Winter Learning Ideas
by Becca Evenson
Learn to bake/cook something new
Winter is a great time to use the oven and learn to make bread, cookies, or something else you have always wanted to try, but just never did. Find a fun family recipe or something unusual and give it a go!
Up-date your nature notebook
Go back to the places you sketched in your notebook and record what things look like in cold, dormant weather. It is a great opportunity to study what the “skeleton” of different plants contain.
Go on a small animal hunt
After a snowmelt, look for footprints and other signs of animal life. Where do you see them? Are there clusters of prints? Why would they be in that location? Food? Shelter? Hunting? Or are they the prey? Plan to go back in warmer weather and see if you can locate the animals out and about.
Study ways to stay warm without turning up the thermostat
How many layers does it take to keep warm? Is it better to keep moving or huddle under the blankets? Does food make a difference? Can you find drafts or areas you can make changes in to keep the warmth inside ?
Have a read-aloud party
Take a day or two and read a great literature book. Take turns reading. Discuss what is happening. When you have finished, write a play or paper on some of the things you loved about the book. Or try to re-write from the perspective of a different character, or place it in a different setting. You can do this with picture books or chapter books. Maybe try reading a book cover-to-cover and then watching the movie. How do they compare? Which did you prefer?
Hold a game day
When the whole family needs to “decompress”, have a day to play games. Pull out the educational games in your closet, look for books about games at the library, or make up your own. Have fun. Laugh together and relax!
Try a new winter sport
Or play a traditionally warmer weather sport in the snow. Tennis, anyone? (If you do this-TAKE PICTURES!!)
Plan your garden
When the cold and dark days seem depressing, get out the seed catalogs and gardening books. Plan for a great summer of fresh food. What new things do you want to try? Let each person pick a crop to plant. Or set food storage goals and research what it will take to meet them.