6 Classroom Activities to Beat the Winter Blues
6 Classroom Activities to Beat the Winter Blues: Winter is the toughest time of the school year. Buses get caught in the snow en route to school, and the sky outside your classroom is permanently etched in gray. This is the time to call in every game and engagement technique you can think of to make class extra fun for your kids. Try these six tips to brighten every subject in your classroom during the last stretch towards spring. Hot Cocoa Literacy Centers If it’s lightly snowing, make hot cocoa! It’s the perfect (and inexpensive) treat to warm up with. Students can drink it at their desks, or while listening to a story. It also can be a nice addition to a writing activity and, if you’re feeling like doing an art project to accompany a winter writing piece, you can easily pair it with a hot cocoa craft. Social Studies “Snowball” Fights Students can engage with a social studies question that requires inferences or textual evidence using a snowball fight. Students answer the first part of a question and then, on your cue, ball up their answers and throw them to a designated part of the room. Then, they pick up someone else’s “snowball” and answer the next part or respond to the other student’s answer. Students love getting up and moving around the room, and the system encourages teamwork. Fake Snow Science Lab Find a recipe for “fake snow” here. This can be used with younger kids to practice writing a procedure, making observations, or learn about physical and chemical changes.Winter Math Crafts Have your kids solve penguin-themed word problems and create a penguin craft, or choose another winter animal. In our math class, we put a spin on math minutes by doing color by numbers as a fun Friday or choice-time activity. Indoor Recess Don’t overlook indoor recess! Students need to move around even more during the winter time, when they are often getting less exercise. During indoor recess in my class, we play games like silent ball, huggy bear, 4 corners and the opposite game. These are not only lots of fun, but they are also team builders that help us start the afternoon on a positive note. Emergency Snow Day PacketsStudents can miss a lot of work during snow days. Whenever you have advance notice, send the kids home with an extra snow day worksheet or two. I try to make them fun, so that students enjoy them, but still get to practice their math skills at home. Winter is a tough time, but it’s also an opportunity to engage students and enjoy lots of fun winter-themed activities. Tell us in the comments: what kind of indoor activities have you tried with your students?