Warm and Cozy Actions


Activity Description

Children will perform actions for cold-weather vocabulary words as they listen to a story.


25-30 min.

Key Outcome(s)

Understand and use vocabulary words.

Materials and Preparation

Prep Time

5-10 min. 


  • We provide: Cold-weather clothing picture cards’; ‘Warm and Cozy story’. Click HERE to download.
  • You find: OPTIONAL: Winter hat; Pair of mittens; Scarf


  1. Print and cut out the ‘Cold-weather clothing picture cards’ (one set for you).
  2. Print the ‘Warm and Cozy story’ (one copy for you).
  3. Gather the optional hat, mittens, and scarf if you wish to use them in the activity.

The Activity

What will we learn?

“Today we’ll listen to a story and do actions to learn about different types of clothing we can wear when it’s cold outside.”

What do we know?

  1. "What clothes do you wear outside during the winter or when it’s really cold?”
  2. One at a time, show the ‘Cold-weather clothing picture cards’ (and optional hat, mittens, and scarf) as you ask some or all of the following questions:
    • “What is this (are these)? When do you wear it (them)? Why do you wear it (them)?”
    • "Can you show me how you put it (them) on? What does it (do they) feel like? What is it (are they) made of? Do they match?”

Watch me first!

  1. “I’m going to read a story to you called Warm and Cozy! It is about a boy and his cold-weather clothes.”
  2. “First, let’s think of and try two actions to do when we hear our special cold-weather clothing words in the story. What should we do when we hear the word:
    • ‘hat’?” (e.g., act out putting hat on, then touch hat as you shake head side to side ensuring it is on right)
    • ‘mittens’?” (e.g., act out putting mittens on hands, then wiggle fingers to make them warm)
    • ‘scarf’?” (e.g., act out putting scarf around neck, then move head around ensuring it’s not on too tightly)
  3. Review the actions by holding up the clothing items (or ‘Cold-weather clothing picture cards’) one at a time. If you wish, model the actions with the clothing items while the children practice their pretend actions.
  4. Read the story slowly, pausing after you read each special cold-weather clothing word to allow the children time to do the actions.
  5. Also pause throughout the story to ask probing questions such as:
    • “What do you think will happen next?”
    • “How do you think Mateo feels?”
    • “Have you ever worn two pairs of mittens at the same time? Or two hats? What do you think about doing this yourself? When do you think it might be a good idea to do this?”

Let's try it!

  1. "Now let’s put on our listening ears while I read the story again. Make sure to listen for our special cold-weather clothing words. As soon as you hear one of the words, do the actions!” As you reread the story, pause as needed so the children can demonstrate the corresponding actions.

What did we learn?

  • “Let’s talk about the story! What did Mateo put on first? What did he put on next? After that?”
  • “Why did Mateo put on his mittens? What would happen if he forgot to put on his hat?”
  • Ask the children about their own cold-weather or winter clothing:
    • “Did you ever forget to put on your _____ (hat, mittens, scarf) when it was cold outside? How did you feel? What did you do?”
    • “Have you ever lost a mitten? Did you find it? Where was it?”
    • “Why is it important to wear a _____ (hat, pair of mittens, scarf) when it’s really cold out?”


To make this activity MORE challenging:

  • Ask the children to do three actions instead of two (e.g., hat: pretend to put on hat, then shake head side to side to make sure it is on right, then give head a pat because you did a good job; mittens: pretend to put on mittens, then wiggle fingers to warm them, then clap hands to show you are happy; scarf: pretend to put on scarf, then move head to make sure it’s too tight, then spin whole body around).
  • Add more cold-weather clothing vocabulary words by showing and discussing the provided ‘Additional cold-weather clothing picture cards’. Decide on and practice actions for each new word before reading the provided ‘Warm and Cozy: Extended Version story’.
  • Complement the ‘Warm and Cozy story’ or ‘Warm and Cozy: Extended Version story’ by adding other clothing items (e.g., neck warmer, gloves) or pretend it is warmer outside and discuss what clothes Mateo could wear instead.

To make this activity LESS challenging:

  • Ask the children to do one action instead of two (e.g., hat: shake head; mittens: shake hands; scarf: give yourself a hug). Alternatively, ask the children to stand up when they hear a clothing word.
  • Bring attention to when the children should do the actions. You might want to use a gesture (e.g., point to your head, hand, or neck), a visual symbol (e.g., green ‘go’ light), or a peer leader they can watch.
  • Ask the children to only listen for one target vocabulary word at a time (e.g., only ‘scarf’).
  • Give children the ‘Cold-weather clothing picture cards’ to hold up when they hear the clothing words.