Have fun learning about colors and numbers with your preschooler in this super simple winter preschool activity!
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Whew! Christmas break was a bit of a whirlwind for us, but now that the new year has arrived, we’re settling back into the routine of normal life. Part of that routine is doing morning learning activities at home with my preschooler.
This little guy LOVES his “mommy school” time. Even though he goes to a more formal preschool twice a week, he regularly asks for activities from me, too. Since he’s my only kiddo home during the day now, I have the luxury of spending a little one-on-one time with him each morning playing and learning.
This week, I created a simple winter-themed activity for him: mitten matching!
It only took about three minutes to prepare, allowed us to practice all sorts of great preschool skills, and it was a hit with my little learner! (And, can we just say…whoa…gotta love the bed-head in this next photo!)
Here’s the gist of the activity:
I grabbed a handful of construction paper, folded the pile in half and free-hand cut out six pairs of mittens…each a different color. I mixed them up and then laid them out on our kitchen table. That was it for prep. If you’ve been around here for long, you know I thrive on low-prep activities like this one.
Note: Usually I do activities like this one during our “mommy school” time which is after we take the big kids to school, sometime between 9-10 AM.
Next, I invited my preschooler over to play with me.
“What do you see?” I asked him. (P.S. – This is a great question to invite a child into any activity. It invites them to observe, explore, and engage with the activity.)
“Mittens!” he answered enthusiastically.
I then explained that all the mittens were mixed up, and I asked if he would be willing to help me sort them out and find all the matches. In no time, he had lined them all up!
Once all the mittens were sorted, we talked about them. I asked lots of questions, but kept the tone light and fun, not drilling him for the “correct” answer. Need inspiration for what to talk about? Try these questions:
- What colors did you find?
- How many pairs do you see?
- How many individual mittens are there? Let’s count them!
- If these were real mittens, which color would you choose to wear today?
To extend the activity, I invited my son to decorate the mittens. You can leave this super open-ended, but I added a little skill-building by challenging my preschooler to decorate each pair of mittens with a different matching design.
My preschooler especially loved this part, and I loved his blue peacock mittens! (Where do they come up with these ideas?!)
That’s the activity! In 15 minutes, we hit on so many core preschool skills, all through play!
Now it’s your turn! Keep reading for the full instructions.
WINTER PRESCHOOL ACTIVITY
WHAT WE’RE LEARNING
- Sorting by color
- Comparing same and different
- Matching similar items
- Fine motor skills (drawing)
- Paper in a variety of colors (I love these big packs of construction paper)
- Stickers (optional)
HOW TO PLAY
- Cut out two matching mitten shapes from each color of paper (4-8 pairs depending on your child’s attention span…we did 6 pairs). To make it easy on yourself, stack several papers together, fold them all in half, and cut them all at once! Prep done!
- Next, mix up the mittens and lay them out on a table. Invite your child to find the matching mittens and line them up. As they do this, you can talk about which colors they are matching, how many matches they have found, etc. All this conversation is great for building vocabulary!
- Count the mittens with your child. (Bonus: you can even add a simple intro to multiplication by explaining that if you have TWO mittens of each color and you have SIX colors, that means you have TWELVE mittens all together. Count together to check!)
- Bonus: You can extend this learning activity by challenging your child to decorate the mittens in matching ways!
It’s really that simple!
Side note: This winter preschool activity would pair perfectly with the classic picture book The Mitten by Jan Brett.
Want more ideas to play and learn this winter? Try these!