Winter is upon us. If you use a unit study or child-led learning approach you may be looking for simple ways to make the most of the long cold winter evenings. Or, you’re looking for a way to take your school days outside for a while even on a cold and snowy day. These family winter activities will help you make the most of your winter days in your homeschool.
As the snow falls, building a weather unit around the winter weather is easy. A great part to add to a winter weather unit study is a study of the snowflakes themselves. Place a black sheet of paper or fabric outside in the snow to catch snowflakes then use the macro setting on your camera to get close-up shots with your child to observe each snowflake. Take this time to talk about the geometry of each snowflake and how each is unique.
Use your nature journals to track the weather each day. How many days of snow did you get by the end of winter? How many inches did you measure in your own backyard? The weather is a great way to study math, science, and history as family winter activities.
Handicrafts and history
The winter is a great time to study things like handicrafts and the history around them. Snuggling up on the sofa and learning how to knit or sew is a great way to spend a cold winter afternoon. These handy crafts are a great base for a winter unit study. Take the time to use counting stitches to work on counting and patterns, and take the time to look up the history of the craft you are learning with your child and the ways it has been used in the past.
Cooking and geography
When it is cold many people turn to nice warm food for comfort. Cooking with your child is a great way to build life skills, work on math and reading skills, and to simply connect with your child on a deeper level. Warm comforting food makes a great base for cultural studies. Use this time to try new comfort food. To do this explore foods from different parts of the country or even the world. You can use this time to study and learn a bit about each place you are cooking a dish from.
To make it even more fun print out a map at the start of the season and mark off each location you study and enjoy food from. See how much of the map you can fill in over the winter. Turn it into a tradition and use a different color to mark each winter’s lessons or have each family member take a different place and color code where each person has explored already.
In the winter after a fresh snow, you can take the time to go for a walk and look for animal prints. Take a picture of the animal prints as you go for a walk. Then when you get home for the day take some time to look up animal prints and do some research to learn about each animal belonging to the prints you found. This is a great way to study earth science or zoology while working on basic research skills that are essential to building strong leaders. Plus it’s fun family winter activities.
One of my favorite winter books is Owl Moon. When you read this book to your kids, you’ll dive into owls which is a fun winter animal. If you want family fun winter activities with Owl Moon, check out our Owl Moon Activities for Kids. As you read Owl Moon, be sure to look for figurative language.
Another way to investigate winter animals is by watching for backyard birds. Try making a goldfinch sock while you’re over there.