Tips & Tricks for taking your learning outside in Winter!

“Going outside first thing in the morning was the BEST change I made to our outdoor classroom time. I would often leave it for our end of day activity but then some days we’d miss it because the kids gear was soaking wet from being out for recess. We have been heading out first thing in the morning and then we come in and do a little writing about our morning adventures and warm up with a light snack before getting ready for recess. We haven’t missed a day yet since we changed to mornings.”


  1. Keep your outdoor explorations on the same day every week and remind parents with a quick email so that students have their winter gear.
  2. Get active and students will stay warm! Have extra gloves, hats, and even jackets and snowpants on hand in the class in case someone needs one of the items for comfort.
  3. There is lots of rich learning that can happen in the snow – try going outside for centers, or make simple snow art.
  4. Make a snow gauge: Take an old clear plastic soda pop bottle and cut off the top half. Mark the outside in centimetres with a permanent marker and place it outside in a place where it can collect the falling snow.
  5. Make your own glacier: Fill a bowl with snow and bring it inside to partially thaw, then add more snow on top. Keep doing this all winter long. You will then have the “layers” of ice and snow like a glacier.
  6. Book a Wild Voices for Kids Winter Field Study with topics including Tracks, Habits and Homes, Winter Safety and Survival Skills, and Avalanche Skills. Teachers can access a complimentary program, plus additional programs at subsidized rates.
  7. Measure how much melted snow it takes to make water: Collect some snow in a container and record the level of snow on the container. Let the snow melt. how much water is there? Are you surprised at the difference?
  8. Book at Wildsight Winter Wonder program where students discover the awe of winter, how plants and animals adapt to it, and why it is so important for our local ecosystems.
  9. Pick up a field guide – especially one on animal tracks and traces – you’ll be surprised how easily kids can navigate these books. Or pick up a copy of Sizing up Winter‘ for taking your math outside in the winter months.
  10. Play the Canadian Wildlife Federation Winter Survival Game!

Want more ideas and resources for taking your learning outside in winter? Book a ‘Below Zero’ Pro-d Workshop for your staff! If required, CBEEN has funds to support these workshops.

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