With fewer hours in the day and a lot less sunshine, winter can be a time when accomplishing even ordinary tasks seems like a challenge. But that doesn’t mean parents have to forgo teaching altogether. To set your childrens’ math wheels spinning, GreatSchools presents these fun but unusual activities with a seasonal theme.

What you’ll need

  • Imagination
  • A fun attitude
  • Hot chocolate

Make it happen

1. Look to the table below for help imagining a winter scene. (Feel free to change the places you visit or the ways you act them out.)

2. Call your children over and explain you’ll be going on a “hike.”

3. Prepare for the excursion by donning the appropriate imaginary clothing. If your kids look at you like a straitjacket might be the most appropriate choice, just keep up the act and encourage them to participate. “You’d better put on an extra pair of socks so your feet don’t get cold. Do you want to wear the blue scarf or the red one with green polka dots?”

4. As you begin the hike, pay attention to the five senses and bring the wintry world alive by commenting on them:

  • (As you shiver) “Brr. It’s so cold out today. I’m glad you remembered your hat.”
  • “Those ice walls are enormous! Do you think we should try to climb over them or squeeze in between?”

5. Be flexible. If your children see a wolf, just go with it.

6. Have fun, but remember to practice those prepositions — try to include these words as often as seems reasonable.

7. Reserve the snow cave — and hot chocolate — as a reward for the end of your hike.

8. Enjoy!

Phrases to practice Imaginary place or object
How to act it out
on Frozen lake Slipping or sliding with feet
under Fallen tree Wiggle on your belly
between Giant icicles or ice walls Suck in your stomach and squeeze through
in front of A huge, rolling snowball Run
behind A sleeping polar bear Tip-toe quietly
over Snowy mountain Trudge up and over
next to Rabbit’s burrow Peek in to see what’s there
through The legs of a herd of moose or reindeer Crawl
in Snow cave Sit and enjoy a hot chocolate
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Updated: February 18, 2016