Inside: 5 fun winter activities for lower elementary students to practice their fine motor skills, avoid the chill, and engage in art and craft-y learning!
Whether it’s snow, rain, or the chill keeping kids inside, we educators can always make learning fun for our littles. Themed activities are great for this, as they not only help kids build connections with the world around them but also make learning fun.
These 5 winter activities for lower elementary students are fun, hands-on, and learning-based—a perfect trio for indoor winter activities for kids!
Winter activities would be too boring without arctic animals and characters (like the Yeti, snowmen, etc.) that our kids already love. This is why I always try to add lots of animals to my preschool and kindergarten activities. Kids instantly recognize and connect with them. Add fine motor skills with ELA or math to the mix, and you have a fully engaged, boredom-proof class!
Here are a few such activity ideas that your learners will love. And the best part is that they’re no-prep or low-prep, so you can save some time and energy while the kids learn!
1. 30 Days of Winter Scissor Skills and Cutting Practice
Save time and fill your lesson plans with engaging activities that are print-and-go! You and I know we are always looking to add more fine motor practice to our lower elementary learners’ routines.
These winter-themed 30-day cutting practice shapes are my go-to winter activities for lower elementary kids. You’re covered for an entire month!
Kids use these pictures to:
- write about the picture (optional!)
- learn more about winter animals and vocabulary.
Each of my 30 day seasonal cutting shapes packs comes in 3 sizes, so you can save paper if needed or easily differentiate and meet different learners at their own level.
Give smaller, more challenging cutting shapes to kids with advanced scissor skills, and use the full-page cutting pages for smaller kids.
The 30 days of practice is enough to make improvements on a skill! You won’t only be working on their scissor skills, but also flexing their consistency muscles!
Fun Tip: Consider adding a Winter Scissor Skills Calendar or guest list. Kids can name, guess, and/or discuss a shape every day while tracking their progress. Display them on the bulletin board or paste them in a notebook or folder to see progress. I have also glued them to craft sticks to make puppets. Use the craft stick puppets for a fun drama or to go with winter read-alouds.
2. Arctic Animals Coloring Pages for Letter Reversals
When kids return from the winter break, much, if not all, of their learning needs reviewing. But letter reversals are a pesky issue that kids can struggle with even during their routine. It is helpful to slow down and give them visual discrimination practice where they encounter confusing alphabet letters together. These arctic animals coloring pages do just that. All you have to do is print and copy!
Each coloring page has a mystery color-by-code picture of an Arctic animal with letters that kids commonly confuse with each other.
There are 8 coloring sheets, and I have included letters my kids have struggled with, like b/d/h, p/q/g, n/u, m/w, c/e, i/j, g/q, t/f, a/o/c/e, v/w/x/y/z that students will pay special attention to while coloring. This activity combines
- letter recognition
- visual discrimination
- mystery reveal/critical thinking skills
- learning about Arctic animals
Fun Tip: Ask your students to share fun facts about the Arctic animals they color. Or extend it into a mini-research project.
You can use these winter coloring pages as morning work, indoor recess, or early finisher activities. Or send it home as additional work for students needing extra practice.
3. P for Penguin Differentiated Alphabet Letter Craft
Kids can never get enough of alphabet crafts! Winter is the perfect time to build your letter P penguin craft and practice:
- Letter recognition
- Letter sound
- Coloring/fine motor practice
- Cut and glue skills
- Spatial placement or assembling a craft
There are three crafts in this pack. Penguin letter craft, penguin crown hat, and panda letter craft.
Because different kids have different crafting abilities, I make all my letter crafts differentiated. You can choose from color and black-and-white versions, between a one-page option, where all craft pieces are on a single page, or a two-page option for kids who may find the closely placed craft pieces difficult to cut. You can also choose to cut out the pieces yourself and let kids color and assemble them only if the shapes are too difficult for the kids to cut.
Fun Tip #1: Showcase everyone’s penguins around your classroom and add scenic props to make a polar scene
Fun Tip #2: Let kids choose their penguins in unique colors and experiment with gluing their parts in different ways. For example, placing eyes close to the bill (or away from it), arms in a waving position, doing a peek-a-boo, etc. to create different-looking penguins from the same template while understanding spatial placement.
4. Yeti Differentiated Craft
Y is for Yeti craft is another one of my alphabet letter crafts that you can use for a fun winter learning craft activity. For differentiation, this craft also comes in black and white, colored, and one- or two-page options.
If you use the b/w yeti craft template, ask learners to use their imagination and select colors they think a yeti should be in—letter recognition, letter sound practice, fine motor skills, and creative expression all in one!
Fun Tip: Create a colorful “Yeti Land” display in your classroom by showcasing all the colorful letter y yeti crafts.
5. Build a Snowman Craft Clock for Telling Time
Do you wanna build a snowman… with a math twist? I wrote step-by-step instructions for building this snowman craft HERE.
Kids earn snowman parts by completing Telling Time task sheets. Once the task sheets are complete, cut them into circular snowballs and staple them together to form a round flipbook. That snowball flipbook goes on the tummy of the snowman once it is complete, as shown in this picture.
You can simplify this craft by removing the clock craft part, and only enjoy building the snowman using the template in the printable pack!
What Winter Activities for Lower Elementary Are Your Go-Tos?
Save these ideas for later!
Pin the image below to your favorite classroom Pinterest board, and save these winter activities for lower elementary kids for when you need quick ideas!