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

All our book lists include affiliate links.

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 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.


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



Easy Candy Cane Craft

candy cane craft for kids These tape candy canes are my Christmas version of our insanely popular Tape Mummy. After a long day at preschool my daughter still wanted to make some crafts but I didn’t want to set her up for a meltdown. Instead I grabbed a few simple things and let her create. There is no waiting for glue to dry so these easy candy cane crafts are a great choice for class parties on the last day of school or as a 2nd activity at a cookie decorating party. They are so simple you can do it anywhere.

Gather your materials. You will need some red paper ( card stock would be perfect but all we had was flimsy construction paper… still worked out fine!), some tape in whatever colors you have, a pencil, and scissors. That’s it!easy candy cane craft for kids

Start by drawing a candy cane on your red paper. My daughter wanted to make a bunch so we made them using only half a sheet per candy cane. As you can see my candy canes are far from perfect and I think that’s a good thing. If you want your kids to try to create you have to make it accessible. If we reject ourselves when we are less than perfect our kids will learn from our example. I don’t want to just be sloppy but I want to be accepting of my own efforts so they are not afraid to try.candy cane craft for children

Invite your candy cane creators to the table and let them loose with tape!candy cane craft for kids

Some of our tape ( ours is a mix of masking, washi, and foil tape) was really hard to tear off. I started to reach over and just do it for her and she very rightly told me to stop that she can do it. It’s funny I don’t intervene like that with students, I always wait to be asked for help ( unless there is a danger) but with my own kids I guess I go auto pilot. I need to remember not to.

Pop the tape on!candy cane crafts

And on.

candy cane craft for kids

Or not. If your child is happy with one piece that is rad. I will say ” Are you finished with this masterpiece?” to be sure but if your child is sure, resist the urge to add more on to their art.

When it’s all taped down, cut it out.

cut out candy cane craft

See how it magically turns into a candy cane? Well maybe not magic, but my daughter loved it!simple candy cane craft

I told you they are simple but I think this time of year this is what you need. Something festive but FAST that doesn’t really make any mess.

Need more fast activities for the holidays? Here are some toddler activities to keep them engaged for a few minutes at a time.

screen free holiday activities

Stocking Stuffers For Kids That Promote Literacy

educational stocking stuffersI love learning. I love teaching too but really that moment when a child has grasped a concept or mastered a new skill for the first time and they exclaim ” I did it!” is what keeps me planning lessons for my classroom and this blog. I hope that some of the activities I have shared have contributed to an ” I did it!” moment at your house. Part of supporting our children’s development is to provide the right environment and what better way to add bits and pieces of learning into their environment than with stocking stuffers. I fill my children’s stockings with a random assortment of things but I always squeak in some learning even if they just see the items as fun and new! This list of stocking stuffers for kids are all fun and promote literacy development.

This list contains affiliate links.

bath letters

Have fun in the bath practicing letter recognition with these Learning Resources Smart Splash Letter Link Crabs

toddler bath letters

We used these Little Tikes Bath Letters and Numbers in the bath but we also used them around the house for letter hunts!

best magnetic letters

All kids should have some Melissa & Doug Magnetic Wooden Alphabet they are great for all levels of learning from the earliest stages of letter recognition to spelling!

leapfrog fridge phonics

This LeapFrog Fridge Phonics Magnetic Letter Set is one of many Leap Frog phonics toys that I love.

nursery rhymes

Nursery rhymes are wonderful literacy tools but if you are like me you forget to grab books of them, Wee Sing Nursery Rhymes and Lullabies is perfect for car rides. Frankly I think I just need a break from listening to Frozen. I know I am not alone.

hangman game

This Hangman – Take ‘N’ Play Anywhere Game will fit into a purse well for road trips as well as a stocking! Hangman is a great vocabulary boosting game that sharpens spelling skills too.

mad libs jr

Did you know there are Super Silly Mad Libs Junior ? These are great for Kindergarten and up ( or a little younger with more help) while Christmas Fun Mad Libs makes the perfect stocking stuffer for those a little older. My kids get these in their stockings every year.

stocking stuff spelling

Have you ever played Bananagrams ? It’s a blast and perfect for kids from 6 or 7 and up. Pop it in their stocking and play all Christmas day!

apple stocking

For families with younger kiddos try Appletters but don’t worry older kids will still love it!

rhyming stocking

These Rhyming Words Dominoes Challenge Cards® are great for multiple ages. Older players can model the rhyming while younger children can feel great about making their matches!

story cubes stockig stuffers

Storytelling is a skill that will help your child understand all the elements of literature as well as work on vocabulary and my favorite thing, engage their imaginations! Rory’s Story Cubes is a great stocking stuffer!

stocking storytelling

Storytelling isn’t only for older kids. Children as young as 3 can get in on the fun with eeBoo Tell Me a Story Creative Story Cards – Mystery in the Forest. ( Shhh don’t tell her but my daughter is getting these in her stocking this year! )

stocking stuffers scene

Take storytelling with you ( maybe to visit Grandma for New Years?) with this Create A Scene Magnetic Enchanted Kingdom !

stocking stuffers spot it

Spot It is a great game for waiting at restaurants, on planes, or even around the dining room table. It focuses on visual perception which is important for reading, but don’t worry pre-readers can play no problem.

coloring stocking

Learning to write starts with making marks and coloring is a great way to prep for writing. This Crayola Hello Kitty Mini Coloring Pages will slide right into a stocking!

smelly pencils stocking

Make writing fun with these smelly pencils Original Smencils 5-Pack or if your child is all about glam try these Fiskars Gel Pens .

journal stocking

Journals are wonderful ways to get your not too keen to write kids writing. I like this Q&A a Day for Kids: A Three-Year Journal because it has prompts built right in! journal 2 stockingIf your child doesn’t need prompts but wants privacy pop one of these Top Secret Lock & Key Diary into their stocking.

bookworm stocking

This book is brilliant. Bookworm Journal: A Reading Log for Kids (and Their Parents) lets kids record the books they’ve read in one place. This is wonderful for kids who like to rank, rate, and compete with everything.

bookmarks stocking

Toss some Robots i-Clips Magnetic Bookmarks into the stocking and your kids won’t be able to wait to use them.

book light

A book light like this Energizer LED Book Light is perfect for independent readers. Letting kids stay up a little later to read is a great message to them that reading is worthwhile.

You might be wondering why I don’t have any books. The list would be very very long and instead of you picking out a book for your child why not pop a $10 Amazon Gift Card or  one for a local bookstore and take them to pick out their own. If that doesn’t promote reading I don’t know what will!


books for kids

If you need book suggestions we have a lot. Start here and our book gift guide here.

Link Up ! All Kid Related Activities & Parenting Advice!

rp_link-learn-2014-455x178111111111111.jpgI know a lot of you do activities with your kids but you also write wonderful articles with parenting advice and education articles. I think today in addition to the regular early learning activities we should dig through our archives to find some great posts that might be helpful to other parents.  The holidays can be overwhelming and many of us can use any help offered!

If you are looking for great parenting resources my Pinterest Parenting board as some great pins as well as one of my favorite blogs Not Just Cute. Best parenting blog hands down.

So link up and have a wonderful week!