Winter is here and the warm, sunny days of spring are still a way off. January can be an incredibly long month, both in and out of the classroom. Cold weather equals less outside time, which means more indoor recess and more pent-up energy during the school day. Start your year the right way with these January Classroom Activities!
Throughout December we stayed busy with this festive gingerbread rhyming activity and these Christmas number mats. We incorporated Christmas STEM ideas all month long to keep everyone’s excitement focused on learning. We even made reindeer bags to take everything home over our long holiday break.
But now that the holiday season has passed, and with no long breaks or vacations on the horizon, January can feel daunting for both teachers and students. So let’s start planning January activities and games for the classroom to keep our students engaged and interested in their learning!
January Classroom Activities and Ideas
If the long month and an empty planbook have you feeling overwhelmed, check out this compiled list of exciting winter activities for the K-2 classroom this January.
Of course my number one must-have to make planning easier is our January Math and Literacy Centers. Available for pre-k, kindergarten, and first grade, these centers come with 20 math and 20 literacy centers that are themed for January. That’s 40 January classroom activities and games to use with your students for the month. You can pretty much guarantee that no one will be bored with your students rotating through these centers all month. You can check out our January kindergarten centers in action here.
Fun Winter Games
If you’re looking for more winter classroom activities that are easy to prep and fun to play, check out our Winter Bingo game. I love how predictable and easy bingo is for the kids to learn and play, and it always makes for a fun Friday or winter party activity.
Another game to play that involves a bit more learning is our Winter First to 20 game. This game is a great way for your students to have fun while practicing their numbers and counting this winter! This game can easily be added to your math or game center and can be used with cute mini erasers or other fun manipulatives.
Math and Literacy Journals for January
Need easy morning work or exit tickets for January? Or maybe just some extra review or practice? Our Daily Review Journals can be used in so many different ways. Our January Math Journal for First Grade is a great way for your students to fine-tune their math skills. Need literacy practice instead? The January Literacy Journal for First Grade practices and reviews skills like long vowel teams, blends, digraphs, and so much more. Do you work with kindergarten students? Our January Math Journal and January Literacy Journal are made to be kindergarten winter activities as well.
January Classroom Crafts
One thing that I love to do each week is a fun winter classroom craft to either hang on a bulletin board or send home with the kiddos. This Snowman Thumbprint Craft is such an easy one that will turn your classroom into a winter wonderland!
Check out this Penguin Puffy Paint craft and writing activity. It is seriously the cutest! Or add this Polar Bear craft to your studies to make an adorable winter bulletin board. Made from paper plates, this is one of my favorite winter classroom crafts!
January Science Activities
Winter is a wonderful time for science! I love doing science units and experiments that get my kids excited about their learning. These four January Science Experiments will have your students exploring and experimenting all month long. I mean, how fun does “Polar Bear Blubber,” “Blizzard in a Jar,” “Hot Cocoa Science,” and “Melting Snowman” sound? These experiments are also perfect for doing at home with your own kids. Most of the supplies needed are things you probably already have at home!
While you’re filling the classroom up with (fake) snowmen and snowballs, make sure to teach your students the science behind snow with this Snow Science Unit. If you have snow in your area, this unit is excellent for discussing the dangers of snow and how to stay safe in the snow. And if you don’t have snow in your area, students will still love learning about the life cycle of snow and can look forward to seeing it for themselves some day!
With January being so long, you might get tired of talking about snow, snowmen, and snowballs. Switch it up with some winter animal studies! Our Penguin Animal Study is a great addition to your January science plans.
Another fun animal to study this winter is the polar bear. Our Polar Bear Animal Study will give you a week’s worth of lesson plans and activities to teach your littlest learners all about these big, furry bears!
Literacy Classroom Activities for Winter
And with January comes snow! Well…for some of us. For those of us down south, we prepare fun snow classroom activities to make up for the lack of snow outside. These snowman rhyming puzzles are a great addition to your literacy centers this winter.
Our Snowman Match-Ups are such a fun way to practice sounds, blends, digraphs, numbers, and more, all while building adorable snowmen.
This Penguin Emergent Reader can be added to your reading center or used in small groups. Your students will love learning about these waddling creatures.
After reading about penguins, include this Penguin Syllable Sort activity to your literacy or rug center to help your students practice identifying and counting syllables with some cute penguin friends!
When you’re done learning snowy science and making pretend snowmen, take a load off on the carpet and enjoy reading some of our 12 favorite winter books. Find these books in your library, a video of the read-aloud online, or add them to your classroom wishlist to have for many winters to come.
Need more January classroom activities and ideas? Check out our full collection of winter classroom activities, products, freebies, crafts, and more on the blog here.
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From fun games to math and literacy centers to engaging science activities these exciting winter classroom activities will start the year off with a bang!