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Have you headed outside to enjoy some fun winter nature activities with your preschoolers? If not, now’s the time to go explore the uniqueness of winter.
Whether you’re experiencing snow or just colder temperatures, winter has so many unique opportunities to see things in nature that you can’t see any other time of year.
Step outside, and start exploring winter with your preschoolers today.
Winter Nature Activities
1. Look for Tracks in the Snow
Winter is the perfect time to look for tracks in the snow!
First head outside and look for an area where the snow hasn’t been trampled down. Look under trees or near bushes. And study the area for tracks. If you don’t have snow on the ground, look for muddy areas instead.
See if you can find deer tracks, cat tracks, or dog tracks. Can you tell the difference between the tracks? What about squirrel or raccoon tracks?
Take pictures of the tracks and when you are back inside, enjoy a cup of hot chocolate together, see if you can identify the tracks you found.
2. Rope Off an Area In the Backyard
Take some string and rope off an area in your backyard for your nature study. This area can be as small as a foot by a foot in size or a yard by a yard. It doesn’t even have to be a square! Just rope off a small area in the yard for you and your children to study.
I would recommend keeping the string on the ground so you don’t accidentally trip children running in the yard.
Now examine what’s in the area.
- Do you see any tracks?
- What types of plants are there?
- Ask your child if they see any seeds in the area. Identify as many as you can.
Now head outside every few days to see what has changed. And encourage your child to draw what they see in the roped off area.
3. Set Up a Birdfeeder
I love watching the flocks of birds gathering in my yard during the winter. They gather, chirp, and nibble at the seeds on the ground.
One way to develop a love of nature in your children is to set up a birdfeeder in the yard. Just choose one of these easy birdfeeders to make with your children. The set it up in the yard and see what types of birds gather to eat.
Be careful about what you tie your birdfeeder up with. I tried using yarn last year. The squirrels chewed through the yarn until the birdfeeder fell to the ground.
The squirrels loved eating the birdseed. But no birds came to enjoy the feast.
Keep a book about birds near the window. Your children will love referencing the book to discover the types of birds coming to visit.
4. Walk Around the Neighborhood
Walk around the neighborhood with your kids and take a look at what you see.
- Observe the changes in the trees.
- Note how bare the branches are.
- Point out the differences between the evergreen trees and the deciduous.
Look at where the birds are gathering and talk about what birds like to eat. Why are they gathering where they are?
See if you can see tracks of deer, squirrels, and birds as you walk.
Point out the crispness in the air, the snow, the mud, and the clouds!
Walking around the neighborhood is a fabulous and easy way to start nature study with your children.
5. Study Snow
Make a point of studying the snow with your children. Learn how snow is made.
Point out the differences between snow, rain, and ice. See if you can catch a snowflake on your tongue.
Take a magnifying glass outside. Can you see how each snowflake is different?
Read Snow Is Falling with your kids. It’s a simple introduction to the science behind snow. And it also includes two snow experiments to try!
Despite the cold, winter is a wonderful time to head outside for nature study. It’s easier to tell the difference between types of trees, attract birds to your yard, and find animal tracks as you walk.
Have you headed outside for winter nature activities with your children this year?