After Christmas Break, we’re deep into winter, so we begin our Winter Wonderland Unit.
My six Work Centers are the same for every unit: dramatic play, art, science, math, writing, and listening. The students will do one center each day over two weeks. We do three Work Centers the first week, and three Work Centers the second week. After students complete their one Work Center for the day, they can go to any Free Choice Center they choose.
My Dramatic Play Center is set up like an ice rink. Since it’s often too cold to go outside and play, we need some way to get some energy out and use our gross motor skills!
I laminate two huge pieces, adding blue of paper and snowflakes to make it look like ice. I use clear packing tape to connect the two pieces, and to tape it to the floor. I reuse this ice rink year after year, so it’s not too wasteful! I also have some hot cocoa set up. Students scoop brown pom-poms into mugs to practice their fine motor skills.
To ice skate, students take off their shoes and slide around in their socks. They LOVE it!
At the Art Center, students make a snow globe. There are a lot of steps to this project, but it turns out super cute!
- Marble paint the inside of the snow globe. I roll several marbles in white paint and drop them onto the blue circle. Students roll the marbles back and forth to create a snow effect. (I use the lids of boxes of copy paper)
- Students get their scissors and glue. They cut out the hat for the snowman. Then they glue on the snow balls, the hat, googley eyes, and the snow globe base.
- The students decorate their snowman with marker. They can add buttons, a face, carrot nose, scarf, stick arms, etc.
At the Science Center students color, cut, and sequence a snowman. The snowman is built, decorated, the sun comes out, and he melts.
At the Math Center, each student has his/her own set of numbered penguins 1-10. They have to put the penguins in order, and then use counters to count the right amount for each penguin. You could also use Goldfish Crackers to feed the penguins…I just didn’t get to the store in time!
At the Writing Center, students match mittens with upper and lower case letters. They sit near the word wall so that they can easily see the letters if they need some extra help.
At the Listening Center, students listen to the winter story, Penguins to the Rescue! I love the bright illustrations in this story.
Free Choice Centers:
After students complete their Work Center for the day, they can choose a Free Choice Center to play in. I switch up the toys for every unit and try to find things that go along with our current unit, or season, to put out for students to play with.
At the Free Choice Art Center I found some winter dobber papers, which the kids LOVE to do! I also put out scraps of paper, stickers, markers, and glue to let them create.
Since being back from Christmas Break, I wanted to review letters as much as possible, so I put them out at the light table! The kids were great at putting them in order and spelling basic words.
In the sensory table, I put rainbow rice, diggers and scoops, funnels, and measuring cups. I also put out a hand held broom and dust pan for the students to clean up any messes 🙂
Another Free Choice activity I put out are my Counting Penguins Cards. You can find them in my TpT store. Students use clothes pins to clip the correct number of penguins on each card. It’s a fun way to practice counting, number recognition, and fine motor skills.
We made these snowmen one of our first days back from Christmas Break. Funny enough, we made them on a 70* day! Ohhhhh, Oklahoma weather!
The students had to count the number of letters in their names, get that many snowballs, and then write their names on them, putting one letter in each snowball.
We also made these cutie pie snowmen (on a much colder Oklahoma day!) I saw the picture on @livelaughilovekindergarten Instagram, and I had to try it out! I precut the white squares that the students glued into a pile. Then the kids cut out the arms, eyes, mouth pieces, and nose. They also got to pick their background color. I liked doing different colors to brighten up the dreary winter.
We did one final snowman project during our Winter Wonderland Unit. This one my aide did with the kids. She used a puffy paint mixture of glue and shaving cream, and the kids cut out the pieces.
For morning work, my students rotated among my January Morning Work Tubs. My students sit at five different tables, and each morning the tables would complete a different activity together. These are a lot of fun, and I have one for every month. Check out my Morning Work Tubs Bundle here for 20% off!
If you’re interested, you can find all of my Winter products here. Listed below are some of my favorites:
What do you do in your classroom for Winter projects and centers? Leave a reply below!