper. Then on a
piece of Manila paper, she had the children sketch
themselves with winter clothing on, using a black crayon.
Once they had sketched themselves with the black crayon,
they colored in the sketch. Then they cut it out, and
glued it to the blue construction paper with the snowflake
background. They are really nice. I plan to do this with
my class in Jan.

Posted by Jane in SC
I am going to take The Jacket I Wear In The Snow and have
the pictures of the
clothing color copied. Then the children can use the
pictures to:
match-clothing pictures to word cards
put the articles of clothing in the right order
retell the story.

Posted By Jamie
Hi- one of my favorite things to do with the kids is to
freeze ice in different shaped containers. Kids can bring
in any paper cups, buckets, anything. We fill them with
water and sit them outside to freeze, checking while we are
in school to see how long it takes to become frozen. The
next day we bring in all of our frozen containers and empty
the ice into a large plastic bin, small pool etc. The kids
make ice sculptures by stacking the shapes together.
Sometimes we squirt a little food color on them to change
the color. We use flashlights to look at the different
reflections. The kids love it.
I am in the East (plenty of cold weather here) but if you
are in a warm climate you could
freeze smaller sizes in a freezer?

Posted by AHolgersen
Read aloud - Frosty the Snowman
Discuss and chart - What would you do with a magic hat?
Children write - If I had a magic hat I would ....
Make a snowman's head and design a magic hat.
(I have patterns for the snowman's head and for the hat.)
Graph - Do you wear gloves or mittens in winter?
Take a big mitten and ask the children to estimate how many
objects will fit
in the mitten. Ask a child to suggest an object that is
found in the room to put in the
mitten. The child puts the object into the mitten.
Continue with this
process until the mitten is ready to burst. Count the
objects and compare estimates.
The children are always surprised about how many objects
will fit in the mitten.

Posted by Ardis
Read "The Mitten" (any version).
Display one mitten/glove from each child. The class should
guess which one would hold the most unifix cubes. Then -
Each child takes his own mitten/glove and stuffs as many
cubes into it as he can. (You could use any small
as long as you have l-o-t-s of the same kind for everyone.
ever, we can stack the unifix cubes later.) When the
is full to the brim, each child empties out the unifix
cubes and
then connects them into one long train. Stand them up
a wall - on a countertop, chalk ledge, table, or floor.
(Use a few
strips of tape to anchor them) Count the cubes - affix a
label above it with the amount.
The kids are a-l-w-a-y-s amazed at how many cubes can fit.
The winner??? ALWAYS -- the little stretchy one-size-fits-
glove!! Regarding my recent post, each child should make
his OWN
train of unifix cubes using the cubes that got stuffed into
mitten I have a photo of last year's display.

Posted by Susan Nixon, CPT
Here's a linking site where you might find some activities,
but they would
have to be adapted:


If you follow the links from the main page, you are sure to
find something
you want to try. I liked the fishbowl snowman. =)


Ooops! The fishbowl snowman is here:



Posted by Jodi on 12/22/00
Here in Minnesota ALL of my students get plenty of
with snow :-) Some of the books and activities that I like
Froggy Gets Dressed by Jonathan London
Thomas' Snowsuit by Robert Munsch (I got any activity idea
to go
with this from The Mailbox last year that has students
color a
snowsuit picture and draw or put a picture of themselves
the "hood" with the caption underneath ______________ is
wearing a snowsuit. We then put them together and keep it
the classroom library.
The Jacket I Wear in the Snow by Shirley Neitzel
The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
My students also enjoy making "Rainbow Snow" which is an
I picked up here last year. You use water-based markers to
on a coffee filter then drip or spray water on it to make
colors blend and mix. After it is dry fold and cut into a
snowflake design.

Posted by darsue on 12/24/00
I make my dramatic play area into a winter park scene. I
keep the Christmas tree (up with no decorations, of
I also keep a table to use a park table. We add a few cups,
spoons, teapot, and such for pretending to serve hot
chocolate. The big hit of this play area is our wooden
interactive snowman / snow lady. A few years ago - I had my
husband make me a wooden snowman that stands over 4 feet
tall. He has dowel stick arms and I attached Velcro in
various areas for facial add-ons and also for buttons on
tummy area. Then I put Velcro on large buttons, wiggle
artificial carrot pieces, and so forth for the children to
attach to our friend. I have MANY mittens, gloves, scarf,
hats, and winter gear to add to the snow "person" as well.
The children LOVE to play in this area. For some other
winter ideas
1. We graph how many people prefer to wear mittens /
(We also spend time discussing the difference between
& gloves before we read The Mitten.)
2.We learn about opposites as we discuss the
of the winter season. We make ice cream to reinforce the
sensation of COLD food.
3.I purchased several little snowflake ornaments and I put
them in an empty peanut butter jar. The children estimate
and guess how many snowflakes are in the guessing jar (I
record their answers on a poster to display.) They also
guess how many snowballs (large marshmallows) are in the
guess jar during week 2 of our winter theme. The children
love to see how many items are REALLY in the jar when we
count the items later during circle time. *(We use a guess
jar every week that is theme related. It is great to see
children's responses develop as the year goes on!)

I use GUESSING JARS every week ... depending on my theme in
room ... I have used plastic snowflakes, candy canes,
legos, crayons, shells, pretend moon rocks, dinosaurs,
mice, silk flowers, hearts, birthday candles, pennies, OH
MY ...
the list goes on and on. Anyway ... I made small, laminated
poster signs with pictures and the question "How many
_______ are
in the guessing jar?" Every week - I put these little signs
the top of a large piece of construction paper - where I
record each child's name & their guess / estimate of the
of items in the jar. (These little signs could also be
and folded into tabletop signs and placed next to the
jars.) At
circle time, later that day, we actually count the items in
jar. *** For older children - (or for preschool children
in the year) they could write their own name and/or their
numeral for their guess / estimate on the chart. (I'm also
working on making a velcro name / numeral guess board for
responses!) I have saved up MANY plastic peanut butter jars
during the last few years - to fill for guessing jars. The
have lots of fun with this activity. I put together a book
the pages of the different ideas for the guessing jars I
made so far ... perhaps I should publish it someday!!!

Posted by Rosemary on 12/26/00
Hi, I make hot chocolate in a crock-pot. It doesn't get
hot, just nice and warm. Also, if you sprinkle Epson salts
paint, it gives a frosty look to the paintings. I wouldn't
this with younger than K, just in case some one wants to
it. Enjoy your holidays.

Posted by Deb on 12/27/00
I have my kids draw a winter picture on light blue
construction paper.
They use crayons and I tell them to press heavily. Then I
miss some Epson salt
in water and they paint over the entire picture.(Not sure
of the
measurements, but I usually dump a fair amount in.) When it
it is beautiful. This year I am going to try some samples
darker paper to see what it looks like. The light blue will
probably show the kids pictures better but we'll see.

Posted by Deb in snowy Nebraska
Here is a cute snack idea to do with the children after
reading Jan
Brett's "The Mitten" Story.
Make after children are familiar with Jan Brett's "The
Small size pita breads
Animal crackers
Grated coconut (I use unsweetened)
1. Give each child pita bread half to be the "mitten", a
small pile of coconut, and a few animal crackers
2. Encourage the children to put their animals into
the "mitten",
then add some coconut "snow"
3. Eat!

More Winter themed ideas...
Posted by Peggy/k on 12/28/00
Here are some more winter ideas from snowy, cold
Illinois.1. We are going to use unifix cubes to measure
different sizes of gloves and mittens.2. I like to teach
the kids how to fold paper and cut snowflakes. We use glue
sticks and clear glitter to decorate them. I did this
activity with 4's too; just precut some round circles to
fold.3. We put snow in a cup and ice in another and predict
which will melt first.4. Build a snowman game, cut 4 plain
snowmen from cardboard. Cut hats, mittens, scarves, brooms,
buttons etc... from colored paper to dress the snowman. To
play, children take turns spinning a homemade
spinner that has the color words written on it. They read
the color word and put that color clothing on their
snowman. The first to put all clothes and parts on the
snowman wins. With 4's, I write the color words in color on
the spinner instead of black.5. We make a class book.... I
wear _______ in the snow.6. We play the more and less game
from math their way but use winter scenes as math mats and
round white counters for snowballs.7. We make a winter
words book in the writing center. They just 5
draw winter items from a picture word wall and copy the
word under their picture. They love to read them to their
friends. When they read their book to three people, they
get a winter treat.
Happy winter, keep all the ideas coming.

Posted by Joan Roettger
I'm not teaching this year, but a favorite activity from
past years focused
on a poem:
Snow makes whiteness where it falls.
The bushes look like popcorn balls.
And places where I always play
Look like somewhere else today.

I cannot remember the author of this poem or where I first
found it--my
apologies to the author. The students would write it
neatly on writing
paper. Then we would make a picture to go with it. The
two would be
mounted together--usually down the hall outside our room.

To make the picture we started with some discussion
centered on "snowy
pictures" that I had collected or found in books. I wanted
to help them
see that the details were missing; that we could only see a
large shape, or
just the main outline. I asked everyone to get in their
mind what scene
they would create. Then I demonstrated creating my
backyard. It is little
and has 1 tree and 1 small bush separated by a gentle slope.
I would start with a piece of white construction paper.
Then using a fat
black marker, I put in the trunk and just a few branches of
the tree and
3-4 of the main stems of the bush. I might also draw the
curve of the
slope. Then I added the "snow". Using air-popped
popcorn and glue (one
that dries clear) that has been poured out into a shallow
paint dish, I
would dip the corn into the glue and then place it on the
sketched out scene.
Sometimes we made the popcorn in class. Sometimes I had it
made ahead of
time. Either way, I tried to make extra for nibbling after
the pictures
were complete. We always had fun!
Then I would demonstrate starting my picture using
a blank piece of white construction paper.

Posted by Kathleen Carpenter
That is a lovely poem. I did a search for the phrase, The
bushes look
like popcorn balls and it turned up the poem and title on a
nice site:

FIRST SNOW - by Mary Louise Allen on this page which has
other good
at http://www.iup.edu/~njyost/KHI/winter.html

Posted by Anne-1st-Seattle
We will be starting our science unit on weather when we go
back (in five
short days!). I tie this into a geography unit, beginning
at Antarctica,
moving north as we study penguins. We also learn about
landforms, how
weather is affected by them, and about the continents.
Here are some of the
sites I've book marked in the past.

Arctic Region 1
Weather Thematic Unit

Antarctica Penguins

Antarctic Penguins (Adelies and Emperors)
Weather for Teachers and Parents

One of my favorite things to do when we study the penguins
is to discuss the
height of several different ones, from Little Blue to the
Emperor. I then
put pictures of the penguins with descriptive paragraphs on
a bulletin board
in the hall. The board is pretty low and we put the
picture at the height of
each bird. I have a tape measure stapled on the side on the
board, too. We
then have each child draw a picture of himself/herself and
write a little
paragraph. Then we measure the kids and put their pictures
and paragraphs at
their heights, too. It's titled, "How do you measure up?"
It goes well with
a math unit on measurement, too. It's fun to see kids from
other classes
come by and compare themselves with the penguins and with
our class.

This whole unit leads very nicely into the ecology unit for
Earth Day. I'll
be at school tomorrow getting my things down and going
through my materials.
I'll try to add more ideas later.

Posted by Pam Elliott
I have a unit on the weather with some fun experiments--
you might like to
check it out at:
http://myschoolonline.com/ME/Mrs_Elliott Have fun. We
finished our unit
before Christmas and had a lot of fun while learning about
the weather.
With our home made barometer we were better at predicting
the weather than
the TV channels we recorded.

Posted by Rachel
I saved this from Cheryl/NH last winter...I plan to do it
with my
3's next week....
One thing we did this week for our Snow theme was to mix
equal parts
of white glue and shaving cream...it is like puffy paint
and dries hard in
one day. We are going to do it again next week but add
paint first.
It was great-the kids loved it. It has the same texture as

Posted by Kate
Baby food jars filled with water and a teaspoon of glycerin
and some sparkles. Attach toy to lids with fimo
will hold for years. Paint lid with acrylic. Fimo is a
craft clay somewhat like plastecine but it cooks hard.
Don't cook it for this craft and don't use plastecine. You
can find
it in craft stores.

Posted by TW
If you go to Mizlett's great site and click on 'Winter'
find a great snow globe made from cardboard etc. Mine
turned out
great and the children all proudly took them home for the
holidays. The only change I made was to use overhead
transparency plastic instead of food wrap.
http://www.geocities.com/mizletts/index.htmlMizlett's site

Posted by Wilma
The paper snow globe on Mizlett's website is one I created.
had planned to use laminating film on the globes, but when
I made my
sample to show the kids and put the globe into the
horror----my snow globe got caught in the rollers and came
looking like an accordion fan! Thank goodness it was mine
and not
one of the kids.

I have also noticed that not all plastic food wrap is
equal. I forgot to buy it this year and my kids were making
these so
we could hang them before we left on our last day before
vacation...anyway ... I remembered I had some in my science
kit so I
used it--- it just didn't have the same look as last years.
it was old and lost something--I don't know.

Well just the same the kids do like the project and it's
different--we received many complements the last year when
we hung
them in the hall.
You're right the blue part can be made out of blue
paper. The 1 on Mizletts site was made out of cover stock
heavier paper than construction and prettier colors.
Anyway, I gave the
kids a piece of white and blue paper. Told them to trace
the circle
pattern on 1 piece then hold the 2 sheets together and cut
out the
circle they traced. They'll have 2 matching circles --1
blue--1 white.
(LAST year I had the circles Xeroxed on the cover stock--
this year they
traced them on construction paper)

Next, I told them to hold the white circle in their hand
and cut either
a straight or wavy line across the white circle. It can be
from the 1/2 point of the circle down--for this part will
be glued to
the bottom of the blue circle to create the snow in the
Then, they use their scraps to draw and color trees,
people, animals
houses, whatever and glue them into the scene. I also had
them glue
little snowflake confetti that I had bought at the card
store in the
sky part of the blue circle. Now, you can either wrap the
circle in
saran wrap or try laminating the circle. Last, glue the
circle behind
the base of the snow globe. Sometimes I end up taping the
circles on to
the back of the base for the glue doesn't stick well to the
Yes, you can see through the plastic wrap and see the
pictures just as
you see them now on mizletts site. Overhead????? I'm not
sure what
you're talking about--I did not use an overhead to make

Here are places I have book marked for winter and mitten
sites. . .Have fun browsing!
Hummingbird Educational Site

Winter at Kindernet

Winter Activities @ Mother's Home

Winter crafts at Artistic Flair

Snowy Day resources at Teaching with Heart

The Mitten Unit

Let it Snow Let it Snow from xoom

Animals in winter from Science made simple