time fillers

Winter Time Fillers

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Sometimes you may have some extra time in the day, where you may need a time filler to keep the children occupied.   Time fillers can be a lifesaver to get children actively engaged between activities…especially if you are waiting for lunch time, nap time, or outside time.

Here are some suggestions for winter themed time fillers that take five minutes or less.  Print out the cards and pull one at random any time you have some time to spare.

Dance like a snowflake. Put on some winter music and tell children that they are snowflakes.  Have them dance to the music like snowflakes falling to the ground.  Some suggestions for music include:

What’s Missing?  Winter version. Place several winter related items on a tray or cookie sheet.  Ask children to look at the items.  Then have them close their eyes and remove one item.  (Or cover the items with a cloth, and remove an item without them seeing.)  Try to have the children guess what item is missing.  Use more items for older children and less items for younger children.  With younger children, name each item as you place the items on the tray.  Suggested items:

  • Mitten
  • Winter hat
  • Scarf
  • Boot (use toy boot)
  • Packet of hot chocolate
  • Hot chocolate mug
  • Figurine or small stuffed animal (polar bear or penguin)
Photo Credit: Kindergarten Worksheets and Games

Snowball Transfer. Place a bucket or bowl in the middle of a table.  Scatter cottonballs (‘snowballs’) around the table.  Give each child a straw, and have them pick up the snowballs by sucking in the straw.  See how fast they can get all of the snowballs into the bucket.  

Snowman, Snowman – Where’s Your Nose?  (Played like “Doggie Doggie, Where’s Your Bone?”)

  1. Children sit in a circle.
  2. One child is chosen to be the snowman. With eyes covered, that child can sit or stand in the center of the circle.
  3. Give a small carrot or an orange carrot shaped pattern to one child.
  4. Have the child hide the carrot behind their back. All other children also have their hands behind their backs.
  5. All children chant: Snowman, Snowman, Where’s Your Nose?
    Somebody took it from your home.
    Upstairs, Downstairs, by the phone…
    Wake up Snowman, Find your Nose.
  6. The child in the center now uncovers their eyes and  guesses which child they think has the snowman’s nose. The ‘snowman’ gets up to three guesses.
  7. The child who is holding the snowman’s nose, now becomes the new snowman in the middle!

Polar Bear Says. Play like Simon Says.  Give directions like…

  • Melt like a Snowman
  • Waddle like a Penguin
  • Shovel the Snow
  • Fall like a Snowflake
  • Roll like a Snowball
  • Freeze like an Icicle
  • Glide like an Ice Skater
Photo Credit: whatmomslove.com

Penguin Waddle. Give each child a balloon or 6-8 inch rubber ball.  Have them put it between their knees and try to ‘waddle’ around like penguins.  For older children, create a relay race or obstacle course.

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