Winter Animals Activities plus a FREEBIE!

Our first week of school in the new year got off to a great start with a theme on Winter Animals! We began the week by discussing Hibernating Animals.  On Monday, we read the book “Winter Lullaby” by Barbara Seuling and learned how different animals hibernate through the winter. Then we put together “My Winter Lullaby” booklet…



We then did an experiment about hot and cold and how Winter Animals react to them. I filled two bins with water, one hot and one cold. I gave each student two bear cutouts and told them to crumple each one tight.Winter Animals Hibernation Experiment 1

Then I had them hold their crumpled bears above the bins – one over the cold water and one over the hot water – and told them to drop them in.Winter Animals Hibernation Experiment 2


The crumpled bear in the cold water will be slow to absorb the water  and “sleep” like it’s Winter. The other bear in hot water will absorb the water faster and “wake up” like it’s Spring.Winter Animals Hibernation Experiment 3


On Tuesday, we studied the Inuit people of the Arctic. We read “Mama, Do You Love Me?” by Barbara Joose. The illustrations are so beautiful plus there are many references to the Inuit way of life in the book.


For this lesson, we made Inuit children based on ourselves:

Winter Animals - Winter Buddies Craft

And here is our bulletin board:

Winter Animals - Winter Buddies Bulletin Board

On Wednesday, we concentrated on Circles and the letter W for Winter. First we reviewed Circles using the circle pages from the 2D SHAPES Unit in my KEY TO KINDERS TPT Store.

Winter Animals Shapes Printables - Circle

Here’s one of our finished circle piggies:

Winter Animals - Shapes Printables - Circle Craft

In the second part of our day, we concentrated on the letter W by practicing how to write and recognize W using the ABC PRACTICE PAGES  from my KEY TO KINDERS TPT Store:

ABC Printables - Letter W
ABC Printable Pack - TPT

After our W practice, we brainstormed a Winter Acrostic Poem:

Winter Animals - Winter Acrostic Poem

Click HERE for this FREEBIE Worksheet:

Winter Acrostic Poem

On Thursday, we focused our Winter Animals unit on Polar Bears and made this cute craft:

Winter Animals - Polar Bear Craft

The snout is an individual fruit cup container that I spray painted white (or you can have the children paint it with acrylic paint) or you can use a small white paper or styrofoam cup. The children crumpled up white tissue paper squares and glued to a paper plate. The ears were circles cut from black and white card stock I then hot-glued the ears, snout and nose to the plate to finish. Very easy, very cute and makes a great hanging craft!

Finally on Friday we learned what it felt like to be an Arctic animal with blubber. I tied two pillows around the middle of the students and had them perform various tasks like tie their shoes and lay down to sleep. They had a ball!

Winter Animals Blubber Experiment

Afterwards, we colored our Arctic Animal bingo boards and glued them together before playing the game.

WInter Animals Bingo

Sheesh! We had a busy week! Hope you can use some of these ideas for your own classroom!



Say Goodbye to 2015! FREEBIE

Wow, I can’t believe 2015 is almost over! It has been a fantastic year. My oldest son graduated college and came home (I don’t mind a bit…he’s taking a year before he enters law school, so he has a plan). I visited England for the first time (I am a die-hard Anglophile) and saw Bath, Stonehenge and Windsor Castle. I began my TPT store and have come a l-o-o-ng way from that first packet I put together. I cringe sometimes when I see the very first clipart I ever drew…yikes!

On a side note, did you know that Key to Kinders (ahem, meaning myself) draws the majority of its clipart designs? I love doing it and like to have the flexibility to change the design to fit the need. And I get the satisfaction of knowing that my curriculum is one of a kind.

To help me celebrate the closing of such an incredible year, download this JANUARY CALENDAR SET from my TPT STORE!


Let me show you how I use these in my classroom (sorry, but I only have pictures for my May calendar).

Here’s my calendar area:MayCalendarBlog

January calendar set includes two complete sets for patterning – one with blue snowflakes and one with pink snowflakes.

In order to teach the class their “Count by 5” numbers, I make a pattern consisting of 5 – here you can see I made it: bee, bee, bee, bee, ladybug. They are responsible for writing the calendar number as well as drawing the picture in each individual box on their fill-in calendar. (Sometimes, they just color the box the appropriate color for that day)

Every calendar set has both medium and large medallions of each clipart. The class knows that when we reach the ladybug, not only do we begin the pattern again, but they get to “close the gate” (slanted picket) on our tally sheet AND sing our close the gate song..



I also use the larger medallions to highlight sight words we are learning.


I’m sure you can come up with other ways to use these cards. How about in Math Centers? But that’s for another post…

So, come on over to my TPT Store and download this FREEBIE!

And I wish a “fanta-bulous” 2016 for each and every one of you!