Learn about forest animals with your preschoolers this winter using these Preschool Forest Theme activities. Practice important early learning skills while investigating Forest Animals, Woodlands, Winter Gear, and Winter Living. You’re definitely not going to want to miss these engaging and hands-on ideas that are perfect for your winter preschool themes!
I’m so excited to share these winter in the woods lesson plan ideas with you today. We love winter preschool themes and this one is definitely no exception. This preschool forest theme is perfect for learning about animals in winter, woodland habitats, and more with your little learners this winter.
This post may contain affiliate links which means I may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you if an item is purchased through one of these links. For more information, please see my full disclosures.
A huge thanks to Experience Early Learning (formerly Mother Goose Time) for providing us with their Experience Preschool curriculum for free in exchange for sharing our honest and authentic stories resulting from our personal experiences. It’s been such a huge blessing to us! As always, my opinions on awesome stuff for little kids are 100% my own.
Not only are we working to develop important communication and fine motor skills, but we’re also learning about the world around us. We’re having fun exploring visual arts, dramatic play, and more!
Week one of our preschool forest theme was all about Forest Animals. Our daily topics were Deer, Hedgehog, Bear, Mouse, and Owl.
It always amazes me how the simplest activities quickly become favorites. This week, we made “deer tracks” using paint, corks, and spools, which meant exploring stamping while practicing fine motor skills. There are so many ways to extend this lesson, but we definitely enjoyed learning more about animal tracks.
We also used paper plates to make hedgehog process art. Pokey balls are perfect for adding texture with brown paint. Once dry, fold the paper plate in half, glue on toothpicks for quills, and of course wiggle eyes and a little pompom for the nose. Another fun process art activity this week was the three-dimensional bear dens we made from upside-down bowls and nature items.
Owl was definitely our favorite topic this week. We made paper bag owl puppets using cupcake liners, cardstock, and sticker eyes. After that, we learned all about owl’s nests and then made our own using nature items.
- Hedgehog Activities for Toddlers & Preschoolers
During week two, we focused on Woodlands with topics such as Pine Tree, Snowflake, Pinecone, Icicles, and Snowman.
This was definitely a week to remember! Not only did we explore the pine tree life cycle, but we also investigated pine trees with a fun tree trimming STEAM activity. We got up close and personal with pine branches using magnifying glasses to explore what makes a pine tree special. This was such a great way to encourage preschoolers to use descriptive vocabulary to answer the question and discuss the pine branches!
As always, there were really awesome process art ideas this week too. We made snowflakes using coffee filters, glitter, watery paint, and eyedroppers. This activity was of course a great way to practice cutting skills. We also did a “snowstorm painting” using cardstock, bubble wrap, and paint. We used light blue cardstock for our background and then black and white to add details to our winter landscapes.
We did an adorable sensory activity using a bowl of water and ice cubes. The kids tried different types of spoons and scoops to catch the ice cubes. This is also fun to do as a color mixing activity using colored ice. And of course, speaking of colored ice, we can’t forget ice painting. Freeze watery paint in an ice cube tray and then set out the colored ice cubes and paper. Invite your little learners to explore what happens when the colored ice melts.
Week three of our preschool forest theme meant learning about Winter Gear. Our topics were Mittens, Snowshoes, Sled, Coat, and Hat and Scarf.
What do you wear when it’s cold outside? How do animals keep warm in the cold weather? We answered these questions and more this week as we explored buttons, pockets, and zippers while playing “winter dress up.” Another fun activity this week was using fabric scraps, buttons, and playdough to make pretend animals and people and then helping them keep warm by wrapping them up with fabric coats.
This week’s process art included an opportunity to make a sled using a tray and twine. Of course, we painted our sleds too. If you’re looking for a fun STEAM idea for your block center this week, don’t forget to include cardboard so your kids can use their creative thinking and problem-solving skills to engineer their own ramps and sleds.
We wrapped up this week with a really cute “snow balance” STEAM activity using shaving cream. For this experiment, set out a bowl or tub filled with shaving cream and gather items of different sizes and weights. Encourage children to explore placing the items on the “snow” to see which items sink down and which remain on the surface.
- Playdough Buttons Toddler Sensory Tray
During week four, we learned about Winter Living. Our topics were Lumberjack, Log Cabin, Fireplace, Porridge, and Quilt.
This week included lots of fun activities such as making wooden shapes using sticks and “planting a forest” using cardboard tubes. Both of these activities were perfect for the block center. This type of dramatic play is so important for preschoolers. What does a lumberjack do? Would you want to be a lumberjack? We answered these questions and more this week while practicing creative thinking and problem-solving skills in a fun and engaging way.
Our favorite process art activity this week was definitely the fireplace painting. The kids love using nature items in their art. Not only that, but this painting for kids activity was a great opportunity to practice color mixing. We used red, orange, and yellow paint as well as sticks to create a flame painting.
Preschoolers love messy play and especially when it involves the mud kitchen. This month’s cooking in nature STEAM couldn’t have been more perfect! We used bowls of nature materials and kitchen utensils to make pretend porridge. Not only can your little learners explore dramatic play, but they’re also practicing important math and reasoning skills in the process.
- Preschool Tree Art Invitation to Create
By now you should have plenty of ideas for putting together an awesome preschool forest theme. If you have a favorite printable or activity to add to the list, be sure to leave a comment and share!
Don’t forget to stop by next week if you’re interested in seeing what we’re up to with our safari preschool theme!