Animals in Winter Preschool Activities and Winter Animals Crafts.
The theme Animals in Winter engages children in a series of activities and games that teach about animal behavior in the wintertime. Hibernation and migration are two concepts that children explore through puppet shows, literacy, songs, movement, and rhyme. Animals include bats, bears, birds, badgers, deer, geese, foxes, frogs, ladybugs, monarch butterflies, snakes, turtles, and more. In addition, children have opportunities to pick up animal habitat vocabulary such as burrow, cave, den, and nest along the way.
Samples of our animals in winter crafts, and bird and winter animals preschool activities and resources available inside our KidsSoup Resource Library:
Discuss and review information about animal behaviors in the winter learned from read-aloud Animals in Winter books. Let children point out animals that sleep for all or part of the winter and other animals that migrate to warmer places during winter.
* some animals go into a deep sleep called "hibernation" and cannot be woken up; their heart rate and breathing slow way down (examples: gophers, some bats, frogs, snakes, and ladybugs)
* some animals sleep during what is called a "temporary hibernation" or "torpor" but can be woken up if needed and will get up every once and awhile to look for food if it is not too cold (examples: bears, badgers, skunks, turtles)
* some animals that live in cold northern climates move to warmer southern climates during winter. Point out cold areas in the north and warmer areas in the south using a globe. Explain that many animals that migrate have wings which help them to move quickly from one place to another. They include several bird species and even butterflies.
* some animals grow thick winter coats and hunt and search for food
* some animals stay warm in their nests
Animals in Winter Word Wall Cards (Printables available inside our KidsSoup Resource Library)
Use the word wall cards as children learn about the different ways the animals behave during the winter month.
Animals in Winter Emergent Reader and Reading Activity (Printables available inside our KidsSoup Resource Library)
Animals in Winter Rebus and Reading Activities (Activity and printables available inside our KidsSoup Resource Library)
Make a Bear Cave
Cover a table with a brown bedsheet or blanket. Let children pretend to be bears getting ready for winter.
Bears are Sleeeping (Visual Memory)
Set out a small box with flaps cut off and four bear cut-outs in different colors (red, yellow, green, brown). Discuss with children that many bears hibernate in a cave during winter. Instruct children to cover their eyes. Then, cover one or two bears with the box. Have children open their eyes and name the missing bear(s).
Bear Cave Craft (Activity and pattern available inside our KidsSoup Resource Library)
Make a bear cave out of a brown paper bag.
The Bear (Finger Play)
Here is a cave, (Make a fist)
Inside is a bear. (Place thumb inside fist)
Now he comes out
To get some fresh air. (Pop out thumb)
He stays out all summer
In sunshine and heat.
He hunts in the forest
For berries to eat. (Move thumb in circle)
When snow starts to fall,
He hurries inside
His warm little cave,
And there he will hide. (Place thumb back inside fist)
Snow covers the cave
Like a fluffy white rug.
Inside the bear sleeps
All cozy and snug. (Cover fist with other hand)
Feed the Deer Board Game (Activity and printables available inside our KidsSoup Resource Library)
Discuss with children that many animals have a hard time finding food during winter. Explain that deer start to prepare for the winter months before the temperature begins to drop. In the late summer and fall, they eat lots of acorn and nuts to build up fat that will be their winter fuel. They store the fat around their internal organs and under their skin. Their dense coat keeps them warm. Deer also seek shelter. During winter they eat buds and twigs of woody plants,
Animals in Winter Role-Play
Have children spread out in an open area. Explain that you will present one winter animal behavior at a time for children to act out in their individual spaces. See the following list for example scenarios:
How do birds keep warm in the winter? On cold, wintry days, most birds fluff up their feathers, creating air pockets, which helps keep the birds warm. The more air spaces, the better the insulation. Some birds perch on one leg, drawing the other leg to the breast for warmth. To keep up their high metabolic rate, most backyard birds eat rich, high energy foods such as seeds, insects, and suet.
Feed the Birds Fine Motor Skills
Sprinkle some bird seeds inside a plastic plate or on a piece of white felt. Let children pretend to be birds by using their index finger and thumb to pick up the seeds and place them inside a container.
Feed the Birds Letters of the Alphabet Matching Game (Activity and printables available inside our KidsSoup Resource Library)
In much of North America, winter can be a difficult time for birds. The natural food supply has been consumed or is hidden by snow. Most insects are dead or dormant and water can be hard to find. You can help feeding birds in the Winter with your own homemade bird feeder. By putting up a bird feeder in your yard, you can attract birds and you will be able to enjoy watching them and seeing them feed.
Bird Feeding Tree
Help your children decorate a tree in your yard or decorate a handful wintry branches with peeled apples, pinecones rolled in peanut butter and birdseed, beef suet, fresh cranberry garland, carrot slices, stale bread, and orange slices.
Here is another idea for a simple bird feeder. Visit beneaththerowantree.blogspot.com for instructions and tutorial.
Feed the Birds Word Families Folder Game (Activity and printables available inside our KidsSoup Resource Library)
Cheerios Bird Feeder
Materials: Big pipe cleaners and Cheerios. Make a knot or a hook to one end of the pipe cleaner and have children string Cheerios until one inch from top on the pipe cleaner. Bend the end of the pipe cleaner so Cheerios stay on. Hang from a tree branch for birds to enjoy.
More great bird feeder ideas:
Cornmeal or oatmeal
What you do:
Tie a string to each pinecone. Mix shortening and cornmeal or oatmeal into a spreadable paste. Let each child use a craft stick to spread the shortening mixture onto a pinecone. Then, have him/her roll the pinecone in birdseed on a paper plate. Hang the pinecone feeders from tree limbs and take time to observe the birds as they visit for a meal.
Sunflower seeds are a great overall seed to offer in the winter. Feeders should be located out of the wind.
Feed the Birds
Original Author Unknown
(Tune: Row, Row, Row Your Boat)
Feed, feed, feed the birds
In the wintertime.
When the days are dark and cold,
Food is hard to find.
Feed, feed, feed the birds
Till the spring has come.
Scatter birdseed on the snow.
Feeding birds is fun!
|Don't Wake Up the Bear!||Hibernation (Patterns in Nature series)||In the Snow: Who's Been Here?|
|The Big Snow||The Busy Little Squirrel||
|What Do Animals Do in Winter?||When It Starts to Snow||Time to Sleep (An Owlet Book)||The Animals' Winter Sleep|