As the winter months settle in, getting outside becomes less frequent, and finding fun and educational activities for your kids becomes more challenging. Fortunately, there are a ton of resources for STEM-related activities for kids of all ages. Keeping kids engaged is critical for their mental health and development. These winter learning activities for kids are sure to keep your young ones entertained and engaged as they learn new concepts and skills!
Discover cool winter learning activities for kids
There are countless activities for kids to explore during the winter months, especially because the infamous Hour of Code and National STEM Day happen each November. Here are a few fun projects and live online lessons to get your child started.
1. Circuit Fun with Snap Circuits
The modern world runs on electronic circuits. They’re absolutely everywhere! In this live online event led by an expert, kids use their Snap Circuits Jr. set to learn what a circuit is, how they work, how to create one, and how to add more parts into a circuit to make sound, light, and more.
2. Creative Minecraft Building
Minecraft is an immensely popular video game, but did you know kids can learn how basic circuit components work within the game? Enjoy this free live virtual trial class where you'll build awesome creations in Minecraft! Learn more about utilizing the element of Redstone in Minecraft to build advanced inventions (holiday lights!) and learn real world computer science and engineering knowledge.
3. AI Explorers
Artificial intelligence is a fascinating topic for kids of all ages. From famous robots in science fiction movies to modern conveniences like Siri, AI has become a regular part of daily life. In this free session of AI Explorers, kids learn about some cutting-edge AI applications via group discussions, interactions with the instructor, and a hands-on project.
4. Create a NASA-inspired airplane
See how to craft and color a paper airplane, as well as other NASA aviation innovations, like the X-57 Maxwell and the X-59 Quiet SuperSonic Technology. To download the paper airplane page in black and white, click here. To download the paper airplane page in color, click here.
5. Make Falling Snow
No winter project would be complete without falling snow! In this tutorial, you will find out how to create falling snow in Scratch coding - so you can add it to any project. Here's the project you'll be making.
Winter learning activities for kids in K-2
It can sometimes be difficult to find activities for very young children, so here are activities specifically for kids from kindergarten to second grade.
6. Scratch Junior
Scratch is a very popular platform for learning how to code, but it can be a little intimidating for very young children. That’s why the Scratch Junior app was created. In this Scratch Junior introduction, students are introduced to the platform and learn how to code a fun dance party animation!
7. NASA STEM Club
Space has always been a fascinating topic for kids. The NASA STEM Club is a weekly virtual meetup in which kids will learn about all sorts of space-related topics. They’ll learn the answer to questions like, “How much do you weigh on Mars?” and “Why do satellites not fall?” Each week features a different space-related topic, so there’s always something new to learn!
8. Snowstorm in a Jar
Looking for a quick and fun science experiment? This simple activity is a great way to learn about blizzards, carbon dioxide gas, and chemical reactions. It uses materials you probably already have around the house, and kids can add other ingredients to the jar to make it their own as they see how the snowstorm changes.
9. Winter Play Dough
Play Dough is a great creative outlet for kids. Did you know that it’s actually pretty easy to make your own? With this no-cook recipe, your kids can learn about the chemical reactions taking place during the process of making play dough. The best part of this activity is that, once the kids finish making the play dough, they get to play with it!
10. Snowflake Math Center Activity
This activity requires a bit of setup by you, but it’s worth it for the flexibility of the activity. Create some paper snowflakes (or have the kids make them!) with space to write in the center. In the middle, write a number. Then, on clothespins, write down some simple math problems to which the answer is the number on the snowflake. Make a few of these, and it’s a great alternative to flashcards to practice arithmetic! Not only that, but you could modify this activity any way you’d like to cater to what your child is currently learning, such as shape matching.
Bonus: Animal Migration Activity
Every year animals migrate from one part of the world to another in search of warmer weather or food. Join a narwhal on an arctic adventure, check out four migration-themed printables, and discover the wild worlds of flying fish and ruby-throated hummingbirds.
Winter learning activities for kids in grades 2-5
The learning never ends with these STEM activities for kids from second to fifth grade!
11. Free Scratch Coding
Scratch was developed by MIT to be a user-friendly introduction to coding for kids. It uses simple drag-and-drop blocks rather than complex text coding to create your program. In this free live online lesson, students use Scratch to create a simple animation. With computer programming becoming more and more important in daily life, there’s never been a better time to learn how to code!
12. Hour of Code: Dance Party
In this groovy coding event students are taught by an expert teacher how to code a fantastic dance party featuring music by Lil Nas X, Ariana Grande, Ed Sheeran, Miley Cyrus, and more! Learn coding basics through utilizing drag and drop blocks of code, and unleash your creativity on the dance floor.
13. Junior Robotics
Learn how to navigate robots through a virtual environment and gain a deeper understanding of how robots can be used to solve real-world problems. Find out how to code a robot to move, draw, turn, and more within the virtual world. There's no physical robot is required, so your child can jump right in!
14. Grow Crystals Overnight
This indoor science experiment is always a big hit! Using common household items, such as epsom salt and food coloring, kids can create crystal gardens that grow very quickly. It’s an experiment worth repeating, too, as every crystal grows differently.
15. Make an Articulated Hand
With robotics becoming a more and more influential field of study, why not get a jumpstart on robot building concepts? This articulated hand is created from typical art supplies, and teaches kids how the human hand works, and how that might be applied to artificial creations. Plus, once the hand is built, kids can customize their creation to make it their own!
Enjoy winter learning activities
The learning doesn’t have to stop just because the temperature goes down! This is just a small sampling of the activities out there for kids to enjoy during the winter months. For more ideas, explore winter coding activities for kids. And check out all of our live online free coding classes designed by experts from Google, Stanford, and MIT!
Written by Create & Learn instructor Josh Abbott Salazar. Josh is a teacher, coder, audio engineer, and musician. After graduating with a Master's in Music from Belmont University in Nashville, TN, Josh turned his attention to the technology side of things, and has been working in various aspects of coding and engineering ever since. He runs a small music studio in Nashville called Tango Sound Studios, and develops video games in his spare time.