These adorable winter animals activities for preschoolers are going to make you want to put away the glue sticks and scissors and just cuddle!
If you’re stuck inside on a dreary February day, plan a special “winter animals theme day,” crank up the fireplace background on your t.v., and get busy learning! Your little guy or gal will love these activities, and so will you.
Many of these learning opportunities convert well for preschool classrooms, too! Just mix and match from each category to create a lesson plan or even a cross-curricular mini-unit. Enjoy, teachers!
A List of Animals of the Arctic
What’s a winter animal, anyway? Aren’t all of them winter animals if it’s winter time? (SNORT). Fair enough.
But you know what I mean! Animals that live in cold climates and have adapted accordingly.
Here are some favorite winter animals for preschoolers to learn about and observe.
Winter Animal Crafts Round Up
I’m not a crafting wizard, so there’s no need to reinvent the wheel here. Look at these super fun preschool winter animal crafts!
I Heart Crafty Things has an adorable walrus craft made from cupcake liners.
We had a lot of fun trying to duplicate the walrus craft. We made do with the cupcake liners we already had on hand. Plus, we only had ONE skein of yarn and it was rainbow. Oh, well! We added another ingredient to the mix – glitter mod podge for the ocean.
Winter Animal Activities for Gross Motor Skills
It’s hard to get kids moving in the middle of winter when it’s a pain in the rear to even go outside! Here are some ideas to get them moving indoors.
The Hare Hop
For the Hare Hop, cut out some Arctic Hare footprints and tape them around the house. Let your little one hop around on the prints.
This works best if you can show the child a video of an arctic hare hopping around first! Notice how arctic hares hop a little differently than the Easter bunny bouncing we are used to seeing.
The Arctic Animals Movement/Yoga Cards by Parenting Chaos
I absolutely love these cards offered by Parenting Chaos. They are perfect for regular brain breaks in the classroom, or you can use them like a mini PE class at home for your busy little friend.
If you play at home, you can put the cards face down, and have you child choose one from the top. Show your child how to do the movement after reading the card, and let them practice!
More Winter Animals Video Clips
My kids loved this walrus video. We watched it when we made the walrus cupcake liner craft. It teaches about the blubber animal adaptation and it’s pretty funny. My kids laughed out loud! It has really great walrus facts at the end, too.
I like this video because it’s from National Geographic and shows real arctic animals in their habitats.
I like this polar bear video a lot, too! National Geographic is great for kids!
Winter Animals Books for Preschoolers
Cuddle up under the covers and dig into a good picture book together! Here are some wonderful books about winter animals.
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This is such a sweet little book about winter animals who comfort the baby bear while he waits for mama’s return. My son loves to touch the pages, because each animal has raised bumps to appreciate. I love the poetic language.
Little Penguin: A Baby Touch and Feel Book
This book works great for toddlers, too! Each page features a different winter animal with touch and feel textures. Bonus points for rhyming poetry that aids in phonological awareness. Those are just the special winter animal books on our shelf. But if you want more winter animal book suggestions, you can hop over to Mrs. Jones Creation Station, where she has 20 Animals in Winter Books for Little Learners.
Here are more of our favorite books:
Winter Animals Poetry
A touch of printable poetry makes every lesson more special! Enjoy reading these aloud.
How do you teach hibernation to a preschooler?
If you’re looking for something very involved, I love this little preschool lesson plan on hibernation from Fun With Mama.
A Script to Explain Hibernation to Preschoolers
However, if you’re looking for a simple way to explain hibernation to a preschooler, try this:
How do you feel while you’re sleeping?
Entertain different silly answers.
Do you feel hungry during sleep?
No, I don’t really feel anything except warm and cozy.
What is the weather like in the winter time?
It’s cold! Brr!
When it’s so cold outside, bears don’t feel like hunting for food to eat. Plus, it’s such hard work to find food when there’s snow everywhere!
Bears don’t like to feel hungry. So instead, they just go night-night for a loooooooong time until it’s warm again!
Dramatic Play Time for Teaching Hibernation to Preschoolers
Next, try to “act out” hibernation with the little ones. Sitting in a group, pretend to eat a big meal together. Then, whisper that it’s time to hibernate, and encourage them all to have a long, quiet nap. After a few moments when they’ve all settled and pretended to sleep, tell them it’s spring time! Wake up and roar!
How do you teach migration to a preschooler?
If you’re interested in doing an entire lesson (or several), check out this fabulous migration lesson from Mommy’s Lessons. She has some really wonderful resources if you really wanna go nuts on migration!
A Script to Explain Migration to Preschoolers
“Some animals deal with the cold weather by just getting away from it! There are birds and butterflies and whales who migrate. Migrate means to move to a different part of the world!
Let’s listen to a story about a daddy whale and his little whale as they migrate to a different part of the ocean. Little whale is going to have LOTS of questions about his first migration.”
Check out this beautiful little book here.
Dramatic Play Time for Teaching Hibernation to Preschoolers
Begin by pretending to be a bird. Put the kids in groups of three or four if possible, and ask them to huddle together like baby birds in a nest. Give them permission to chirp and ruffle their feathers while seated.
If you’re just doing this activity at home, huddle together with your baby bird.
Next, tell them you’re starting to get a bit chilly! Have everyone say, “Brrrr!”
Now, everyone needs to flap their wings and “fly” to a warmer location.
How do you teach adaptation to a preschooler?
Adaptations are a hard topic for little bitty kids, so keep it simple!
Script for Teaching Animal Adaptations to Preschoolers
“Some animals are made just perfectly for their habitat. A habitat is where an animal lives. I wouldn’t want to live in a frozen world, but our winter animals like it just fine there!
One special animal is called the snowy owl. The snowy owl lives in one of the coldest places on Earth.
Most birds have naked legs, but snowy owls are made just right for the weather! They have feathers on their legs to keep them warm!”
Learning about Animal Tracks in the Snow
Passionate Homeschooling has a really great printable animal tracks resource. She explains in her post how to use them like a game around your home.
What else can you teach preschoolers in January and February?
As you plan your scope and sequence, here are some other great topics to cover in January and February with preschoolers:
- Epiphany (for Christian families) – January 6th
- Martin Luther King, Jr. Day – 3rd Monday of January
- National Puzzle Day – January 29th
- Groundhog Day – February 2nd
- Take Your Child to the Library Day – First Saturday in February
- Valentine’s Day – February 14th
- President’s Day – Third Monday of February
- Random Acts of Kindness Week – Third Full Week in February
- February is also black history month.
- 100 Days of School will fall sometime in February and is great counting practice
Have fun, mamas and teachers! I hope you have a cozy, sweet time learning about winter animals with your little people!