20+ Winter Science Experiments for Grades K through 5

Get ready for some great hands-on winter science experiments! We love hands-on science around here, and we are determined not to let the cold weather stop us. In fact, we’re going to learn about ice, snow, sledding, hibernation and more all winter long. 

winter science experiments for kids

Science with a Holiday Theme 

Make some awesome holiday decorations and learn about science at the same time with the Ice Jelly Marbles Experiment from Steve Spangler Science.

Erupting Ornaments from Little Bins for Little Hands. 

These star shaped windows clings demonstrate the scientific concepts of diffusion, floatation and evaporation. From The Kitchen Pantry Scientist. 

 Get Outside for Winter Science!

What makes pinecones open? Lemon Lime Adventures figures it out. 

Explore different types of pine trees from Inspiration Laboratories. 

Even without leaves, you can do a winter tree identification study. Here’s how from About Education. 

Snow and Ice Science

Do mittens really keep our hands warm?  An experiment from us, Creekside Learning. 

Make frost in a can from Science Sparks.

Find out how many inches of snow it takes to melt into one inch of water from The Kitchen Pantry Scientist.

Experiment with how to get ice to melt faster from us, Creekside Learning.

Snowflake Science answers why snowflakes are always 6-sided, why they aren’t all alike and how you can capture your own snowflakes for closer observation, from The Homeschool Scientist.

Lifting up an ice cube with string seems like magic. Here’s the science behind it from The Kitchen Pantry Scientist. 

How to make Frozen Bubbles from Housing a Forest.

Make crystal snowflakes with Borax from Steve Spangler Science.

What’s involved in the Science of Sledding? Friction, gravity and more from Fireflies and Mudpies.

Winter Animal Science

Learn all about birds in winter from us, Creekside Learning.

More great tips for  winter birding with kids from What Do We Do All Day?.

Lots of great ideas for a Winter Nature Study from Simply Charlotte Mason. 

How does fat keep animals warm? Here’s a great experiment to find out how polar bears can swim in icy water. From us. 

Find out why animals that live in snowy regions need large paws from Frugal Fun For Boys. 

Exploring animal tracks in winter from KC Edventures. 

Lots more holiday ideas can be found below.
Ultimate Christmas Ideas Guide for Kids - Free

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Little House on the Prairie Books : My First Little House Series

I adored Little House on the Prairie books by Laura Ingalls Wilder when I was a child and was thrilled when one of the Creekside Learning Facebook followers told me about the My First Little House series.  This series is wonderful for younger kids, who are not quite ready for the chapter books. And, Little House on the Prairie Christmas is a great theme for literature and activities in December. 

Little House on the Prairie Christmas

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The My First Little House stories are based on the original Little House on the Prairie books.  The timing is a bit different in the First series. For example, most of the books include baby Carrie, Laura’s youngest sister in all the stories. In the original books, Carrie doesn’t appear until later, being much younger than her older sisters, Mary and Laura. But an introductory books to younger kids, that will only be noticed by the adults reading to them. This series is pure joy.

Christmas is a great time to discover these books because there are several Christmas themed books in the series. One of our favorites is Christmas in the Big Woods.  The book describes the very simple way that the Ingalls family celebrated Christmas, with a few simple gifts and some special foods.  

Little House on the Prairie Christmas

Little House Pancakes

Caroline Ingalls makes pancakes shaped like little men for the children to enjoy on Christmas.  This inspired us to make lots of different shaped pancakes. 

Little House on the Prairie Books by Laura Ingalls Wilder

 We took metal cookie cutters and filled them with pancake batter. You’ll want to grease the cookie cutters first with a little butter or some spray oil to prevent the batter from sticking. We flipped the pancakes over to the other side to cook, still inside the cookie cutters. Once both sides were done, the cookie cutters slipped right off and we had pretty shaped pancakes. 

Laura Ingalls Wilder Little House on the Prairie

 

 

Laura Ingalls Wilder 

 Little House Maple Syrup Snow Candy

In Laura’s chapter book, Little House in the Big Woods, the family helps Laura’s grandmother make Maple Sugar Snow Candy. This scene is also recreated in the book Christmas in the Big Woods in the My First Little House series.  For instructions on how to make maple syrup candy, click on the photo below.

Laura Ingalls Wilder Little House on the Prairie

This post is part of Rainy Day Mum’s Story Book Advent.   Click through to find more wonderful pairings of children’s holiday literature with go-along activities. More will be added throughout the season. 
Story Book Advent

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Indoor Winter Activities: Sand Play

There are so many ways to play and learn with sand when you bring it indoors. Contrary to angry people on Pinterest, when sand gets out of the indoor sand box, you can vacuum it up and it does not ruin carpet. An indoor sand table or box is one of our favorite indoor winter activities. 

winter activities for kids

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I’ve had this sand play area set up in  our water table  for quite some time now, simply because the kids play with it almost every day. In addition to free play, we incorporate it into our learning. While I read to them about ancient Egypt, they played with the  Ancient Egypt TOOB figures in the sand table.

Next to the table filled with sand, we keep lots of fun things:  A container of plants (from the dollar store) and a container of animals and people.

indoor activities for kids in winter We also have gems, crystals, hearts (all from the dollar store), shells we’ve collected at the beach and a box of  fine motor tools.

Winter Indoor Activities for KidsWe leave the table out in our sunroom, ready for play at any time. My kids are 8 and nearly 6 so the issue of throwing sand has long been resolved. Occasionally, if we have friends over with a toddler, we have the option of covering the table up. We also do not have cats, so that is a plus. People often feel the need to remind me that open sand containers indoors are not a good idea if you have cats. I get it. Cats and sand are a no no. Ditto babies and toddlers. 

Indoor activities for kids in winter More ways to use a sand/water table indoors:

LEGO Math Games: The Number Line Game

Step out of the workbook pages and into LEGO math games. If your child is learning to count, learning to add or subtract, working on negative and positive numbers, why not make it a game?   The LEGO Number Line Game uses what you already have to make math fun. 

LEGO Math Activities for Kids

Supplies

{affiliate link}  Long sheet of paper from a roll of easel paper

Assorted LEGOs and a LEGO figure

LEGO games for kids 

This game can be played at any math level.  We’ve used it in several ways.

  1. Learning to count from 1-10, 1-30, 1-50, 1-100.  
  2. Adding and Subtracting. Call out equations to your child (or to the LEGO mini-figure) and have them move the LEGO figure along the number line. (“What’s 3+4, LEGO Man?”)
  3. Working with Fact Families.  “How many ways can LEGO Man get 10?” (5+5, 6+4, 8+2 and so on).
  4. Working with negative numbers. Draw your number line to include negative and positive numbers. Give your child numbers to add and subtract that moves them along both the negative and positive parts of the number line. 

LEGO hands-on math activities for kids 

What other ways could you use the LEGO Number Line? I’d love to hear your ideas. Post them in the comments below.

Follow Julie Kirkwood, Creekside Learning’s board Hands-On Math on Pinterest.

Gifts for Minecraft Fans

Minecraft is here to stay. All three of my kids continue to play it but my 10-year-old is absolutely obsessed.  I’m betting you have some young Minecraft fans in your house, too.  From finding that perfect gift to purchase or making a great DIY present, here are my top (kid-approved) recommendations for gifts for Minecraft fans. 

Minecraft Gifts

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 Minecraft: Essential Handbook from Scholastic  There are actually four books in this series. Each time my 10-year-old son has received one, he has buried his nose in it for hours and carried it around for days. He continues to use them as reference books when playing the game. I’m like, “Yay, he is reading!”

Minecraft books

Image source: Amazon

 

LEGO Minecraft There are several LEGO kits available with the Minecraft theme. When my son has used up his screen time for the day, I often find him building with LEGOs. He cannot wait to get Minecraft themed LEGOs.

Minecraft Legos

Image Source: Amazon

 

Minecraft Retro Creeper Shirt For some reason, all the 8 to 10-year-old boys I know can’t seem to have enough Minecraft clothing. Now that it’s winter, we’ll have to add a long-sleeved version to the wardrobe. Or perhaps a scarf. There are also socks. Endless fashion options, really. 

Minecraft long-sleeved shirt

Image source: Amazon

 

Minecraft  Action Figures  I’m thinking these creepy looking things would make great stocking stuffers. 

Minecraft stocking stuffers

 

Minecraft Building Ideas eBook At $2.99, you can’t go wrong with these downloadable instruction books. These Kindle books can be loaded onto any smartphone, tablet or computer. They really helped my son take his creative world to the next level.  He had to pay very close attention to these clear but detailed step-by-step instructions. We bought him the first one as a gift, downloaded it to our iPad mini and wrapped the mini in a gift bag with a note to see what was newly downloaded. He then used his allowance to buy several similar books. 

Minecraft gifts

Image Source: Amazon

Minecraft Papercraft  It’s Origami Minecraft. Yet another screen-free option.

Minecraft Gift Guide

Image Source: Amazon

 

DIY Minecraft: Gifts You Can Make

DIY Creeper Christmas Ornament from Totally The Bomb.

Minecraft Creeper gifts

Make your own Minecraft Creeper Shoes from Candace Creates.

Minecraft gifts you can make

DIY Diamond Sword and Diamond Pickaxe from Vinobaby’s Voice.

Make your own Minecraft Creeper t-shirts from Jamie of Southern revivals guest posting on L’il Luna.

Felt Minecraft Toy tutorial from Attic 24.

Endless crafty possibilities with pearler beads and Minecraft patterns from What Rose Knows

Follow our Pinterest board, aptly named Minecraft Obsession.  
Follow Julie Kirkwood, Creekside Learning’s board Minecraft Obsession on Pinterest.

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