You may think of winter as a time for indoor activities and a break, but there’s so much kids can continue to learn even when the weather is cold. As long as they’re dressed appropriately, kids can still discover, explore, and connect with the nature all year long. Here are 10 ideas for ways kids can learn about nature things kids can learn during winter
1. Snowflake Science:
Teach your kids all about snowflakes and how they’re formed. Kids can learn about the intricate crystalline structures of snowflakes and even try catching a few on a dark-colored cloth to see if they can spot how each snowflake is unique.
2. Wildlife Tracking:
With snow on the ground, animal tracks become more visible. Our yard is particularly busy with wildlife even though we’re in the middle of town and my kids love seeing all the different footprints when it snows.
You can take a trip through your yard or a local park and see if the kids can identify the animal tracks they see. Kids can learn to identify tracks from various animals like rabbits, squirrels, deer, and birds, providing insights into local wildlife and their winter behaviors.
Winter birdwatching introduces children to species that stick around during the colder months. Set up a bird feeder near a window and observe feathered friends like cardinals, chickadees, and sparrows. This a great nature activity you can enjoy from inside your warm cozy home.
My kids also love racing out in the cold to refill the bird feeder every few days or weeks.
4. Tree Identification:
Winter is an ideal time to teach kids how to identify deciduous and evergreen trees by their bark and branches. The absence of leaves allows a closer look at the tree’s unique characteristics.
If you have evergreens in your yard, let the kids help you decorate them for the winter holidays while they learn. Or search for pinecones to use inside to make winter crafts.
5. Starry Nights:
On crisp, clear winter nights, introduce kids to the wonders of stargazing. Identify constellations, planets, and even meteor showers that grace the winter sky.
You can also download a stargazing app to help you find and identify everything you see in the night sky.
6. Ice and Frost Formation:
Teach children about the science of ice and frost formation. Explore how water freezes, and experiment with making ice crystals using simple household items. Start learning inside and then explore outside to see if you can find the naturally occurring frost and ice you learned about.
7. Winter Phenology:
Discuss the changes in nature during winter, such as animal migrations, hibernation, and plant dormancy. Encourage kids to keep a winter nature journal to document the changes they can see.
8. Evergreen Survival:
Explain how evergreen trees adapt to survive the winter. Discuss photosynthesis, needle structure, and how they conserve water during the colder months.
9. Winter Geology:
Take the opportunity to explore geological features in winter. Discuss the formation of ice dams, icicles, and snowdrifts. Visit a nearby frozen river or lake and discuss ice formation.
10. Environmental Responsibility:
Winter also provides an excellent platform for teaching kids about environmental responsibility. Discuss the importance of conserving energy and resources, as well as protecting wildlife during the cold season.
Winter is the perfect time for kids to explore nature in a new way. By teaching kids about snowflakes, animal tracks, winter birds, and more, you can foster a lifelong appreciation for the environment and a curiosity for the ever-changing seasons.
Remember, there’s no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong clothes. So, bundle up, embark on a winter nature adventure, and create fun memories for your family.
Save these winter learning ideas for kids to Pinterest so you can find them when you need them: