Figure skating was a big part of our family when my kids we growing up, and now both my 10- and 6-year-old granddaughters figure skate! My 10-year-old granddaughter, Zoey, requested a skating theme for our next unit … so here it is! An ice skating unit is great as a winter theme, whether or not it’s an Olympic year.
Here, you’ll find links to free ice skating printables used to prepare hands-on activities and a new Montessori-inspired ice skating pack for our newsletter subscribers’ resource library!
Disclosure: This post contains some affiliate links (at no cost to you).
Montessori Shelves with Ice Skating Themed Activities
You’ll find Montessori-inspired ice skating themed numbers, letters, and and more (part of my subscriber freebie pack, so just sign up for my email to get the link and password … or check the bottom of your latest newsletter if you’re already a subscriber) Note: The Montessori-inspired ice skating pack isn’t designed as a complete ice skating unit but as supplemental materials. I design the packs using realistic images that I’ve often looked for when preparing a unit study (such as font cards and phonogram cards featuring the letter and phonogram related to the theme and math cards with realistic images that fit the theme and can be adapted for math activities at a variety of levels.)
You could mix your ice skating themed activities among your shelves according to curriculum area. Or you could have a special ice skating themed area something like the one pictured. My shelves at the beginning of our unit have a mixture of skill levels. Many of the activities can be adapted for a variety of levels. If you’re a homeschooler, just choose the activities that work for your child’s interests and ability levels. If you don’t have room for all the activities you’d like to do, simply rotate them.
For our monthly featured art print, I purchased a Li’l DAVINCI art frame that opens in the front for easily changing a free art masterpiece printable or vintage illustration to fit with the month’s theme. The frame can be switched from horizontal to vertical without changing the hanger, which is perfect!
If you’re wondering about the rugs and rug box I use, both the rugs and wooden rug holder are from Montessori Services. I love the Montessori Services rugs and rug holder! I used to use an umbrella stand something like these. I loved that for 1-3 rugs, but I needed something different when I had more grandchildren and some projects that needed more than one rug.
Favorite Shelves, Trays, Baskets, and More for Montessori Homeschoolers
I often get asked about the trays, baskets, etc., that I use, so I published a post with many of the items. You can find lots of helpful resources here. They’re not all essential, so don’t feel you need to have everything. Just choose what’s best for your budget and your unique family’s needs. You’ll find more ideas in the Living Montessori Now Amazon shop
Ice Skating Themed Books for Kids
Even though I have books on shelves, I typically have many of my themed books in a forward-facing display after placing a plant where the themed book basket was before. Most of my seasonal books are now in that book basket.
For toddlers and preschoolers, about ¾ of the books I use are typically Montessori friendly (focusing on reality without smiling or talking animals or smiling or talking vehicles).
Top Shelf of Themed Shelves:
- A Day on Skates is a classic book with six chapters about a Dutch brother and sister who go on an all-day skating picnic with their teacher and classmates.
- A Day for Skating is a sweet rhyming book about a young child’s first day skating on a frozen pond.
- National Geographic Kids First Big Book of Sports includes helpful sections on figure skating, hockey, and speed skating.
Top Shelf of Forward -Facing Display:
- A is for Axel: An Ice Skating Alphabet. I like this series because it’s a fun way to reinforce letters and letter sounds. And each book has a wealth of information. For younger children, you can just read the short part about each letter. You can include more details for older children.
- H is for Hockey: An NHL Alumni Alphabet
- Tallulah’s Ice Skates
- Molly on Ice: A Fun Story About Building Self-Esteem, a Growth Mindset and the Power of Yet
- Eloise Skates!
Some other sports books we’re using that are in a book basket:
- Z is for Zamboni: A Hockey Alphabet
- Hour of the Olympics: Magic Tree House, Book 16
- Magic Tree House Fact Tracker: Ancient Greece and the Olympics
- She Persisted in Sports: American Olympians Who Changed the Game
You can see many of them here: Ice Skating Books for Kids (including books as they’re published)
A Day on Skates Book with Skating on Paper Plates Activity
A Day on Skates is a classic book with six chapters about a Dutch brother and sister who go on an all-day skating picnic with their teacher and classmates.
Free Printable: Printing on Sentence Strips Template by A Little Bit O Sunshine at TPT (I made a “Skate on paper plates” label using the editable template with a different font.)
Free Printable: Paper Plate Skating by Lauren Voss at TPT
This is a fun activity to do on a smooth surface to waltz music. You’ll find another fun lesson with paper plate ice skating to “The Skater’s Waltz” using Carolyn’s lesson at Magical Movement Company. We’ve had a lot of fun with that in the past!
And check out my post and YouTube video about skating with cleaning slippers.
Here’s the video from that post:
For more skating on different surfaces, check out this free printable: Ice Skating in the Classroom – A Friction Experiment by Teaching with Nancy at TPT
A Day for Skating Book with Ice Skating Vocabulary Cards, Alphabet Cards, and 3-Part Cards
A Day for Skating is a sweet rhyming book about a young child’s first day skating on a frozen pond.
Free Printable: Ice Skating Rink and Hot Chocolate Dramatic Play Packet by Preschool Plans at TPT (There are a number of activities in this 28-page printable pack, including these vocabulary cards/word cards with both figure skating and hockey words.)
Free Printable: Ice skate alphabet cards (part of my subscriber freebies, so just sign up for my email to get the link and password … or check the bottom of your latest newsletter if you’re already a subscriber).
Free Printable: Figure Skating 3-Part Cards/Spelling Cards (with free printables) and Hockey 3-Part Cards/Spelling Cards from Every Star Is Different (Go to Free Printables tab at the top of the Every Star Is Different blog, then to Thematic Activities, then to Sports Activities, and then to the figure skating mini unit and hockey unit.) Because there are 6 figure skating cards and 6 hockey cards, these could be used a sorting activity as well as reading/spelling activity. The child could first sort out the figure skating cards and hockey cards before laying them out. Of course, I would only use the figure skating or hockey cards alone with a young preschooler.
The ice skate alphabet cards in print and cursive are easily adaptable, depending on the child’s level. They can be used for a variety of activities, such as matching letters with sandpaper letters, matching print to cursive letters, or movable alphabet word building. Here, they can be used for matching letters in words, spelling, or matching cursive to print!
Figure Skating Pages from National Geographic Kids First Big Book of Sports with Ice Skating Activities in the Background
Here, you can see pages from National Geographic Kids First Big Book of Sports (the book on the easel) with ice skating activities in the background. The book includes helpful sections on figure skating, hockey, and speed skating. See more about the activities in the background below.
Sand Writing Tray for an Ice Skating Unit
Free Printables /f/ for figure skating, /h/ for hockey, and /s/ for speed skating (part of my subscriber freebie pack, so just sign up for my email to get the link and password … or check the bottom of your latest newsletter if you’re already a subscriber). They come in print, D’Nealian, and cursive.
You’ll see a variety of simple letter writing trays in my previous unit study posts. I often used the wooden tray from the Melissa & Doug Lace and Trace Shapes. You can use whatever tray or container work best for you, though.
I typically now use this lovely spelling/alphabet tray from FamilyTreeWW on Etsy. I like it for writing more than one letter or spelling words. (Note: If that sand tray is currently unavailable, you’ll find lots of other options for Montessori sand trays on Etsy.) I found some colored sand in 12 colors on Amazon that I started to use instead of salt or colored salt. I love it because it’s so soft and feels great! For kids who might have sensitive hands, it works better than salt. For the “ice rink” effect, I stirred some of the white sand together with some of the light blue sand. You can’t tell from the photo, but it mixed well!
If you would like help with introducing phonetic sounds, introducing objects with sounds, or beginning phonics in general, check out my DIY Beginning Montessori Phonics with Preschoolers.
Ce (Soft C) Ice Dance Work
Free Printable: “ce” phonogram (soft C) in ice dance (part of my subscriber freebie pack, so just sign up for my email to get the link and password … or check the bottom of your latest newsletter if you’re already a subscriber)
Free Printable: Hard & Soft G & C Sorts and Mini Posters (used the Soft C Mini Poster) by Mrs Brownie at TPT
Free Printable: Ce Words from All Day Primary (the small cards at the bottom of the easel with “dance” as the first word)
Skating Friends Multiplication Activity
Free Printable: Ice skating number cards 1-10 (plus two cards with the number 2) and multiplication symbols (part of my subscriber freebie pack, so just sign up for my email to get the link and password … or check the bottom of your latest newsletter if you’re already a subscriber).
Free Printable: 1-10 spinner (part of my subscriber freebie pack, so just sign up for my email to get the link and password … or check the bottom of your latest newsletter if you’re already a subscriber).
I used 20 ice skate charms (they come in a set of 30) and 10 LEGO Minifigures. (We have a number of Minifigures, and my grandson put together 10 Minifigure kids for me.) You can used peg people, little stuffed animals, etc., if you don’t have Minifigures.
We talked about how the girl in the number card wanted to invite some friends to go skating. Each friend needs two skates. When the spinner landed on 7, we chose 7 friends, so 2 skates per friend x 7 friends = 14 skates altogether
You could lay out your multiplication problem in a different way, although I used this way as a preparation for the Montessori multiplication board. You could also use a printable multiplication board and line up the number of figures at the top that you spin. Or go through the entire 2s facts, one friend at a time. This is als a great activity to practice counting by 2s.
Free Printable: DIY Multiplication “Bead” Board with Booklet by Pip Squad Montessori at TPT. This works very as a printable multiplication board. You can see an example of it being used in my Free Black History Printables and Montessori-Inspired Black History Activities and Free Reptile Printables and Montessori-Inspired Reptile Activities (used with the booklet-making printable in the reptile post).
There are so many different activities you can prepare using the math cards! This is just one example. You’ll find many ideas in our previous units.
Ice Skate Pin Poking Work
Free Printable: Ice Skate Pattern from Pattern Universe
On the bottom shelf, I have some simple pin poking work using a printable ice skate pattern. We have a lot of art supplies on an art cart, which my grandkids can use to decorate their skates however they wish. They can use scissors if they prefer to cut out their skates.
Shelf with Ice Skating Work
This shelf has a mixture of free and paid ice skating printables. The paid printable (The History of Ice Skating from Willow and Owl) was in the 2022 Winter Mega Bundle. If you purchased this last year, you still have access to it! I use a lot of free printables in our unit studies and a few paid products … although the Mega Bundles provide normally full-priced products at an almost-free price! If you don’t have the 2022 Winter Mega Bundle, you can purchase The History of Ice Skating on Etsy. It’s a 20-page mini unit which includes:
Video Lessons & Book Recommendations
Hot Chocolate Recipe
The Story of Ice Skating
Ice Skate Anatomy
How Skates are used today
Create a Diorama
Decorate your own ice skates
The tray on the left has a 7×9″ mirror (also good for loose parts play) for the ice rink, snow blanket (from the same snow blanket we used for our evergreen tree unit), and Create a Diorama materials. On the easel behind the tray are some of the printables from the free Ice Skating Rink and Hot Chocolate Dramatic Play Packet by Preschool Plans at TPT. It would be fun to have a hot chocolate stand for the ice rink with math activities paying for rental skates and treats.
I have limited shelf space, and this shelf shows how I sometimes use wooden plate holders to conserve space for home use. From the History of Ice Skating, I have the Ice Skate Anatomy printable and control page, The Story of Ice Skating, and Timeline worksheet and control page. I can easily switch out the printables for other printables from the pack, too.
The tray on the right uses the free Playdough Structure Sentence Sampler – Seasonal by Egleston Education at TPT. You can use it for sentence writing, but I have only part of the page on this tray as a playdough skate designing activity. I also have skate cookie cutter and stamp work on the tray.
Free Montessori-Inspired Ice Skating Pack
Montessori-Inspired Ice Skating Pack for DIY Cards and Counters, Number or Letter Matching, Number or Letter Basket, Bead Bar Work, Hands-on Math Operations, Number or Letter Salt/Sand Writing Tray, Letter Tracing, DIY Movable Alphabet, and Creative Writing (subscriber freebie, so just sign up for my email to get the link and password – or check your inbox if you’re already a subscriber).
More Winter Sports Resources
Fun Cleaning, Movement, and Music Appreciation (skating on cleaning slippers)
Don’t miss our themed monthly packs! You’ll get the link and password for the Living Montessori Now subscriber library with the current pack and all the past monthly packs if you subscribe to the Living Montessori Now weekly newsletter!
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