Winter is a magical time! And if you ask students, many will say it is their favorite subject. I love teaching my students all about winter with an interactive winter lapbook. Winter lapbook activities are not only fun but also include skills in math, science, vocabulary, writing, and more! It’s a great way to meet all those teaching standards while focusing on winter. I am so excited to share some of my favorite winter lapbook activities with you from my winter lapbook activities set! These 10 easy-to-use winter lapbook activities for preschoolers and kindergartners will have your students immersed in the magic of the winter season!
What is a Lapbook?
A lapbook is a great hands-on way for students to learn about a topic using many different types of activities. The activities used in lapbooks are similar to those in interactive notebooks. Except, since it isn’t a whole notebook, it is much easier for your younger learners to navigate and interact with!
Personally, I find lapbooks to be a great way to teach about different topics and themes in my classroom. One file folder per student is all that is needed to get started. Instead of trying to keep year-long notebooks, we focus on individual topics. With younger students they are so much easier to manage. And . . . the students love creating a “book” with all of their learning.
At first prepping a lapbook may seem a little intimidating, but I promise it is as easy as 1, 2, 3!
- Open the file folder and lay flat horizontally
- Using the center crease as your guide, fold one side in until it meets the center crease
- Folder the other side in to meet the center crease
That’s it! Open, fold, fold! At the beginning of the year I set-up the folders for my students. But . . . as the year goes on we do it together. It’s a great way to get in some following directions practice.
Winter Lapbook Activities
Exploring winter from a science and social studies perspective is important. We weave in math and language skills along the way to have a great cross-curricular unit of study. To help my students explore winter we add these 10 winter lapbook activities to our book. It’s the perfect way to get students excited about the season by exploring everything winter has to offer.
1. Winter KWL
Whenever introducing a new theme to my students, I always like to complete a KWL chart.
In the Winter Lapbook, I include flaps for students to write down what they know, want to know, and what they have learned about winter. We fill out the first two flaps at the beginning of our winter study, and the last flap at the end.
It’s a great way to do a quick informal assessment to see how much my students already know about winter. Then, I can easily differentiate my instruction during the unit if I need to.
It’s also fun to look back at these winter KWL charts for students to see how much they actually learned. I print these pages out in black and white and then ask my students to color them in as an early finisher activity after they finish filling in the chart.
2. Winter Vocabulary
It is no secret that our young learners are sponges, and I’ve found that they absorb new and even difficult vocabulary whenever given the chance! That makes including vocabulary words about a theme one of my top priorities. If we want students to learn about a topic, we need to give them the words to use to discuss it.
In this winter vocabulary activity, students are given 5 winter-themed words with corresponding definitions. We talk about each word, try to come up with definitions as a class, and then students (with a little help from me), glue the correct definition for each winter-themed word under each flap.
After this activity, every time students go to their lapbooks, I review the definitions with them again so that they are getting multiple exposures to each word! I have even played a game with the vocabulary words. I read out a word and the first person to stand up gets to tell me the definition. It’s another great activity to get my kids up and moving during those winter months when we are stuck inside so much of the time.
3. Winter 5 Senses
I’m a believer that to really teach a theme you need to include all five of your student’s senses. So, early on in the unit, we complete the Winter Five Senses activity. As a class, we talk about what winter looks, smells, tastes, sounds, and feels like. Then students write down their own observations for each sense.
I really love to bring real-life experiences to this activity by taking students outside for a more hands-on experience. They get to feel the cold, touch the snow, smell the air, etc.
And . . . if you live in a place where winter isn’t so cold there are fun ways to help students experience snow. This faux snow is a great activity to add to your unit. It’s easy to make and it feels like snow. It’s even cold!
4. Label a Snowman
You can’t study winter without including snowmen! They are the quintessential kid winter activity. So, I take full advantage of them when putting together the winter activities for preschoolers and kindergartners in my Winter Lapbook.
This activity is another great way to introduce vocabulary to students. Students are given different words for each of the parts of the snowman image.
Then they place the words in the correct spot. For example: the word “buttons” would be placed on the snowman’s belly next to his buttons.
Once the activity is complete, students will have a fun snowman diagram to look at each time they open their lapbook. This is such a great way to get them used to different text features they will encounter as they start reading more informational texts!
5. How to Build a Snowman
Any activity that includes step-by-step instructions like this “how to build a snowman” activity help students practice the important literacy skill of sequencing. And it is a great example of how you can focus on those important teaching standards while using a fun and engaging topic.
If you live in a cold climate where snow is available, I highly suggest taking your students outside to start this activity. I love to have my students work collaboratively in groups to build a snowman.
When we are outside building our snowmen, I make sure to ask my students to describe the steps they are going to go through before they start building their snowmen. After a quick discussion they can complete the step, then come back together to discuss the next step in the process.
When we are all done with our snowmen outside, we come inside, grab our lapbooks, and start completing our snowman building sequencing activity!
You can get some really cute snowman kits that come with eyes, noses, arms, scarves etc. at stores like Target and Walmart. Supplies like these can make this activity really exciting for your students. If you don’t have those materials, do it the old fashioned way with carrots, sticks, and old winter clothes!
If you don’t live where snow is readily available, consider a hands-on mock snowman building activity. You can use white clay, foam balls, or try this beading snowman kit for some fine motor practice too!
6. Snowman Descriptions
This Snowman Descriptions activity is the perfect follow up to the hands on snowman sequencing activity. My students love this flip the flap activity and they come up with some really great words to describe a snowman.
With the built in guidance, students will describe what snowmen can do, what snowmen have and what snowmen are. It’s a great way to build vocabulary.
To add a little challenge, we will use these snowman descriptions as the basis for a snowman themed writing. Students can use the three prompts (can, have, are) and their words to create sentences to describe snowmen. It’s a great way to incorporate informational writing in the primary classroom.
7. Winter Sorting Activities
Sorting is a foundational early math and literacy skill. That is why I always try to include sorting activities when introducing new themes to my students.
Lapbooks are a great way to conduct sorting activities because students can easily store the items to be sorted in their pre-made pockets. This means that they can practice sorting over and over again. It’s one of the interactive features of lapbooks that my students always love!
One of things that is perfecting for sorting in the winter is clothing. If you live in a cold climate, you know that winter comes with a lot of extra gear! So, focusing on sorting what we wear in the winter versus what we wear during other seasons is a great way to tackle this important foundational skill.
Not to mention, identifying clothes that they can wear during winter is functional and will help them become more independent. As teachers of young learners, we are all about fostering independence!
We also like to sort a variety of activities that students love. With options like swimming or igloo making they have to determine which activities they can do in winter. Then, they place the images into the correct pocket.
8. Winter Class Graph
When using lapbooks, I do my best to maximize space so that my students can complete multiple activities around a theme. One way I always do this is by adding a class graphing activity to the back of their folders.
This fun winter class graph asks students to answer the question “Do you like to play in the snow?”. This is a great opportunity to get your students up and moving around. As students walk around the classroom polling their classmates they learn how to collect data and keep a tally chart. Then we work on analyzing data and creating a bar graph.
Once everyone is done with their polling, we come back together as a class to discuss our results.
9. Winter Facts
This Winter Facts activity is a great unit wrap-up! Students write down 5 facts about winter that they have learned from our theme study. This helps me see what they remember and what facts they held on to.
You could also use this activity in other ways such as giving the students a new winter fact each day. The facts in their lapbook would grow over the course of the study, and they would have a nice summary of the unit by the end.
This section could also be used as a daily summary. Have them write 1 fact down after each lesson as a way to informally assess their understanding.
10. Winter Writing
A cross-curricular lapbook wouldn’t be complete without some time to work on important writing skills. Writing about winter is easy to do when students are immersed in the subject matter. I like to include writing prompts that relate to what we have learned about. Some prompts include:
- What is your favorite season?
- In the winter I like to. . .
- How to build a snowman
- Compare Winter and Summer
As you can see, these prompts open the door to working on a variety of different writing styles too!
Adding in writing is a great way to give students time to mentally assimilate all they are learning. They take the facts and topics and put them together to give an opinion, facts or sequence. It’s an important step in the learning process to pull it all together and writing can help do that.
Explore Winter With Your Students
Whether you choose to explore winter with your students using a lapbook or individual activities, I hope you’ve found lots of ideas you can use. If you are looking to save time, I’ve pulled all my winter lapbook ideas into one ready to use packet. You will get all the activities above, and more, that are ready to use with your students. You can find the Winter Lapbook Activities in my store on Teachers Pay Teacher.
Need Digital Winter Lapbook Activities?
Love these winter activities, but need them to be digital? No worries! I also have a digital version of this winter lapbook. It’s filled with all the same great winter lapbook activities just in digital form. Simply assign to your students in Google Classroom or with a share link and let them get busy exploring winter. This works great for virtual classrooms, 1 to 1 schools or if you want to incorporate technology with your lessons.
Save these Winter Lapbook Activities
Save these winter lapbook activities to your favorite classroom Pinterest board. That way you can quickly get back to them when you are ready to explore winter with your students!