February is the dull month of waiting for the cold to end, the flowers to bloom, and longing for sunny days. For us, winter really gets started in January, the short days and long evenings take a toll on our joie de vivre. When there isn’t snow to play in outside then we’re lounging through literature and history, pushing ourselves to finish math lessons, and dreaming of what the spring will bring.
Which is all the more reason to find ways to celebrate every day! Whether it’s the season, holiday, presidents of yesterday, or that midpoint to spring (also known as Imbolc), bake up some favorite treats, tuck into a bit of hot chocolate, and get ready to find a reason to celebrate the season! Here is a fun list of activities and Valentine’s Day ideas for happy memories.
Winter Themed Ideas
Explore a new (or ongoing) language with winter word flashcards. Look up snow, ice, winter, wind, etc. to make cards and decorate with hand-drawn pictures to practice. Make a second set for a fun game of Memory!
Create an igloo picture. Cut out squares of white paper to glue on black or dark paper, creating an igloo shape. Add a snowman, chalk on the steam rising from the chimney, some paint splatters for snow. Hang up to enjoy while sipping hot chocolate!
Science experiment! We’re always up for some fun chemistry that creates amazing artwork and Borax Snowflakes are just the ticket!
Pancake Party! February is the time of year when maple trees are tapped, and the water is boiled down to make that delicious topping that fills our tummies with joy! Why not read about the history of maple syrup and how it’s made (or even find a local organization to visit to see the process in person). Hint: Native Americans are the ones we need to thank for the drizzly goodness. After reading, begin the pancake making! Everyone can get involved with measuring and mixing, while older kids can help with the fun of flipping!
Valentine’s Day Homeschool Activities
I loooove Valentine’s Day! Mostly because it’s filled with red and pink hearts, but also it is the best time to show everyone in your house how much you love them! I also love having an annual Valentine’s Party for the kids and their friends but this year it isn’t in the cards for us. BUT that is not going to stop us from having fun and eating little candy conversation hearts!
Biggest Valentine Contest – Break out all the art supplies and see who can create the biggest (dare I say gaudiest?) Valentine of all!
Love-Themed Poetry Teatime – We all love a good reason for sweet treats and a cup of hot tea! Find poems from the internet or your library that speak the language of love.
Send Valentines – this isn’t a new one, but it is a reminder to create something special to pop in the mail to those you love. Grandparents, aunts, and uncles, cousins, friends, etc.
Kind Thoughts – Create posters or slips of paper that say something kind about another person in the house and post it on their bedroom door, paste them all on a window, etc. Younger kids might need help with writing or prompting the right words, but this helps when you’re inside with the same people day in and day out.
Heart Pizza! I’m all for themed foods and every year since the day we met, my husband and I have ordered a heart-shaped pizza from the local pizzeria. It’s the same pizza, same taste, but the shape changes everything. I’m not sure why but it makes the day special (and pizza is delicious!). Clear the table and have everyone roll out their own pizza (heart-shapes optional) for a fun Valentine’s pizza dinner!
Valentine’s Popcorn! Another fun snack option to celebrate! Make this treat and then have a fun dance party or a game of The Floor is Lava! Find the recipe here from Confessions of a Homeschooler.
Whether you discuss Abraham Lincoln or George Washington, it’s a great time to review how America became the country it is. These early Presidents show us how to overcome obstacles to create a country built with freedom in mind. Browse the library, YouTube, and other sources to absorb information about how our presidents exhibited leadership.
Write: This is a good time to get kids to think about how they would behave if they were president. What would they want to achieve? What laws would they create (or revoke)?
Build Abe Lincoln’s Log Cabin: Grab some popsicle sticks and let the kids glue a log cabin on paper and decorate with crayons, chalk, paint, stickers, etc. It’s good to reinforce how humble Lincoln’s beginnings were before becoming president.
Mount Rushmore: Completed in 1941 as a way to bring more tourism to South Dakota, Mount Rushmore has been an American symbol ever since. After exploring more about this mega-art, have your kids create their own sculptures out of clay (or playdoh, whatever you have on hand). It doesn’t have to be a president since we would never want to stifle someone’s creativity.
Presidents’ Game: Here is a fun freebie you can print at home to enjoy right now!
Presidents’ Song Contest: Who can memorize the most Presidents’ names? Check out this YouTube video for a song that can bring a lot of fun to your day! (Don’t tell them they’re learning anything and ruin the party.)
Imbolc / Candlemas / Groundhog’s Day / St. Brigid’s Day
Whatever you want to call February 2 (Imbolc begins February 1 and ends February 2), it gives us another good reason to celebrate.
Watch Punxsutawney Phil and see his predictions (six more weeks of winter again?) then look up to see how often his predictions have been true. This is a great time to discuss percentages and averages.
Bake traditional Irish Oatcakes! These yummy treats can be dipped in hot tea as part of teatime or just a lovely afternoon snack. Audiobooks are optional.
Plant seeds! You can use a seed tray or a simple pot. Find your favorite flower, vegetable, or herb seeds that you want to grow. Early starters could be parsley, marigolds, peppers, etc. Check online for what would be best for your zone. You could also use a dry bean or garlic clove from the pantry to see it sprout! Older kids might enjoy using potting soil and trays to really delve into seed starting. If none of these appeals to your family, you can always grab a potted plan from the local nursery to bring in some beautiful nature.
When all else fails bundle up and get outside for some fresh air, and if the sun has already set, see who can spot the brightest star (the winter sky can be a brilliant time to see stars).
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