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50+ Tremendous-Cool Winter Research Concepts

January 2, 2024
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The weather outside may be frightful, but this creative list of winter study ideas is delightful!

Don’t let the cold and dreary weather stifle your creativity when it comes to homeschooling ideas. Instead of wishing away the winter days and letting the gloom overtake your homeschool, dive into these exciting, unique-to-the-season winter study ideas and embrace the season! 

50+ Super-Cool Winter Study Ideas - warm drink and book beside fireplace

50+ Winter Study Ideas

Winter may mean less sun and shorter days, but it’s definitely not short of unique study opportunities. Take a break from your regular studies to explore some of these creative winter study ideas or look for ways to weave them into what you’re already studying.

Arctic People Groups

Winter is the perfect time to learn about the people of the Arctic and subarctic regions. These hearty indigenous people are collectively referred to as Inuit people. They live in the polar regions of Russia, Alaska, Canada, and Greenland under conditions that most of us would consider inhospitable at best. 

Take some time to learn about their culture, history, and traditional lifestyle. Discover how they were successful at turning such challenging living conditions into a way of life and what their lives are like today.

50+ Super-Cool Winter Study Ideas- image of directional arrow with text Finland

Cold Countries Around the World 

If you need to get a little geography or cultural studies in this year, why not study some of the coldest countries in the world? It’ll make you feel better about how cold it is where you live…unless you live in one of these countries, in which case, plug in your heated blanket!

As part of these winter study ideas, you can:

  1. Learn about the history, people, and culture of each country.
  2. Explore to see what modern-day life is like in each country.
  3. Look for recipes and experiment with some traditional foods from the countries you study.
  4. Listen to traditional music and play games or activities from each. 
  5. Read folktales associated with each country.
  6. Learn about their native animals.
  7. Make clothing based on their traditional dress
  8. Build a salt dough map of the countries listed below: 
    • Mongolia
    • Estonia
    • Finland
    • Kazakhstan
    • Iceland
    • Canada
    • Russia
    • Greenland
    • Antarctica

Winter Animals 

It doesn’t matter how old you are, studying animals is so much fun! (So, mamas, feel free to jump in on this one and do your own research as you embark on these animal-themed winter study ideas.)

Many animals may do what some of us want to do and sleep away the winter (hibernation – or brumation for reptiles if you want to dig deeper), but others thrive in the cold. Use this list of cold-weather-loving critters to get you started and see how many others you can add to the list.

50+ Super-Cool Winter Study Ideas- elk in snow

For each animal, consider how it keeps warm in the winter, what it eats, where it lives, and how it migrates. 

  • Polar bears
  • Penguins
  • Sea otters
  • Arctic hares
  • Arctic wolves
  • Caribou
  • Moose
  • Narwhal
  • Canada geese
  • Snowy owls
  • Seals
  • Wood Frog (Bet you didn’t expect to see a frog on this list! This little guy doesn’t necessarily love the cold, but he has a unique way of enduring winter.)
  • Arctic fox
  • Walrus
  • Arctic ground squirrel
  • Willow ptarmigan

homemade bird feeders

Winter Nature Study Ideas 

Wintertime studies aren’t just bundling up next to the fireplace, drinking hot chocolate, and reading about people and places – though that is one of my favorite parts of it! It may be cold outside, but don’t let that keep you from bundling up and braving the chill to investigate these unique cold-weather nature study ideas. 

  • Feed the birds – Your feathered friends will appreciate it and you have an opportunity to see birds that may only be in your area during the cold weather months. 
  • Do a winter bird study – After you put some food out for them, grab your binoculars and keep a journal of the birds that visit your feeders. Dig deeper and see if you can identify and learn more about each of them.
  • Study trees – Chilly nature walks can be so much fun! Take a walk in the woods and see how many types of evergreens you can spot. Did you know that most evergreens are coniferous, but some conifers are deciduous? See what you discover about the trees around you.
  • Try your hand at maple sugaring if you live in an area where that’s possible. If not, head to the library and check out some books on the process or watch a video on YouTube. (This is also a great excuse to read Little House in the Big Woods!)
  • Investigate the animal tracks you find in the snow around your house.
  • Brave some chilly nights for a winter moon study
  • Get creative with some winter photography. Snow makes a gorgeous backdrop!

50+ Super-Cool Winter Study Ideas - frozen  bubble

Winter Science 

Science in the winter can be super fun. While you’re bundled up for some fresh air and nature study, explore some winter-only or cold-themed science topics. Try some of these winter study ideas or brainstorm some of your own:

  • Snowflakes (Try these tips for collecting actual snowflakes to look at under a microscope!)
  • Apple season has Johnny Appleseed, but winter has Snowflake Bentley!
  • Winter Weather
  • Ice
  • Winter Solstice
  • Keep a winter weather calendar – Track sunny/cloudy days, temperature, precipitation, etc. Then, chart the results to see what your winter weather was really like.
  • Igloos – How can a house made of ice actually keep people warm? Find out!
  • Got snow? Is it light and fluffy or heavy and icy? Do some investigating to find out how atmospheric temperature affects the texture.
  • No snow? Make your own with these fake snow recipes. Compare and contrast to see which is the best. 
  • Make frozen bubbles
  • Make crystals

And, when you come inside to warm up, don’t miss an opportunity! Try this idea for to turn for a warm and tasty hot chocolate science experiment

winter nature study: animal tracks

Historical Events That Happened in Wintertime 

You can find historical events that have happened on pretty much every day of the year, but look for those that happened specifically during wintertime. Research to see what role, if any, the season played in the timing or events of each. 

  • 1513 – Juan Ponce de Leon lands in Florida
  • 1770 – The Boston Massacre
  • 1776 – Common Sense by Thomas Paine is published
  • 1777 – Winter at Valley Forge
  • 1838 – Trail of Tears
  • 1863 – President Lincoln signs the Emancipation Proclamation
  • 1876 – Alexander Graham Bell receives a patent for the telephone
  • 1910 – Boy Scouts of America is founded
  • 1912 – Girl Scouts of America is founded
  • 1924 – The first Winter Olympics
  • 1959 – Alaska becomes a state (The perfect cold weather state for a unit study!)
  • 1965 – Movie: The Sound of Music premieres
  • 1967 – The first Super Bowl was played

50+ Super-Cool Winter Study Ideas - cup of hot chocolate

Winter Activities Around the World 

Tying in more cultural studies, here are some amazing events to learn about with your kids. I’ve always been fascinated by the Ididarod race which is a sled dog race that takes place annually in early March with teams running from Anchorage to Nome, Alaska The race commemorates the route run by teams of sled dogs to deliver lifesaving serum to a remote village during Alaska’s diphtheria epidemic in 1925. 

Learn more about the history of the race, how it has changed over the years, and how the dogs are kept safe. Tie in animal studies and see what you can find out about two of the most famous canine faces of the race, Balto and Togo.

Or, dig into some of these fun winter festivals. 

  • Ice on Whyte Festival (Canada)
  • The Winter Olympics (Worldwide)
  • Carnevale (Venice)
  • Sundance Film Festival (Utah)
  • Mardi Gras (New Orleans)
  • Winter Carnival (Quebec)
  • Yukon Quest (Canada)
  • Sapporo Snow Festival (Japan)
  • Ice Music Festival (Norway)

50+ Super-Cool Winter Study Ideas- person skiing

Winter Sports

Winter recess can be a whole new kind of fun. Take advantage of the cold to participate in winter-only sports!

Try some – or all – of the following:

  • Skiing
  • Ice hockey
  • Sledding
  • Ice skating
  • Snowboarding 

It’s easy to let the short, cold days give you a case of the winter blues. Use these winter study ideas to embrace the cold and breathe a little life into your homeschool. Spring shouldn’t get to have all the fun! 

Stay warm this winter, homeschool mamas, and have a great time in your winter studies!

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