Winter is nearly here! Temperatures may not drop very low here in San Jose (although we have had a few white Christmases, believe it or not!), but there’s nothing stopping us from getting into the holiday spirit and embracing all things winter. And that includes Montessori activities at PHMA and home! We’ve put together a list of some of our favorite winter-themed Montessori activities for children. These festive activities focus on practical life skills, sensory skills, language skills, and more—all while being fun for your little one!
Practical life skills are a pillar of the Montessori Method. We integrate these activities into our daily routine at PHMA, and you can do the same thing at home, even in the winter. It can be easy to think that because an activity is practical, that it will be boring for a child. But you will usually find the opposite to be true. For children, everything they experience is new to them, and practical skills only become “boring chores” when they are introduced that way. This winter, teach your child new skills by inviting them into festive activities like the ones below.
Not only will they learn practical things, but they will also learn skills like sorting, pouring, and more. Ultimately, the practical life skills they learn at an early age foster independence, concentration, and even coordination.
Montessori sensory activities focus on strengthening children’s abilities to understand the world with their senses. Changing seasons are the perfect opportunity to engage their senses and do exactly that.
One of our favorite things about sensory activities is that, oftentimes, nature does the bulk of the work for you! What do we mean by that? Simply go on a walk with your little one, and ask them what they notice. If that is too vague, ask them more specific questions, such as:
- What do you see?
- What do you smell?
- What do you hear?
- What do you feel?
Instead of focusing on every sense on every walk, consider going on a “smell walk” or a “listening walk.” When you focus on one sense, you can really tune into the world in a new way! Alternatively, you could pick different themes for each walk, such as observing winter animals and their activity, or how winter affects the plants and trees around you. The more you start looking, the more you’ll start discovering!
As you explore and take in the world around you, even in your neighborhood or backyard, you’ll get a glimpse into how your child observes the world. You’ll likely be surprised at the different things you each observe.
Winter Sensory Bins
Sensory bins are fun for all ages! In the winter, they are a great way to bring winter inside, even when it might not feel like winter outside. You can get creative and make your own winter sensory bin, or use some of these ideas for inspiration. Trust us, there’s no right or wrong way to create a sensory bin.
Winter Sorting Activities
Sorting is one of the skills we encourage children to develop from a young age. Winter presents all kinds of opportunities for sorting. Sort ornaments, candies, sprinkles, for example. You can sort things based on color, shape, item, size, and more.
Winter Tong Activities
Picking up and transferring items with tongs is a classic Montessori activity. You can winterize this activity by using tongs to pick up “snowball” cotton balls, mini winter-themed erasers, holiday chocolates, and just about any wintery items you have at home. If you want to switch things up, have your child use a spoon or tweezers to transfer the items rather than tongs.
These seasonal language activities will help your little one learn letters while having a blast.
Winter Montessori Books
We’ll take any opportunity we can to recommend books to our families. We have a feeling the whole family will enjoy the wintery stories below.
- Over and Under the Snow, by Kate Messner
- The Snowy Day, by Ezra Jack Keats
- The Story of Snow, by Mark Cassino
- Winter, by Gerda Muller
- The Shortest Day, by Susan Cooper
- Tracks in the Snow, by Wong Herbert Yee
Happy winter! We hope you and your family enjoy these fun Montessori activities all winter long.
Montessori Daycare in San Jose, California
Looking for Montessori-style preschool in San Jose or the surrounding area? Piedmont Hills Montessori Academy offers a quality Montessori education and environment where toddlers, preschoolers, and kindergartners can flourish. Contact us today to book a tour and learn more.