FREE Printable Winter Break Bucket List for Preschoolers

winter break bucket list free printable

 

School is out for my daughter tomorrow and even though I am usually full of ideas during the winter break it’s not always easy to make time for messy art projects especially if your playroom is being used as a temporary guest room.

I came up with this little winter break bucket list for my daughter and students in mind. It’s packed with simple ideas to pick and choose from. Maybe our list doesn’t fit your kids, that’s fine but I encourage you to make your own with ideas you can do for your kids to choose from. I will be baking and cooking, and cleaning, cleaning, cleaning in the next few days too.  While I do that I will have my daughter choose an idea she can do close by. I also tried to include some ideas that can be done after dinner for families that aren’t together during the day.

What would you add to our list?

To print this out simply click on it and press print. You may have to click the box in the printer pop up that says “Fit the page” but that’s it!

Easy Snowflake Christmas Ornaments

snowflake craft for kids I titled this craft as and easy snowflake Christmas ornaments because that was our plan with this activity but my daughter has chosen to leave her snowflakes as decorations for her floor so it looks like it’s snowing in her room. It doesn’t matter if you turn your snowflakes into something to hang on the tree or something to facilitate pretend play like my 4 year old did, the fun is in creating them. I was just digging through my craft closet looking for shiny things to glue on these foam snowflakes when my daughter saw the highlighters. They were still in their package and if there is one thing this girl loves it’s opening packaging. Those packages that drive most people nuts, she sees as a personal challenge. All she wanted to do was open the pack but then she saw how bright they were and together we decided to use them to make easy snowflake Christmas ornaments. The results were awesome. These simple little snowflakes are so pretty and my 4 year old totally got into making them carefully dotting the foam.

Gather your materials. You will nee some white foam snowflakes ( psst! They are at Dollar Tree right now!) , highlighters in various colors and if you want to turn them into ornaments you will need some sparkly pipe cleaners. I have glitter glue in the picture but we never used it. You could but the simplicity of the colors on the white were too pretty to need any glitter. easy snowflake craft for kids

Mix one ( or more) kids, some bright and fun highlighters and snowflakes! easy snowflake art project for kids

Don’t you just love simple things? I loved watching her mutter to herself as she carefully dotted the foam. I didn’t tell her to make patterns or keep the colors symmetrical but you could use this project to teach both. I just let her go. snowflake crafts

If you are turning the snowflakes into ornaments cut a standard size pipe cleaner in two, poke a hole into the foam, and twist into a loop. snowflake christmas ornament

Or you can just keep coloring them ! We were doing this for so long I had to go downstairs and start dinner. When an activity goes that well I will find more supplies and make sure to leave them out in the playroom. Sure enough she found her way in there the next day to make more. easy snowflake ornaments

Books About Snow

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jack frost snow

 

Here Comes Jack Frost by Kazuno Kohara is another fantastic book that will have you aching for snow. A little boy is lonely after his friends have all gone into hibernation for the winter when Jack Frost shows up. They frolic and play exploring all the fun that winter has to offer friends but when the first signs of spring arrive Jack is gone. The illustrations are perfectly simple and will suck you into a wintery world that you won’t want to leave. My kids love this book and after one reading at the library we bought our own copy.

snowbots

Snowbots by Aaron Reynolds is funky, fun , and full of really awesome rhymes. The robot reality is a sweet one and my kids totally dug this book. We were picking favorite robots in the first few pages and loving the book more and more as we read it. The story is a familiar one but with the substitution of robots instead of humans basic snow day things get more interesting. My son loved the snowball fight and my daughter was all over the pink robot. I loved how they had cereal with gasoline and an oil bath. A huge hit with all of us.

White Snow Bright Snow

White Snow, Bright Snowby Alvin Tresselt is a total throw back to another time and it’s awesome. I love books that haven’t been updated because they offer readers a chance to go back in time and get a glimpse of the past. The story is about a town expecting a snow storm and how it’s different residents prepare and deal with it. The animals , adults , and kids all go about it very differently. The character that stood out for me was the policeman’s wife who doted on her husband and cared for his cold with a mustard plaster. I told you it was a total throw back! I didn’t know they still used mustard plasters in the 40s but that’s why these books are such treasures for kids and parents alike.

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Need more snow books? Check out our full list here!

 

 

Snow Window – Winter Activity For Kids

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winter activity for preschool Snow has clobbered many of you along with freezing temps but here in the Pacific North West we are still green and wet and needed to make our own snow . Whether you are in sunny Florida or too cold to go outside Minnesota you can play with snow and stay warm while you do with this fun indoor winter activity for kids . This is a fun exploration that is opened ended and really encourages creativity. My daughter ran with it and I love what she made. She has always wanted to make a snowman and even though we’ve never had enough snow ( that she can remember) to make one she managed to make one with this winter activity .

Gather your materials. You will need some contact paper, painter’s tape ( you could use real tape but it might muck up your windows), cotton balls, q-tips ( some cu in half) , cotton pads and a window! snow themed preschool activity

Start by taping the contact paper to your window sticky side out. I find it’s easiest if you tape the top edge on first then peel and tape the sides and bottom last. snow window sticky window activity

Get the snow bits ready by the window and invite your child to explore.  As she created she told me all about how this was her yard and it snowed and she was playing…Snowflakes came first…snow activity for kids

Then she discovered that dabbing the cotton ball created little puffs of cotton on the window.snow mural for preschool Very similar to when we made a pompom window last year. cotton ball snow window art activity

Snowman time!snow window activity for 3 year olds

She didn’t forget arms. snow window toddler activity

I loved watching her and really didn’t get involved at all. This was all her. snow windowShe explored textures, shapes, and cause and effect with serious intent while also working on fine motor skills and storytelling as she went.

Books About Snow

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un-brella

Un-Brella by Scott Franson is such a cool book. There is not a single line of text in the book , and it’s not missing a thing! The illustrations are so vivid, so layered and tell the story perfectly. A little girl has a magical umbrella that brings sun on a snowy day and snow when her yard is green and sunny. My 2 year old was beside himself laughing and saying “No no” to the little girl wearing her swim suit in the snow. Grab this book and enjoy!

snow snow snow

Snow! Snow! Snow!by Lee Harper captures the excitement of a snow day spent sledding and defying gravity for those precious few moments as you zoom down the hill. My son gave the book a thumbs up but my daughter wasn’t as into it although when the 3 dogs in the book landed with a thump both kids were giggling. Edited to add :  The next morning my daughter ran to this book and smiled the whole way through loving it! Funny how 8am reading gets a different response than 5pm after a long day.

the snowy day

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats is a classic. Some classics are the type of books that lose their relevance and leave readers wondering what the hype is about. This book is timeless. A little boy goes exploring in the snow and discovers his world in a new way. The illustrations are magical and the way that  they convey the emotions this little boy experiences throughout the day are nothing short of perfect.

15 Winter Crafts & Activities For Kids

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winter crafts for kids Winter may not technically be here for a few more days but last week sure felt like winter !  I thought I would take a break from all the Christmas posts and share some of our favorite winter crafts and activities for kids. Some of these are really old and it’s fun to look back at how little my kids were but it’s also great for all of you looking for activities for kids of all ages. I hope you can find some fun.

Cork Painted Snowflake 
Simple Penguin Craft
Winter Sensory Tub & Fine Motor Play

winter activities for kids
Arctic Ice Sensory Tub
Cotton Ball Snowflake
Winter Train Table Play
Hole Punch Snowflakes

hot chocolate math for kids
Hot Chocolate Math
Writing Letters In The Snow
Cupcake Liner Snowflake Garland

footprints in the snow playdough play
Footprints In The Snow Winter Playdough
Marshmallow Snowflake
Letter Snowman
Winter W
Popsicle Stick Snowflakes

Books About Snowmen

snowman books for kids

It’s the coldest night of the year so far here in Seattle and I am crossing my fingers for a snow day. If I get my wish you can bet we will be outside building our own snowman in our front yard. Even if we don’t see a single flake fall tomorrow we can still cuddle up with a good book ( or video… see below) about snowmen.

the snowman

The Snowman by Raymond Briggs is a beautiful wordless picture book that I could not find anywhere! I have read it before to classes full of kids and love the illustrations but was so sad that I couldn’t find the book to read to my own kids. I actually thought we’d read it before and searched to see if I’d previously reviewed it but we never had.  Luckily I remembered there was a video made and YouTube provided a nice backup.  The story is about a little boy who makes a snowman and after he is called in for the night keeps checking to make sure it’s still out in his yard. After going to bed he tosses and turns and can’t sleep and then the magic happens and the snowman comes to life. The little boy and the snowman explore the little boys house then the snowman takes the little boy to explore his magical world. My children loved the video . The music that accompanied the beautiful illustrations brought the whole magical story to life .  Knowing how the story ends with the snowman melted in the front yard I was anxious to see how my kids would react. My son said ” That’s what snowmen do, they melt. Just the way it is.” I can’t wait to track down a copy and read it to them .

snowmen at night

Snowmen at Night by Caralyn and Mark Buehner I love this book and actually looked for 2 hours in our playroom and storage room convinced I owned it but misplaced it. I don’t. I finally sat down to read it to my daughter at her school last week. She liked the snowmen but wasn’t as into it as I suspect she will be next winter. The story is adorable but a little sophisticated for a 19 month old. My son has read it and loved it, because it taps into a child’s imagination perfectly. The author imagines a world where snowmen come to life and party at night when we are sleeping, which is why they always look a little different in the morning. I remember my son looking at me and asking ” not really right?” when we read it a few years ago. I love the whimsical illustrations with fun points of view that makes the reader feel like they are in on a real secret. Great book for preschoolers, I was a little over eager reading it with my daughter but it’s so good I couldn’t wait to. { Edited for 2013 My daughter did appreciate this and the Christmas themed book in the same series much more this year than last!}

snowmwmw

The Biggest Snowman Ever by Steven Kroll is a cute winter book that holds a fantastic message inside. The book tells the story of a snowman making contest in Mouseville, two little mice work so hard by themselves but it’s just not enough until they join forces. Competition is not a bad thing but sometimes cooperation is even better, I really like this book.

snowbaby

Snowbaby Could Not Sleep by Kara LaReau is a sweet winter themed story about a little Snowbaby that simply can not get to sleep. He counts snowflakes, his Snowmama gets him extra snow because he was too hot and still he can’t sleep. What finally gives him enough comfort is when his parents make him his very own Snowpuppy to snuggle all night long.  I like gentle books like this because as a child I had terrible nighttime anxiety and as a mom have always been very gentle at bedtime until I knew my kids felt secure enough to handle each new stage of nighttime independence. My daughter who is 2 loved this book .

a really good snowman

A Really Good Snowman by Daniel J. Mahoney plucked my heartstrings and then some. This is a story of a annoying little sister who always finds ways to ruin her older brother’s fun, and his avoidance of her . He’s just an average big brother, and when she tags along to a snowman building competition he ditches her for his friends. When some bullies tease his little sister , he does what every mother hopes their older child does and stands up for her. Then seeing he needs her he leaves his friends and joins her snowman building efforts.  It’s a sweet story but not so sweet it’s unrealistic. Also the illustrations of all the different snowmen will make you laugh , my favorite is the Elvis snowman!

Snowman-in-Paradise-231x300

Snowman in Paradise by Michael Roberts is genius. There I said it. I very rarely think that of books. I like the majority of books I read and think there are so many good ones to share but I don’t want to return this one to the library, I want to keep it! The book is about a snowman from Manhattan who is glum after Christmas and wants to go on a vacation too. A magical bluebird grants his wish and he flies first class to a tropical island , with the only rule being he needs to come back in time for Christmas next year. This book is written like the traditional “Night Before Christmas” and although I thought the copy would be too long for my son at first , I was so wrong. The rhymes are unique , my favorite being :

In May after splashing with buckets of paint, He threw down his brush, saying, “Gauguin I ain’t.”

Even if some references are more for the adults reading it than the children listening , both parties will close the book smiling and wanting to start all over again. Grab it and see why I love it so much!

Snow-Party

Snow Party by Harriet Ziefert is a magical book that celebrates the biggest holiday for snow people, the winter solstice. I wish I had had access to this book when I was teaching because it’s a perfect way to read a story about celebrations without focusing on one tradition, or leaving out another. The illustrations are beautiful and the idea of snow people eating and dancing in the middle of the night is delicious!