Being cooped up in the classroom isn’t much fun for teachers or students – but sometimes there’s no avoiding it when the weather gets cold. Try these winter classroom activities to keep everyone inspired and engaged when it’s dark and dreary outside.
FESTIVE CLASSROOM ACTIVITIES
The obvious highlight of the autumn term is Christmas, with schedules packed with parties, plays and carol concerts. This is a really exciting time of year for children, so teaching about this and other winter festivals is a great way of engaging students in learning.
- Count down to Christmas. Get each pupil to design a window for a class advent calendar – then take turns to open a door each day until the end of term. (You might need to adjust the dates so that everyone gets a turn!)
- Invent your own winter festival. Talk about how winter celebrations are marked in the different customs and cultures around the world, then get the class to create their own holiday, deciding which foods, costumes and rituals they’d like to include.
Creative winter projects
Winter is a great time to get crafty – with cards and decorations, paper snowflakes and nature-based artwork all great ways to capture the kids’ imaginations. Try these winter art projects to bring out their creative side:
- Create ice sculptures! Freeze blocks of water in containers of different shapes and sizes, and use food colouring for a dash of brightness.
- Make a winter scene, using tin foil, pine cones, tissue paper and any other craft items that you have to hand. It’s a great way to get the whole class working together in imaginative play.
- Design and make the scenery for your Christmas play. Having a big event to work towards will help keep students engaged, especially if they know the fruits of their labour will be on show. Get everyone involved in the project for a true team effort.
Back to nature
Although it can be dreary and depressing, the winter weather can spark some fantastic learning opportunities. Outdoor learning opportunities can really help students to stay motivated and engaged – just make sure they wrap up warm.
- Monitor and record the weather each day. Take daily readings of the temperature and rainfall – or even measure the depth of the snow! Plot graphs to show variations in the weather over several days or weeks.
- Ways to keep warm. Talk about the different ways that humans and wildlife across the world combat the cold in winter. Hibernation, fires, warm clothes and fur all enable life to carry on in harsh winter conditions.
- Feed the birds. Set up bird feeders on the school grounds and observe who comes to visit.
- Properties of snow and ice. Learn about the structure of a snowflake and carry out experiments to help students understand that water gets solid when it freezes.
If you’re suffering from a lack of light, or you don’t have a suitable area for outdoor learning, Green Modular could help. Equipped with purpose-built doors and canopies for outdoor learning, our modular school buildings provide lots of natural light, aiding concentration and helping to bring the outdoors in.