Winter Activities for your Preschooler

mittens, cookies, warmth, winter

This year, the Early Education Services Department will be taking a virtual programming break between Monday December 21, 2020 through Sunday January 3, 2021. Although we won't have our daily live Zoom programs, there are still a number of ways to keep the fun and learning going at home based on your favorite virtual preschool program.

Artsy ABCs

Art is playful and part of our daily routines. Drawing pictures, making marks and noticing small details in our environment are wonderful ways to encourage fine motor skills and develop early literacy tools that children will use throughout their lives. Drawing is a great way to encourage patience, focus and attention to detail in a fun way.

Monday December 21, 2020 is the first day of Winter! Winter looks different for everyone; show us what winter looks like for you.This is a way to really let your imagination run wild! Grown-ups and caregivers can join in, too, and when you're done you can show each other what you drew. This is something everyone in the family can have fun with!

  • Take a look out the window or bring a piece of paper and pens with you outside, and draw what you see!
  • If it's safe to go outside, you can also collect leaves or sticks to add to your drawing, or put a leaf underneath a piece of paper, rub a crayon or pencil over the paper, and watch as the shape of the leaf appears on the paper (this is called a "rubbing")!
  • If you're staying inside, show us what your winter looks like from inside your home. Do you see more blankets, slippers, jackets, and hats around, to help keep you and your family warm?
  • Drawing what you see is a wonderful way for you to connect with your surroundings and gives you a chance to show others what you see with your eyes. Grown-ups and caregivers can get in on the action, too: point out objects and talk about the letters they start with!

Math in Play 123s

Comparing and ordering objects by length and size is part of learning about Measurement. Reciting numbers in order from memory, learning number names is part of learning Number Sense. Comparing, matching and sorting into groups according to attributes is part of learning about Classification. Measurement, Number Sense and Classification are a few of the skills that preschool age children are learning through play, daily routines and asking questions. For more information, check out the California Early Math Project website for information about math for toddlers through third grade.

Sizing Things Up: Play a riddle game with your child by asking them to find something that is...

  • larger than a pea but smaller than an apple
  • longer than a comb but shorter than a bed
  • taller than a stool but shorter than a door

Counting Around the House: Play a counting game with your child by asking how many doors are in the house?

  • How many windows?
  • How many lights?
  • How many chairs?

Paper Bag Math: Sort objects from home into paper bags. You can label bags with numbers, shapes, colors or a variety!

  • Label bags with numbers: 1, 2, 3, 4 (sort items by how many)
  • Label bags with shapes: circle, square, triangle, rectangle (sort items by shape)
  • Label bags with colors: red, orange, yellow, green (sort items by color)

Games To Play at Home

math, shapes, geometry, origami
Games to Play at Home

ABC Show & Tell, What's in the Box and Wee Seek and Find promote vocabulary building, critical thinking, and communication skills as children are asked to follow directions, solve riddles, and explore their environments. You can re-create these playful learning experiences at home through some related and fun activities.

Alphabet Search: Write the letters of the alphabet on scraps of paper and tape them all over your home at the child's eye level.

  • Send the child on a search to find a different letter and find a matching object that starts with that same letter.
  • You or a sibling can call out a letter and let your child race to find the letter.

Alphabet Scavenger Hunt: You can play this indoors, outdoors of both.

  • Go through the alphabet and search for objects that start with that letter. A can be for Apple, B can be for buttons.
  • If you can't find objects for a letter, think of words that start with that letter instead.

Riddle Games: What's in My Room? You can put items in a bin or container and have the child guess what the object is. You can also call out the clues and have your child search in their room.

Start with these ideas, then add your own!

  • Something blue
  • Something round
  • A piece of paper
  • A book
  • Colorful socks
  • A clothes hanger
  • A favorite game or toy
  • Something soft
  • Something with strips

More Fun Ideas!

blocks, toys, child, learning
More Fun Ideas

Storytimes: For even more fun, check out our Early Education Services Facebook page and SJPL for Kids YouTube Channel for recorded storytimes that you can enjoy any time of the day!

Telephone Tales: Call (408) 889-8987 to hear stories in English, Spanish, Chinese and Vietnamese read by your local library staff member. Stories are updated regularly.

Ready 4K Texting Service: Text 'SJPL' to 70138 to receive texts to help your child learn and grow. The messages are specifically designed for your child's stage of development. The fun facts and easy tips are easy to mix into your daily family routine, like pointing out letters on a cereal box or counting the number of steps as you walk to the car.

Winter Reading Challenge: Winter Reading is a reading and activities program for all ages from Sunday, December 13, 2020 through January 31, 2021.

Log your minutes and complete fun at-home activities exploring the library's online resources. Finish 4 hours of reading (or 4 books for pre-readers) plus 1 activity badge (4 activities) to be entered to win a grand prize.