13 Montessori Inspred Winter Literacy Center Ideas

13 Montessori Inspired Winter Literacy Center Ideas

It’s that time of the year again. It’s time to get ready to “Fall into Winter”. As a preschool teacher decorating my classroom for winter is one of my favourite things. And no matter how busy I get I don’t forget to give the shelf activities a seasonal touch as well. So I thought of making a list of winter literacy center ideas for Preschool/Kindergarten Teachers and Homeschooling Moms. All these activities are Montessori-inspired. Most of them are printables and easy to put together. Keep reading until the end of this post. Because I have listed 10 Winter words for each activity.

shop for Digital and printable teacher resources

Get your a-z Winter Words Colouring Sheets here

Montessori Inspired Winter Literacy Center Ideas

Snowflake Transfer

snowflake transfer, winter  themed  fine motor skill activity for preschool literacy center/language shelf

Transferring activities usually belong on the Practical Life shelf. But these activities indirectly prepare children for writing as well. Using fingers, spoons, tweezers or tongs help develop the child’s fine motor skills. Fine motor skills are important for a strong pencil grip and good penmanship. To give this activity a seasonal touch, you can change the objects according to season. Children love it when I add new objects to this activity. Small plastic snowflakes or toy marshmallows are great options.

Colouring Sheets – Winter Words

Winter words colouring sheets for beginning sounds

Colouring sheets for beginning sounds a-z and three-letter phonetic words. Colouring sheets are a great way to develop pencil grip strength and penmanship. I like to add theme-related and seasonal colouring sheets to all the areas(centers). For the literacy center, I keep beginning sounds and three-letter phonetic words worksheets. Three letter words are also known as Pink Scheme or CVC words. You can give these colouring sheets a Winter touch to perk up the seasonal spirit. But don’t add some snowflakes and call it Winter. It will be more effective and unique if the words are winter-related as well. Download the Free Winter Words a-z Beginning Sounds Colouring Sheets here.

2 Piece Puzzles.

beginning sound picture puzzle for preschool literacy center

Two-piece puzzles are one of my favourite activities for any area of learning. I like to keep different types of sets stored, so I can rotate according to seasons, holidays or themes. I keep one standard template and add new pictures according to the theme or the season. Then I print and laminate them.

Simple Nomenclature Cards

Montessori simple Normenclature cards for winter

Nomenclature Cards is a Montessori picture matching activity. It includes pairs of picture cards, one labelled and the other non labelled. Depending on the child’s reading level, you can use separate labels as well. These are also called 3 part cards. Leave out the name cards for younger children who are not ready for reading. Nomenclature cards are must-have activities on Montessori shelves. They help the development of visual perception, verbal language and enrichment of vocabulary. There are different types of Nomenclature Cards and you can add a seasonal touch to any of these.  

Scientific Nomenclature Cards

Montessori scientific Normenclature cards for winter

Scientific nomenclature cards teach parts of anything. they include a set of cards with the same picture. In each picture certain part is highlighted in red. To add a winter theme you can make Scientific Normancature cards to teach parts of Polar bears or any winter animal.    

Rhyming Cards

Rhyming cards and Go-together cards for winter

Rhyming cards are a must-have for the language shelf. Even if the child is not at a reading stage they can do matching rhyming picture cards. They help develop language, vocabulary and phonemic awareness. Show the child how to look at the picture cards, say what’s in the picture and find another picture that sounds the same. Keep many sets at hand so that you can rotate more often. Winter themed rhyming cards are a great way to add a seasonal touch to your language shelf. It is limited and difficult to find many rhyming words related to a specific theme. So it is ok if only one of the words to be winter-themed and the other word to be any rhyming word. Here are some winter-themed rhyming word examples

10 Winter Rhyming Words

  1. Snow – Bow
  2. Boots – Roots
  3. Mittens – Kittens
  4. Hat – Mat
  5. Elf – Shelf
  6. Coat – Boat
  7. Jacket – Racket
  8. Sled – Bed
  9. Skate – Gate
  10. Blizzard and Wizard

Go Together Cards

Go together cards are the same as the rhyming cards activity. The only difference is the words do not have to be rhyming. They are set of 2 pictures that go together. E.g., fork and spoon or apple and apple tree. Here are some winter-related Go together word ideas

10 Winter Go Together Words

  1. Marshmallows – Hot Chocolate
  2. Hat – Mittens
  3. Snowflakes – Snowman
  4. Jacket – Boots
  5. Christmas Tree – Christmas Ball
  6. Earmuffs – Scarf
  7. Skis – Ski Poles
  8. Ice Skates – Helmet
  9. Santa – Elves
  10. Puck and Hockey Stick

Classification Cards

Classification cards are the same as nomenclature cards. But instead of matching pictures, they are for classifying. Have two or more categories with title cards and at least 4 picture cards for each category. Here are some winter-themed classification cards. 

Classification Cards: Four Seasons

Montessori classification cards for winer

Four sets of picture cards, each set representing each season. You can choose to keep only two or three sets. Make sure you talk about seasons before you make it available on the shelf. Here are some word suggestions for Winter and Fall.

10 Winter Words

  1. Snowman
  2. Snowflakes
  3. Winter Jacket
  4. Boots
  5. Mittens
  6. Winter Hat
  7. Scarf
  8. Hot Chocolate
  9. Skates
  10. Christmas Tree

10 Fall Words

  1. Leaves
  2. Pumpkin
  3. Apple
  4. Corn
  5. Fall Crop
  6. Farm
  7. Thanksgiving (Canadian)
  8. Halloween
  9. Scarecrow
  10. School Bus (back to school)

Classification Cards: Hibernation and Migration

Hibernation and Migration is a winter theme. Have these classification cards ready to add to your shelf when you introduce this theme.

10 Animals that Hibernate

  1. Bears
  2. Skunks
  3. Groundhogs
  4. Bats
  5. Hedgehogs
  6. Chipmunks
  7. Box Turtles
  8. Bumblebees
  9. Snails
  10. Frogs

10 Animals that Migrate

  1. Monarch Butterflies
  2. Birds
  3. Dragonflies
  4. Sea Turtles
  5. Salmon Fish
  6. Hummingbirds
  7. Sharks
  8. Seals
  9. Tuna Fish
  10. Whales

Classification Cards: Winter Birds and Spring Birds

10 Winter Birds

  1. Red & White-winged Crossbills
  2. Snowy Owl
  3. Snow Bunting
  4. Evening Grosbeak
  5. Hoary & Common Redpolls
  6. Black-Capped Chickadees
  7. Northern Cardinals
  8. Common Redpolls
  9.  Brown Creepers
  10. Cedar Waxwings

10 Spring Birds

  1. Canada Goose
  2. Baltimore Oriole
  3. Barred Owl
  4. Wood Duck
  5. Western Tanager
  6. Eastern bluebird
  7. Great Kiskadee
  8. Oriole
  9. Red-bellied Woodpecker
  10. Ruddy Duck

Classification Cards: Winter Gear and Summer Gear

10 Winter Gear

  1. Winter Hat
  2. Winter Jacket
  3. Winter Boots
  4. Mittens
  5. Gloves
  6. Scarf
  7. Snowpants
  8. Neck Warmer
  9. Earmuffs
  10. Wool Socks

10 Summer Gear

  1. Sunglasses
  2. Flip Flops
  3. Sun Hat
  4. Umbrella
  5. Sunscreen
  6. T-Shirt
  7. Trekking Poles
  8. Beach Blanket
  9. Beach Umbrella
  10. Floatie

Classification Cards: Winter Sports and Summer Sports

10 Winter Sports

  1. Ice Skating
  2. Skiing
  3. Sledding
  4. Snowboarding
  5. Snowmobiling
  6. Curling
  7. Snow Volleyball
  8. Bandy
  9. Snow Rugby
  10. Broomball

10 Summer Sports

  1. Soccer
  2. Basketball
  3. Rowing
  4. Tennis
  5. Baseball
  6. Beach Volleyball
  7. Golf
  8. Handball
  9. Rugby
  10. Swimming

Winter Themed Storybooks

Every classroom has a storybook shelf or a library. In addition to the class storybook shelf, I like to keep some seasonal books on the language shelf. I also keep some mini whiteboards and washable markers with them. The children can copy the letters, words or sentences, depending on their level. It’s a great way to keep the children engaged with minimal supervision.


I hope you like these winter literacy activities. Most of the activities I have listed are Montessori activities. It is not necessary to make all the activities on the shelf seasonal. A few seasonal activities are more than enough for each shelf.  The list doesn’t stop here. There are many other ways that you can add a winter touch to your shelves. The most important thing is to keep them simple.

Spread the love

4 thoughts on “13 Montessori Inspired Winter Literacy Center Ideas”

Leave a Comment