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6 Winter Wonderland Activities for Your Homeschool


Put a spark into your homeschool by investigating the science, history, and more behind your kids’ favorite winter phenomena

Ah, ’tis the season to revel in the joys of winter. Winter is a time of exquisite beauty and the perfect time to explore nature’s changing landscape and the many wonders of the season. Transform your homeschool into a winter wonderland with these fun, winter-themed activities that will delight your children and add a spark of light to your winter homeschool days.

Investigate the Science of Snow

Snow is a fascinating and magical phenomenon, and the beauty of a snowy landscape is one of the joys of the winter season; those frosty crystals that appear to simply float down from the sky and blanket the earth for a winter wonderland are awe-inspiring. So, what do your kids know about the complex science of snow?

Let’s investigate. Read “The Story of Snow: The Science of Winter’s Wonder” by Mark Cassino, and marvel at the gorgeous photos of real snow crystals.

Now, let’s dig in. Mix up a batch of snow ice cream from freshly fallen snow. It’s easy and so delicious. All you need is about eight to 10 cups of clean snow, one teaspoon of vanilla, and a 10-ounce can of sweetened condensed milk. Put the snow in a large bowl, then add the vanilla and the milk and mix it well. Dish it out and let your kids add finishing touches of sprinkles, syrup, whipped cream, or fresh fruit. And, of course, your snow cream freezes remarkably well, so place any leftovers in an air-tight container for tomorrow.

Dig Into the History of Groundhog Day

Did you know that the very first Groundhog Day celebration took place on Feb. 2, 1887?

Yes, this fun, quirky holiday has a long, rich history originating from the Candlemas Day celebration brought here by the early German immigrants. Pique your children’s interest by reading the book, “Celebrating Groundhog Day: History, Traditions, and Activities” by Karen Bush Gibson.

Hmmm, I wonder how often that furry meteorologist, Punxsutawney Phil, has been correct in his predictions. Encourage your kids to dig deeper to find out if Phil’s weather predictions have been correct more times than he’s been incorrect or vice versa.

Learn About Hibernation

Here’s a fascinating fact: a dormouse (FYI, not really a mouse) is a superhero hibernator and can hibernate for up to 11 months at a time. Wow, now that’s a long nap. No surprise really, as the name dormouse comes from the French verb “dormir,” meaning “to sleep.” The dormouse is an excellent example of a true hibernator. Do a little investigative research with your kids to determine the characteristics of true hibernators.

A wonderful resource to teach your kids all about hibernation is the book “What is Hibernation?” by John Crossingham.

Read Books and Poems About Winter

Cozy up on the couch together and discover the many wonders of winter with some of my family’s all-time favorite books: “The Snowy Day” by Ezra Jack Keats, “Snowflake Bentley: A Christmas Holiday Book” by Jacqueline Briggs Martin, “Carl’s Snowy Afternoon” by Alexandra Day, and “The Snowman” by Raymond Briggs.

End each day on a calming, lyrical note and read poems penned by Shakespeare, Wordsworth, Frost, and many more in the book “Winter Poems,” selected by Barbara Rogasky.

Feed the Birds

Winter is the perfect time to begin feeding the birds. For bird species such as the Northern Cardinal, Tufted Titmouse, Black-Capped Chickadees, and various woodpeckers who don’t migrate to warmer southern regions, food sources such as insects, seeds, and fruit are scarce or non-existent, so they’ll be on the lookout for new feeding stations.

Attract birds to your yard by decorating your trees; cut several mini bagels in half and slather them with peanut butter, press each piece into a bowl of birdseed, add a twine loop, and hang them on your trees.

Host a Family Winter Olympics

Keep your family active and entertained this winter by hosting your own unique Winter Olympics.

Who’ll win the sledding race? Pair up and be the first sled-pulling duo to slide across the finish line.

Hang a couple of hula hoops from the laundry line, then team up to see who can make and throw the most snowballs through their designated hoop.

Did you know that the world’s tallest snowman was created in Austria and stood almost 125 feet tall? Wow! Is your family up for this challenge? Work as a team to build a snowman as tall as Dad or as tall as one of your trees.

Resources:

The Story of Snow: The Science of Winter’s Wonder” by Mark Cassino

Celebrating Groundhog Day: History, Traditions, and Activities” by Karen Bush Gibson

What is Hibernation?” by John Crossingham

The Snowy Day” by Ezra Jack Keats

Snowflake Bentley: A Christmas Holiday Book” by Jacqueline Briggs Martin

Carl’s Snowy Afternoon” by Alexandra Day

The Snowman” by Raymond Briggs

Winter Poems,” selected by Barbara Rogasky

Karen Doll

Karen Doll is a freelance writer and homeschooling consultant based in the small village of Wassergass, Pennsylvania. She enjoys writing about homeschooling, gardening, food and culture, family life, and the joys of chicken keeping. Visit her at AtHomeWithKarenDoll.wordpress.com



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