Winter Outdoor Learning Resources


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Saturday, January 30, Premier at 12:30pm

The VINS Education team is back with more outdoor activities that you can do with your students and kids outdoors this winter. Sometimes, playing and learning outdoors in the winter is intimidating – bundling up and getting outdoors is sometimes the hardest part, so tune in for some helpful tips!

Ice Lanterns

Learn how to make these unique ice sculptures for a beautiful night time glow.

  • 1 plastic quart container
  • 1 small plastic cup, or another small container that fits inside
  • Masking tape
  • Pitcher of water
  • Natural materials such as twigs, grasses, evergreens, berries, orange rind
  • Tea lights or flameless tea lights
  1. Head outside and gather materials you might want to include in your ice lantern
  2. Tape the cup so that it is centered in the quart container, and level with the top
  3. Place the natural items in the spaces between the two containers
  4. Carefully pour the water into the quart container, but not the inner cup
  5. Place in a freezer or outside on a cold day
  6. When it is frozen solid, remove the tape, and pour hot tap water into the center cup for a minute.  Dump the hot water out and try to slip the cup out of the ice.  Carefully run hot tap water over the outside of the plastic quart container so that you can slip your ice lantern out.
  7. Place the tea light inside and take your lantern outside to light and enjoy!


The snow tells a story – journey into the VINS Forest to discover evidence of animal activity.

Mammal Tracks & Scat

Project FeederWatch

This wintertime project collects valuable data from citizen scientists like you! Simply record the birds at your feeders on specific days to contribute to this multi-year project.

Project FeederWatch

Winter Star Gazing

Go stargazing with the help of a free app that will show you what stars surround us in the night sky.


Measuring Snow

Before you bring out your shovel after a big snowfall, measure the depth of snow! All you need is a yardstick to start contributing to science.

Community Collaborative Rain, Hail, and Snow Network

Snowflake Catcher

Wilson Bentley was a Vermont native known for his photographs of snowflakes. With a few simple materials, you can make a snowflake catcher and start photographing and observing the beauty and differences of snowflakes.

Snowflake Bentley