In honor of the unusual amount of snow that fell today (in October!), I wanted to share some fun ways to learn with snow in your homeschool. Before you know it, the kids will be singing:
“Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.”
Notice I said the kids. Me? Not so much. I don’t really appreciate the falling white stuff as much as they do.
Especially since it’s the middle of autumn and I’m typically enjoy sweater weather and falling leaves right about now. Now we’re freezing cold at night and there’s snow coming down…
But despite my feelings about the matter, there’s something special about snow. And my kids were so excited to see it coming down again. So, they bundled up, and headed out tons of fun and learning in the snow before coming in to warm up by the fire.
They had a blast and didn’t even realize they were learning as they played!
If your kids need a little winter inspiration, here are six fun activities for them to try. For each activity, I highlight a few of the many skills your child will be practicing while playing.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission at no cost to you.
1. Build a Snowman
I dare you to suggest this one without breaking into a certain song from Disney’s Frozen. You know the one. It was seriously stuck in my head all day!
Kids naturally seem drawn to creating things out of snow. Here’s what they’re learning while they build:
- Comparing sizes (the head should be smaller than the body after all!)
- Properties of snow (it’s cold, it’s white, it can stick together when packed if it’s the right kind of snow)
- Creativity (what will make a good nose? How can I pose my snowman?)
- Fine and Gross motor skill practice
- Motor planning (it’s not easy to balance while pushing around a big snowball!)
I think my kids made some especially cute snowmen. They love dressing them, which is another learning activity all by itself!
2. Shovel Some Snow
It’s amazing how fun this task is if you don’t have to do it. Just keeping a snow shovel accessible seems to call the kids’ names, especially my boys. Here’s a picture of my Jeffrey from a several years ago. He’s gotten a lot better at shoveling since then!
Shoveling helps kids practice important skills, like:
- Being considerate of others
- The angle to hold the shovel to get the greatest amount with each scoop
- Thinking through his actions (where should the snow go when he dumps it?)
- Gross motor skills
3. Color Some Snow
My kids love watching snow turn colors. And since a snow spray is easy to prepare, I don’t mind them doing it.
You just need an empty bottle, a few drops of food coloring, and water.
Mix the water and food coloring in your bottle. Then send your kids outside to color snow. You’ll probably need a bottle for everyone to avoid bickering. We like to make them all different colors and then they pass them back and forth.
While your kids are busy spraying, they’ll be learning more about:
- How water spreads as it sprays (which will change how they spray)
- The reaction between water and snow
- How colors dilute a bit when sprayed on a wet background
- The different ways colors mix together and how they can create new colors
They’ll also be practicing their fine motor skills as they use the spray bottle.
4. Go Sledding
It doesn’t take much of a hill to get a sled going. This is another winter favorite of my kids. Every year they spend hours carrying the sled up and down the “mountain” behind the house or the “field hill” out by the pasture.
Sledding teaches kids:
- How to judge risks and take appropriate ones
- A little bit about gravity
- A bit about the laws of motion
- Perseverance (because it’s hard work packing that sled all the way back to the top time after time!)
You can also ask your kids to take a video of each other sledding. We’ve gotten some great gems over the years, as crashes and shrieks have been recorded. These are a lot of fun to watch together on hot summer days, and gives you the opportunity to recall the fun together.
This is one of our favorite types of sleds:
5. Draw with a Stick
The snow is their canvas, and a stick is their crayon. Writing and drawing in the fresh snow is fun!
Your child will be:
- Practicing forming letters
- Improving fine motor skills
- Judging size and proportions to get their picture or message to look just right
- Creating shapes
You can give them things to write and draw, or let them go on their own. They’re sure to have a blast.
6. Use a Magnifying Glass
We have a couple of large magnifying glasses (aff. link) that are pretty kid friendly. They’re great for bringing outside and exploring.
Your child can spend time looking closely at the snowflakes. This is especially fun if they’re outside when the snow is actually falling.
They might even be able to catch some on black paper to check out more closely.
- That snowflakes are different from each other, but share similar properties
- How to compare tiny objects
- How things look different through a magnifying glass than through the eye
When they come inside, they can draw some of the things they discovered about snow.
What are your kids’ favorite activities for learning in the snow?
I’d love you to share your favorites in the comments section.
Also, if you’re looking for indoor activities that let your child learn about this beautiful white stuff, please see this blog post:
This post was first published in 2018. It’s been updated and refreshed.