We are fully into winter now, which means some activities are great in front of a roaring fire (good book anyone?). Check out our list of fun January themes and homeschool activities to do with your kiddos this month. With nature study, liturgical living, food, books, and learning activities we have you covered with fun homeschool lesson plans all month long.
Nature Study In January
The cold is upon us so this is a great month to focus on snow and ice — even if you don’t live in a snowy climate. Do you have a backyard bird feeder? Help our feathered friends by making one this month. You will be rewarded when they visit!
- Start a phenology wheel.
- Ice – Make a nature ice wreath.
- Snowflakes – Learn all about the different shapes of snow.
- Hibernation – Watch this video on why animals hibernate.
- National Bird Day (5) – This Cardinals in the Snow chalk pastel project is perfect for today!
- National Seed Swap Day (29) – Now is the time to start planning your summer gardens! Do you know someone who gardens? Connect your kids with a knowledgeable mentor if you don’t garden yourself.
Faith Themes In The Month of January
As we enter Ordinary Time once again, we remember that there is nothing ordinary about the seasons God has give us to celebrate. They are still rich with opportunity for worship. Here are a few, but also add things that are meaningful to your family.
- Feast of Mary, Mother of God (HDO – 1)
- Saint Elizabeth Anne Seton (4)
- Three Kings Day – Epiphany (6) The traditional date of Epiphany in many cultures. Make or buy (my favorite) a kings cake. Who will find the hidden prize? Today is also the day to bless your home and chalk your door!
- Baptism of the Lord (12) – Here are a number of ideas for celebrating. I love the idea of lighting your baptismal candles and renewing baptismal vows.
- National Sanctity of Life Day (22) – Is there a March for Life in your town you can participate in?
- Ordinary Time – Read more about what this means here.
- Return to green vestments
Food And Family Themes In January
Highlighted below are my family’s food favorites. I love any excuse to serve a sandwich while nachos and French Toast are regular favorites. I will get the kids to make bread on the 17th. Candy Day on the 4th is a great excuse to pull out the remaining Halloween candy and do a little candy math with it.
- National Spaghetti Day (4) Read Strega Nona and eat spaghetti.
- National Shortbread Day (6) – Make some cookies!
- National Bagel Day (15) – Here is one of my favorite recipes. Don’t skip the boiling!
- National Popcorn Day (19) – Try some different flavors for your popcorn. Read The Popcorn Book or snuggle up with a fun family movies.
- National Peanut Butter Day (24) – Fun facts to share with your kids.
- National Hot Chocolate Day (31) – Set up a hot chocolate bar. What are your favorite add-ins?
Books Perfect For January Learning
There were so many good books to choose from this month and so many children’s classics fit with the monthly themes. I had a tough time narrowing down the list. Have fun with these!
- John Ronald’s Dragons: The Story of J.R.R. Tolkien by Caroline McAlister
- Strega Nona: An Old Tale Retold by Tomie dePaola
- The Three Wise Men: A Christmas Story by Loek Koopmans
- The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
- Snowflake Bentley by Jacqueline Briggs Martin
- The Big Snow by Berta Hader
- Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina
- Over and Under the Snow by Kate Messner
- Now We are Six by A.A. Milne
- The Popcorn Book by Tomie dePaola
- Martin’s Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr by Doreen Rappaport
- Boxes for Katje by Candace Fleming
- The Puzzling World of Winston Breen by Eric Berlin
- Not Your Everyday Illustrated Thesaurus by Usborne
Strega NonaTomie dePaola’s The Popcorn Book (40th Anniversary Edition)John Ronald’s Dragons: The Story of J. R. R. TolkienThe Three Wise Men: A Christmas StoryThe Snowy DaySnowflake BentleyThe Big SnowCaps for Sale: A Tale of a Peddler Some Monkeys and Their Monkey BusinessOver and Under the SnowNow We Are Six (Winnie-the-Pooh)Martin’s Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (A Big Words Book, 1)Boxes for Katje (Rise and Shine)The Puzzling World of Winston BreenNot Your Everyday Illustrated Thesaurus
January Field Trips For Your Homeschool Study
Yes, it is cold, but it is still fun to get out on pretty days. Take a winter nature walk or try one of these other ideas below.
- National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day (9) – Take a field trip to your local police station. Be sure to take along thank you cards and maybe a sweet treat for the police!
- Go ice skating! Find an indoor or outdoor rink near you and enjoy this winter sport. My family recently tried it and it was a big hit!
- Visit a bird sanctuary.
- Visit an art museum. Here are some tips for doing that with kids.
Crafts And Activities For January Learning
So many birthdays and fun learning events to celebrate this month. While some of these activities are perfect for the youngest kids in your house, many will be enjoyed by and meaningful for teens as well. My teens and I would listen to Stephen Foster, watch King’s speech, play with the thesaurus, do a puzzle, and take a shelfie. Remember themes are not only for little kids!
- New Year’s Day (1) – We will be making black-eyed peas and cornbread. Do you have a food tradition for New Years?
- J.R.R. Tolkien’s Birthday (3) – Read John Ronald’s Dragons
- National Static Electricity Day (9) – Find out more about the science here.
- Stephen Foster Memorial Day (13) – Learn more about Foster’s contribution to American music. Listen to Beautiful Dreamer.
- National Hat Day (15) – Read Caps for Sale and make your own hat. Can you balance all those caps on your head?
- Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday (17) – Read Martin’s Words and watch King’s iconic speech.
- National Thesaurus Day (18) Choose an activity from here. For a thesaurus to flip through, we use and love this one.
- National Winnie the Pooh Day – A.A. Milne’s Birthday (18) – Read some selections from Milne’s poetry collection Now We Were Six
- National Handwriting Day (23) – Combine handwriting with practicing the months of the year.
- National Library Shelfie Day (26) – Take a shelfie and post it in our free homeschool community! It is sure to be admired.
- Lewis Carroll (27) – Memorize “How Doth the Little Crocodile”
- National Puzzle Day (29) – Have fun doing a puzzle together. Or choose an offline jigsaw puzzle. These are some of our favorites.
- Lloyd Alexander’s Birthday (30) – Find out more about why Lloyd is awesome for older kids and which books to read here.
- National Inspire Your Heart with Art Day (31) – This day is about how art inspires our hearts (see the field trip above to experience art) but as a fun variation there are some artists who use hearts in their works. Find out more about them here.
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