Cool Weather Creative Play

Warm Weather

The Squirrel

Whisky, frisky, hippety-hop,
Up he goes to the treetop!
Whirly, twirly, round and round,
Down he scampers to the ground.
Furly, curly, what a tail!
Tall as a feather, broad as a sail.
Where's his supper? In a shell.
Snappity, crackity, out it fell.

Grey Squirrel

Grey Squirrel, grey squirrel
Shake your bushy tail.
Grey Squirrel, grey squirrel
Shake your bushy tail.
Wrinkle up your funny nose
Put a nut between your toes
Grey squirrel, grey squirrel
Shake your bushy tail.

The Owl

There's a wide eye owl
With a pointed nose
2 pointed ears
and claws for toes
he lives way up in the tree
and when he looks at you
he flaps his wings
and says who, who

Fall Finger Play

Let your hands be wild geese flying
Far, far away.
Let your fingers be leaves twirling down
On a cold fall day.
Let your hands be
Two frisky squirrels
Climbing up a tree,
Chasing each other up and down,
Chattering merrily.
Then let the squirrels go hop, hop, hop
Into a cozy nest…to rest.

Five Little Leaves

Five little leaves so bright and gay
Were dancing about on a tree one day
The wind came blowing through the town
And one little leave came tumbling down
Four little leaves...
Three little leaves...
Two little leaves...
One little leaf so bright and gay
Was dancing about on a tree one day
The wind came blowing through the town
And one little leaf came tumbling down.


Chugga, chugga,
Ring the bell.
Train's a-coming,
Can't you tell?

Chugga, chugga,
Clickity-clack, rollin' down
The railroad track!

A Trip to the Moon

10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1
Blast off!
Fly through space
Land on the moon
Climb out and walk around
Remember, the gravity on the moon is different!
Jump, slide, twirl, hop over a crater, run, trip, sit, stand
Look! There are some moon creatures!
Are you afraid of them?
Are they afraid of you?
Do you want to be friends?
How will you talk to them?
Time to go!
Will they come with you?

Action rhyme:
I'm a creature from outer space.
I eat with my ears and comb my face.
I walk on hands; I sing through my nose.
I flap my wings and clap my toes.

(Add your own!)


One little snowman short and fat,
Wearing a scarf and a big black hat.
He has two eyes so he can see,
And also a smile, just for me.
Two sticks for arms,
And a carrot nose,
Buttons down the front,
Almost to his toes.
When the weather is cold,
He stands up tall.
But when the sun comes out,
It makes him very small.

Winter Fun

The day is cloudy and the wind is bold. Dress up warmly, you mustn't get cold!
Put on your coat and zip it up tight, put on your left boot, put on your right.
Put on your scarf and put on your hat, put on your mittens and clap-clap-clap!
Go outside and play and play. Come in again, and then we'll say-
Take off your coat that was zipped up tight, take off your left boot, take off your right.
Take off your scarf, take off your hat, take off your mittens, and then take a nap!

Way up high in the winter sky ,
Two little snowflakes caught my eye.
Down to the ground they fell without a sound.
And before very long , it was snowing all around.

Cool-weather Quickies:

Animal Crackers:

Pick up a cracker, eat it and then become that animal for 1 minute.

Pretend to:
be leaves blowing in the wind
rake leaves
be a tree losing leaves
go ice-skating
ride a snowmobile
build a snowman
be a snowflake
be popcorn
walk in deep snow
be in a snowball fight
walk on ice

Do the dance of the:

Sleeping Game

This works well when the weather is against us-it gets the kids up and moving wildly, but can be reigned in quickly for the next change.

The kids lay down on blankets and you say, "All the children went to sleep! When they woke up they were_____!" Our favorites are dogs, cows, monkeys, birds, snakes, each other, the mom or dad, dinosaurs, mammoths, saber toothed tigers, turtles, squid.

Pretend Nature Walk for cold and rainy days

Hike around the room, stopping to look through 'binoculars' and describing what you see. A squirrel? Do you see a bird making a nest?
Climb a tree
Throw rocks in the lake
Feed bread to the ducks and fish
Float like butterflies
Creep like ants
Crawl like caterpillars
Hop like rabbits
Leap like frogs

Twinkle, Twinkle Variation:

All the leaves are falling down,
Orange, yellow, red, and brown.
Falling softly as they do,
Over me and over you.
All the leaves are falling down,
Orange, yellow, red, and brown.
Leaves are falling all around
Twisting and turning to the ground
I make piles all around
Them jump in them on the ground

Leaves are falling all around
Falling, falling to the ground
Falling, falling, falling leaves,
Mother Nature did you sneeze?
Red ones, yellow ones, orange and brown.
Big ones, little ones on the ground.
Falling, falling, falling leaves,
Mother Nature did you sneeze?

Snow is falling all around,
Falling, falling, to the ground.
I catch snowflakes on my tongue.
Building snowmen is such fun.
Snow is falling all around,
Falling, falling, to the ground.

Wheels on the Bus Variation:

The leaves on the trees turn orange and brown…all through the town.
The leaves on the trees come tumbling down
The leaves on the ground go swish, swish, swish…

The weathers getting cold so bundle up…winter's coming soon.
The bears in the cave sleep all the time
The squirrels in the trees get lots of nuts
The frogs and toads go deep in mud
The ducks and the geese go flying south
The people in the town wear hats and gloves...

Wacky Road

Travel along a road made of:
Hot mashed potatoes
Cold ice cream

Add your own variations!


The leader picks an animal to become

A big dinosaur
A wiggly caterpillar
A tall giraffe
A frog
A bear
A ladybug

Stumps and Statues

Played to music.
Kids dance to music, using as much of the room as possible. When music stops they must squat down like stumps or freeze like a statue, depending on the pattern.

Example patterns:
Stump, statue, stump
Statue, stump, stump, statue
Judge by age/ability how complicated to make the pattern, or just let the kids choose which they want to be.

Any size group

Natural Disasters

Call out one of the following and the kids do appropriate actions.

Fire - drop to ground, roll around, crawl low
Flood - quickly jump on to chair/table, go for high ground
Tornado - drop to ground and spread body out
Earthquake - run for cover under a table or in doorway

Nature hand claps:

Let the kids clap (or stomp) out what they think nature sounds like.
Rain: Gentle tapping on a table or their knees
Thunder: Stomping or slapping a tabletop and making loud sounds
Earthquake: Rubbing the knuckles together makes a good low rumble sound.

Whole body:

'Making tornadoes' out of their own bodies is fun! Let the child fling their arms out and spin around, pulling their arms in and putting them back out. Make lots of noise!

Earthquakes: Kids wobble around and act like the earth is moving.

FIRE! Practice again and again staying low and being safe in case of a fire. Making it a part of creative movement will enable you to keep kids well rehearsed in case of an emergency.

Any size group

Following Simple Directions:

"Mother May I?"

2 or more players
One child or adult is the 'mother'.
The Mother calls out a command examples are:
Take one giant step forward.
Take 3 baby steps forward.
Take 2 scissors steps forward.
Take 1 hop forward.
Take 1 step sideways.

Feel free to add your own variations. We include octopus steps, butterfly steps and snake steps where the kids truly get to make up their own movement!

The "children" respond by saying, "Mother, may I?" and the Mother replies, "Yes, you may." Anyone who forgets to ask must begin over. The first 'child' to the 'Mother' is the mother for the next round.

Simon says

"Simon says-put your finger on your nose!
"Put your other hand on your elbow!
"I didn't say "Simon Says!!"

Kids must listen to hear the directions AND see if Simon said it or not. Anything goes-hopping, singing, body contortions, and of course lots of giggling. There is no "you are out" in this game, so just swap out "Simons" after a few minutes of play.

Red Light/Green Light!

One person is the 'light' the others line up some distance away.
The light turns their back and yells: "Green light!" and everyone begins to run toward the light.
The light then turns around yelling, "Red light!" All the runners freeze-anyone caught moving must start over at the line. First one to the light becomes the light for the next round.

Keys to the Cupboard

The guard stands with a set of keys placed between their feet, facing away from group. Others line up some distance away and the adult yells, "GO!" Kids move towards keys. When guard turns around students must freeze. Anyone caught moving must return to the start. Once keys have been stolen, guard chases thief back to start. If guard tags thief, he/she remains guard. If thief escapes, he/she becomes new guard. Twist - try making it harder by asking kids to freeze as ballerinas, robots, aliens, monsters add your own!

Playing with Acting

Use a mirror to watch yourself acting happy, sad, confused, angry-anything!

Variation: draw a card from a box and duplicate that emotion (written or drawn) and see if others can guess it.

Practice moving and walking like someone very old, like a baby, like a clown, a robot, like a member or royalty, like a very tired person, add your own!


For groups of two

One child leads by slowly moving their body and facial expressions while the second child copies them. Swap leaders.

Crazy Machine

For 3+ children

The first child makes a machine sound, followed by the second, third and so on. Children make their own sound. Try going fast, slow, loud, soft and see how your crazy machine sounds!

Be somebody!

Climbing a ladder
Painting a wall


Gathering gardens
Picking fruit
Going to market
Milking cows
Churning butter
Chopping wood

Climbing stairs
Making bed
Washing car
Cutting grass
Raking leaves

Be Something!

A bowl of Jell-O
A rag doll
A rubber band
A seed in the ground
A tired puppy

A piece of wood
A coat hanger
An ice sickle
A robot
A flagpole

Links for more ideas:

Dramatic Play

PBS kids ideas