Looking for some fun things to do this winter break? Even though the weather is chilly, these activities provide the perfect reason to bundle up and get outside! And many of them provide follow-up to enjoy once you are warming up back inside.
Go outside, specifically to notice the beauty of the outdoors together:
While on a walk, draw your child’s attention to items of interest that are unique to the season – watch frozen droplets on leaves, the stillness or rushing of a stream, the wind rushing through tree branches. With a magnifying glass, you can explore various bits and pieces – such as old leaves, peeling bark or ice on a puddle – close up.
Make treasure hunts:
Create a list of pictures and work together to find all the items on your list. This is a wonderful activity in park or garden but it can also be done at home. For an added challenge, an older child might be asked to count what they find. I still remember counting all the door handles in my home when I was child; counting closets, cupboards, etc.… there were a lot!
Make outdoor art: Collect and use mud, water, leaves, twigs, soil, seeds, grass and whatever other interesting pieces you can find. Using a large plastic tray or a cookie sheet, arrange the objects into patterns, print them into playdough, glue collages, make them into shapes, or incorporate them to create a picture.
Create a Winter Forest scene:
Take advantage of all the twigs lying around at this time of year. A quick trip to the park or garden for a stick hunt ensures you’ll have everything you need. Search for a good variety of shapes and sizes, specifying a maximum size. Once you’ve gathered all your sticks and enjoyed some hot cocoa, you can glue the twigs one by one to a piece of thick paper using PVA or wood glue (such as Herkules). The goal is to re-create a winter forest of bare branches. Once it’s dry, children can draw in details.
Make a homemade bird feeder: Providing a winter food source outside is a wonderful way to help your local wildlife and supply you with lots of great animal watching during the winter. There’s lots of wonderful bird feeder tutorials on the internet. Here’s one that we really like!
This article is a contribution by Pherooz F Karani, Head of School, International Montessori School of Prague. Photo Courtesy: IMSP, Catherine Huges