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Winter Carnival Preschool Games

by Kathryn Rateliff Barr

Your little one wants to have a winter carnival for his preschool friends. He has no idea how much work is involved, but you’ll take up the challenge to demonstrate how much you love him and want him to be happy. Preschool games can facilitate the job of corralling and keeping preschoolers busy and safe. Now you need to determine prizes for the winners of your games.

Skill Games

Skill games challenge your preschooler's physical and mental abilities. For mental challenges, require your preschooler to match pairs of mittens, gloves or winter-themed socks or remember and match pictures of winter-themed items, such as snowflakes, snowmen, reindeer, icicles or polar bears. Physical challenges can include throwing a snowball into a hole cut in a box decorated like Santa, bowling with pop bottle pins dressed as penguins or snowmen or carrying a cotton ball snowball on a spoon from one end of a relay track to the other. You can make the games more challenging by hobbling the participants with a winter scarf so they move like penguins or having them bowl while wearing mittens.

Cooperative Games

Your preschooler can learn how to cooperate with others when you use team games in your winter carnival. Provide various sizes of cardboard boxes or blocks and have each team construct a defensive wall before pelting the other team with wadded paper snowballs, rolled sock snowballs or large marshmallow snow balls. For another game, give each team a winter blanket and toss paper snowflakes in the center. Each team must flap its blanket to keep the snowfall raining down on the blanket. Another cooperative game requires having one team member stand still with her winter hat, earmuffs, mittens, coat, scarf and galoshes in a nearby pile. Her team members must sort through the items and help her get dressed to go outside into the snow.

Holiday-Themed Games

Various holidays fall in winter, including Christmas, New Year’s, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah and Winter Solstice. You can create card pairs that picture different winter holiday items for your preschooler to match, such as Christmas presents, dreidel, Christmas tree, menorah, cornucopia, unity cup, New Year’s baby and the sun. You can play a winter holiday-themed game of Hot Potato using a frozen water balloon and Christmas music playing or make a similar modification to musical chairs.

Outside Games

If the weather cooperates, some games can take place outside. Your snowball fight can involve real snowballs. The preschoolers can work in teams to make a snowman, with you supplying the scarf, hat, carrot nose and black balls for eyes and buttons. Preschoolers can paint pictures of various items you name in the snow using colored water in squirt bottles. You can create a snow relay race where each team member scoops a spoonful of snow and runs across the yard to drop the snow into his team’s bucket.

About the Author

Rev. Kathryn Rateliff Barr has taught birth, parenting, vaccinations and alternative medicine classes since 1994. She is a pastoral family counselor and has parented birth, step, adopted and foster children. She holds bachelor's degrees in English and history from Centenary College of Louisiana. Studies include midwifery, naturopathy and other alternative therapies.

Photo Credits

  • Steve Mason/Photodisc/Getty Images