Hibernation Unit Study and Winter Playdough Recipe

Image courtesy of @jojomontessori

This is the time of year when we switch to what I like to call “cozy-schooling” ~ cozy crafts, recipes, lots of books, and of course candles and tea.

One of our favorite things to learn about this time of year is hibernation. Where we live, we see a big change in the activity of insects and wildlife during the winter months. Here are some fun ideas for studying hibernation with your kiddos.

Whimsical Snowy Playdough

Sometimes we just read books, but sometimes we read books AND add a little whimsical fun to go along with it. One of the activities we did this year was make snowy, sparkly playdough to go with our reading of Over and Under the Snow, by Kate Messner.

For this activity you just need some playdough, forest animals and paper trees (the boys helped make these). First, we set the stage by rolling out the dough smooth, and then added the trees at the top. As I read through the story, the boys took turns adding the animals, either hibernating in their burrows or frolicking around on top of the snow.

They got creative and made tracks in the snow and they even used toothpicks to create a little beaver dam. Adorable.

Sparkly Snow Playdough Recipe

(adapted from my fav playdough recipe from @wovenchildhood)

Mix together:
– 2 cups white flour (I used unbleached but bleached flour will make it look more snowy white)
– 1 cup fine salt
– 3 tablespoons cream of tartar
– 1.5 tablespoons vegetable oil

Carefully stir in 2 cups of boiling water

Allow it a few minutes to cool, then knead in peppermint essential oil (optional) and white glitter, 1 tablespoon at a time

I am NOT a fan of glitter, but somehow it stays put in the playdough once it’s mixed in.

We also used the hibernation unit study included in the Winter Journal (you can find out more about that here).

Our Favorite Picture Books About Hibernation

Check out these books that teach young learners about which animals sleep for the winter, and the different types of hibernation.

Over and Under the Snow

Winter Sleep: A Hibernation Story

Winter Sleep: A Hibernation Story

The Snowy Nap

The Snowy Nap

Animals in Winter

The Big Snow

Not a Buzz to be Found: Insects in Winter

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