Winter Animals is a great theme to explore with preschoolers and toddlers. Whether animals hibernate or not, how they find food etc…

We’ve picked the book Over and Under the Snow by Kate Messner as our featured book and will be sharing some fun crafts and activities about winter animals and hibernation to do together with your toddlers and preschoolers.

The first is a clay craft that also practices Scissor Skills. So here we go our Clay Hedgehog Craft for Toddlers and Preschoolers.

easy preschool craft to make clay hedgehogs

Clay Hedgehog Craft

This is such a simple activity and you can make the hedgehog with either air-drying clay (see our recommendation further down for the one that we use) or with our homemade clay using this salt dough recipe.

Whichever way you make it I would advise that you air dry it. It took ours about 3 days to dry completely and it would be similar with the salt dough as well.

Using Scissors with your Toddlers and Preschoolers

You may be a little wary of using scissors with your toddlers and preschoolers.

cutting spikes in the clay - a simple cutting practice craft for kids
Cutting practice in clay a great way to help preschoolers and older toddlers learn to use scissor safely

But, simple crafts like this and scissor skills sheets are a great way to get them using scissors correctly and whilst being supervised safely.

With younger toddlers instead of using the scissors if you really don’t feel that they are ready (although playdough scissors would work well for them) you could pinch the spikes for the hedgehogs. This is a great way to work on the pincer grip that your tots will need when they start to hold a pencil and write.

winter animals hibernation craft for toddlers and preschoolers
Clay Hedgehog Craft for Toddlers and Preschoolers

Over and Under the Snow by Kate Messner

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Our featured book this week is Over and Under the Snow by Kate Messner and illustrated by Christopher Silas Neal.

We have chosen this book as it features a wide range of animals that either hibernate or that are active during the winter months and in the snow.

Although it doesn’t feature a hedgehog it does have bears, foxes, voles, owls and deer.

At the end of the book, there is a non-fiction section which provides more detail about the different animals in the book a feature that we really love.

If you would like to focus on bears with your preschooler and toddler then our Virtual Book Club for Kids themed week is Bears.

However, we don’t have bears in the UK so instead have selected Winter Animals as our theme for the week.

Toddler and Preschool Scissor Skills Hedgehog Clay Craft
Winter Animal Craft for Toddlers and Preschoolers to make a Clay Hedgehog with cutting practice.
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Clay Cutting Skills Hedgehog Craft for Toddlers and Preschoolers

A simple and fun hedgehog craft for toddlers and preschoolers to practice cutting skills whilst learning about some of the winter animals that hibernate.
Active Time15 mins
Total Time15 mins
Keyword: Air Drying Clay, Preschool Activities, Preschool Craft, Preschool Learning, toddler activities, Toddler Craft
Author: Cerys Parker

Equipment

  • Child Scissors
  • Clay Tools

Materials

Instructions

  • Take a ball of the air-drying clay.
    materials for making clay hedgehogs
  • Knead until it is easy to form.
  • Shape into an oval.
  • Point the nose of the clay hedgehog.
  • Using the end of a clay tool poke in eyes and draw a mouth.
  • Using the scissors cut the spikes for the hedgehog.
  • Leave to dry on a plastic bag (this will prevent it sticking).

More Winter Animal Crafts and Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers

Simple activity to set up for toddlers and preschoolers supporting learning of names. Based on the classic theme of Teddy Bears.
A simple bread recipe for kids to make in just under 2 hours that will make 4 - 6 small hedgehog bread rolls perfect for some autumn baking
Squirrel and Acorn Counting Clip Cards - match how many acorns the squirrel has collected with the right number and work on number recognition, motor skills and 1 to 1 correspondence counting.
Air drying clay hedgehog craft for preschoolers and toddlers
Author
Cerys Parker

Cerys is a marine biologist, environmental educator, high school teacher and mum. Realising that life doesn't have to be put on hold and you don't just have to survive whilst the kids are young she shares ideas to inspire you to LIVE with the kids, with activities to do together, recipes to cook and enjoy and family travel to make memories to last a lifetime.

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