With the weather turning cold and the holiday season approaching, I would be remiss not to share some hot cocoa activities for you to use in your preschool this winter. This dominoes hot cocoa game is a wonderful free printable, and this post includes five additional ways it can be used!
***This post includes a free printable, so be sure to grab it from the end of this post.***
Hot Cocoa Learning Activities for Preschoolers
You know the ones I’m talking about. Beautiful sparkly winter landscapes in the woods…warm fires in a wood-stoked fireplace during family dinners…cities lit up in the night with colorful Christmas lights. You know, the Norman Rockwell and Thomas Kinkade winter scenes.
That being said, I do love to offer my preschoolers all the simple joys of the winter and holiday seasons, which is one reason why we do hot cocoa activities. Have you ever met a preschooler who doesn’t love hot cocoa?
No? Me neither.
As a general rule of thumb, we play outside every day in my preschool. Even when it’s cold, and especially if there’s snow on the ground. Sometimes that means we come back in with red cheeks and icy hands, so I can’t help but make my preschoolers some hot cocoa to warm up. Winters here can be long and joyless since we don’t actually get a huge amount of snow, so I like to do this for my preschoolers whenever the opportunity arises.
And what better way to extend the enjoyment of said hot cocoa than with some hot cocoa activities for preschool?
This post includes a free printable hot cocoa themed dominoes game, but be sure to read all the way to the end of the post to see five more ways I use this same printable in my preschool classroom!
Hot Cocoa Dominoes with FREE Printable
What I’m loving about these hot cocoa activities is that you can use them not only during your Christmas theme, but also all winter long. (Or if you’re like me and you’re a hot cocoa connoisseur, then you might use them year round. Ha, ha!)
- Free hot cocoa dominoes printable
Then invite your preschooler to join you in a game!
How to Play Dominoes
Start by dealing the appropriate number of dominoes to each player. This is how I do that for my preschoolers:
- 2 players = 5 cards each
- 3-4 players = 4 cards each
The remainder of the dominoes are placed face down in a draw pile.
In a traditional game of dominoes, you don’t let others see what pieces are in your hand. But for preschool, I ask my preschoolers to place their cards face up so I can help them play the game.
Choose a player to go first. To start the game they must choose a card from their hand to place in the playing field. Do not start with a card that has the same color of hot cocoa on both ends.
The next player must then add a card from their hand by finding a matching colored hot cocoa and placing it next to the starting piece.
Players may only add one domino per turn. If the player has no matching dominoes that match an open end, they must draw a card from the draw pile. If the new card cannot be played, that player’s turn is over. If the new card can be played, then it must be played at that time. (Note: if there are no cards left in the draw pile, then the player’s turn ends without drawing a new card).
Extra Notes on Playing Dominoes with Preschoolers
In a traditional game of dominoes, pieces must be placed end-to-end unless it’s a double piece with the same count or image on each side. In that case, it can be placed sideways, opening up new ends for play.
I don’t worry about this when playing with my preschoolers.
When I play with my preschoolers, I allow them to place their cards in any direction as long as they are making the match.
Other Hot Cocoa Activities using this Printable
If you know me, you know I love a printable that can be used in many different ways. It saves me time and money in printing, but more importantly, it allows me to differentiate for my students.
Here are five more learning activities using this hot cocoa printable.
- Use these dominoes as color matching cards. Use one-inch colored blocks (or another small-ish manipulative) to match to each side of the card.
- For younger preschoolers or toddlers, do #1 above and then ask, “Are they the same?” Being able to differentiate between matching colors or objects is an important math skill.
- Add a fine motor element by offering tweezers and pom poms and using these cards as color matching cards.
- Take a handful of pieces and hide them around the room for your preschoolers to find. Once found, invite your preschoolers to find as many items or toys as possible that match BOTH colors on the card.
- Add these cards to a colorful sensory bin. As preschoolers pull out the pieces they can attempt to match them in different ways.
Grab Your Free Hot Cocoa Preschool Printable Here
Think these hot cocoa activities are something that would compliment your winter or Christmas preschool theme? Grab your free printable by clicking the image below.
Then keep reading for even more winter and Christmas activities for preschoolers!
Looking for More Christmas Printables?
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I’m Sarah, an educator turned stay-at-home-mama of five! I’m the owner and creator of Stay At Home Educator, a website about intentional teaching and purposeful learning in the early childhood years. I’ve taught a range of levels, from preschool to college and a little bit of everything in between. Right now my focus is teaching my children and running a preschool from my home. Credentials include: Bachelors in Art, Masters in Curriculum and Instruction.