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How to Teach Toddlers About Winter

by Tania Cowling | January 24th, 2017 | Infants/Toddlers, Seasonal
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child in snow (400x400)To young children, there is no big difference between reality and fantasy. Toddlers believe everything they see, touch, and hear. They basically learn by their senses and experience. So, how do you teach toddlers about the winter season?

The first snowfall of the season deserves to be celebrated. For many children, this is the first snow in their memory. So, make time to take your little one outdoors to experience the snow (if it isn’t too cold), or get a front row seat by a large window if the conditions are bad. Think of activities that help toddlers explore the qualities of winter and the properties of snow and ice.

When walking outdoors, listen to the crunchy sound boots make in the snow. Have them feel the cold air on their noses and cheeks. Hold out their hands to catch a falling snowflake. Talk about how the snowflakes feel. “Are they heavy or light?” “What happens to the snowflakes on your hands?” Grab some snow and make a ball or even a small snowman.

Leave a pan outdoors to catch falling snow and then bring it inside once it has accumulated. Watch the snow melt into water (or do the same experiment with an ice cube). This helps toddlers understand how snow and ice turns into drippy water. They can only absorb this information by actually participating in the activity and using their senses to see and touch the snow and water.

Fold and snip a piece of white paper into a snowflake. Toddlers will not be able to do this task alone, but will be happy to help you fold the paper and tell you where to make cuts. They will be fascinated with the beauty of this art form. Hang the snowflake in a window or from the ceiling in their room. Ask them if they remember the beautiful white snow when they took a walk outside. Tell them it takes many pretty snowflakes (like the paper one) to make the snow on the ground they walk on.

Next, give your toddler white paper to tear into interesting shapes. Encourage them to glue these onto blue paper to create their own snow scene.

You can even make up songs about your experience in the snow. Use a familiar tune and change the words to create a winter or snow song. For an example, sing the following song to the tune of “Frere Jacques/Are You Sleeping?” It is snowing, it is snowing. On my head, on my nose. Soft and fluffy snowflakes, soft and fluffy snowflakes. Brr, it’s cold, cold and white.

And to end your day of toddler winter lessons, snuggle up together with a few good books like, Corduroy’s Snow Day by Don Freeman, Winter Snow by Liesbet Slegers, and Will You Wear a Blue Hat? By Ken Karp. You may even want to watch the video, The Snowman by Raymond Briggs. The warmth of a blanket and your soft reading voice may even nod your little learner to sleep in hopes of dreaming of the winter wonderland outside.

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