In the Northern Hemisphere, children experience wintery magic from December through March. These 50 winter facts for kids will help children connect to the wonder of the winter season. Not ready for winter? Explore 50 fun facts about autumn or 30 interesting facts about spring.
If the ice and the cold keep you indoors, these winter facts are a perfect companion for one of the children’s books on the winter book list or ice sensory activities. I hope parents and educators find titles to help children fall in love with winter.
More Winter Facts:
Interesting & Fun Winter Facts
The first day of winter is called the Winter Solstice.
In the Northern Hemisphere, this day is December 21 or 22. In the Southern Hemisphere, this day is June 21 or 22.
The Winter Solstice is the shortest day of the year because it has the fewest hours of sunlight.
Does winter make you think of North Pole (where stories say Santa Claus lives)? The South Pole is actually colder than the North Pole!
The new year starts during winter.
Humans don’t hibernate, but we do get hungrier in winter. Our bodies need more energy to keep us warm.
Sunsets and sunrises are brighter and more colorful in winter.
Inuit people used to make toboggans (a type of sled) out of whale bones.
The snowmobile brand Ski-Doo was supposed to be called Ski-Dog. But it was misspelled in a brochure, and the new name stuck.
The Cold Moon in December is the longest full moon of the year.
Winter Animal Facts
Some animals hibernate in winter. Hibernation is a long, super-deep sleep.
During hibernation, animals’ hearts slow, their breathing slows, and their body temperature gets colder.
You know some animals that hibernate! In North America, some of these animals are chipmunks, turtles, bats, hummingbirds, bees, and snakes.
A wood frog‘s body can freeze solid during winter, but they don’t die! They will thaw when the temperature warms back up.
Usually, only small animals hibernate. The big exception is the bear!
Ancient people believed birds migrated to the moon during winter.
On cold winter days, birds fluff their feathers. This traps air to keep their bodies warm.
Some animals grow white fur just for winter to stay camouflaged in the snow.
Polar bears and penguins don’t live in the same place. Polar bears live close to the north pole, and penguins live closer to the south pole.
Winter Nature Facts
Some flowers will bloom in winter!
Some mushrooms grow in winter too.
Every snowflake is unique. Temperature, moisture in the air, speed, and movements while falling all affect the shape of a snowflake.
Snow is clear. It looks white when sunlight reflects off of it.
Deciduous is the word for trees that lose their leaves in winter.
Evergreen trees stay green all winter. They are forever green.
Winter is an exciting time for trees. It’s the only time to see their unique branch “skeletons” easily.
Winter Weather Facts
February is usually the coldest, snowiest month.
Icy roads are slippery and dangerous. Cities use salt to melt the ice, which isn’t good for the environment. Some places are trying earth-friendly ways to melt ice, like pickle juice and beet juice!
You can see your breath in winter! The air you breathe out has water in it. When that water touches the cold air, it turns from gas to tiny liquid water drops, like fog!
Cold weather won’t make you catch a cold. But it might make your body more likely to get sick.
If your hair is wet when you go outside in the cold air, it can freeze!
Winter Traditions Facts
On December 8th, Buddhists celebrate Bodhi Day. This is a celebration of Buddha reaching enlightenment under a Bodhi tree. People celebrate this day with meditation, chants, special services, special foods and tea, or acts of kindness for people or animals.
Hanukah is a Jewish holiday lasting eight days. People celebrate strength, hope, and a miracle where a single jug of oil lasted eight nights. People celebrate by lighting candles in a particular pattern, giving gifts, and having special meals.
Yule (also called Yuletide or Yulefest) is a celebration of nature and seasons changing. It began with Indigenous people who wanted to celebrate the Winter Solstice.
Yule inspired many Christmas traditions. This includes gift-giving, decorating with holly and mistletoe, having meals with loved ones, and decorating evergreen trees.
December 25th is Christmas, a holiday to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. But this holiday has many traditions and meanings to different people. People celebrate with traditions important to them like meals, gathering together, decorating, movies, music, and giving gifts.
Kwanzaa is a cultural holiday that started in 1966. Many people celebrate Kwanzaa along with other religious winter holidays. The seven principles of Kwanzaa are unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity, and faith.
Valentine’s Day, on February 14th, is a holiday for showing other people that you care about them.
Candy canes used only be white. Candy canes were around 200 years before they got red stripes.
Valentine’s candy hearts were not always heart-shaped. They started shaped like a scallop shell.
The words on Valentine’s candy hearts are different every year.
A dad invented the snowboard by attaching two skis together for his daughters.
Skis were invented before the wheel. Humans all over the world have been skiing for thousands of years.
Sledding is a favorite winter activity. Bobsledding and luge are professional winter sports based on sledding.
I hope that somewhere in this list of winter facts for kids, you found the perfect conversation starter for your child or classroom. These interesting winter facts, 100+ ice activities, and our favorite winter book list should help prepare you and your child to learn and explore the coldest season.
If you share any of these with your child, please comment and share any adorable, hilarious, or brilliant ways they responded.