You know how most people either love the winter or hate it?
Well, I have kind of mixed feelings about it. I hate the freezing cold and want to cuddle inside all day. At the same time, however, I can’t wait to show my daughters how fun the snow can be.
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So to keep me motivated and actually take them out to enjoy the season, I’ve collected a bunch of winter activities for toddlers to inspire me in the upcoming months.
And of course, I’m ready to share it with you.
Winter activities for toddlers
When I started to look for inspiration for this post pretty much all articles on “winter activities” for toddlers were focused on Christmas.
But there is so much to do outside of the holiday season!
And while I’ve naturally included a portion of Christmas activities, there are a lot of (nearly forgotten) ways to have lots of fun after December.
If you are lucky enough to live in an area with a decent amount of snow in the winter then you have tons of opportunities for winter entertainment.
All you need is a pair of warm clothes for your little one (and for you) and some ideas to get you started. You can head to Amazon for the first part, as for the second, I have you covered.
Make a snowman
No winter is complete without teaching your toddler how to make a snowman. And if you want to take it all the way, don’t forget to prepare an old scarf and hat, a carrot, and a few bigger buttons. Usually, you should be able to find a couple of twigs outside as well.
If you don’t have the materials for a snowman, you can also get them as a kit online.
Go track hunting
You don’t have to be a track hunting master to go hunting tracks in the snow. You don’t even have to go to the forest. You can start anywhere in your neighborhood, find a trail of tracks in unbeaten snow, and follow it.
See where they take you and have a nice walk in the fresh winter air in the meantime.
Make snow angels
One of my favorites, whenever I saw a patch of untouched snow as a child, was to fall on my back in it and make a snow angel, or two.
And usually, I wouldn’t stop until there was just no more space or my parents made me leave already.
Build a snow fort
Building a snow fort works best if you have a big enough backyard and a heavy load of snow from last night.
Yes, you would need to do most of the building, but after that, you can enjoy it together and even use it to hide behind while having a snowballs fight.
By the way, did you know that you can now get a snow fort building kit to allow you to make awesome snow bricks? This is definitely an improvement since my childhood.
Do you remember how we used to stand and wait with our mouths open to catch a snowflake on the tongue?
Why not show how fun this was to your kids?
Or you can try and catch them on their glove so they can see how mesmerizing are their forms and eventually how they quickly melt away.
This may seem like a boring chore to you, but for your kid, it could be a great winter activity.
Find a lightweight plastic shovel and take them with you while you’re shoveling the driveway. Think of all the benefits:
- they are improving their strength and grip
- they will not bother you while you actually get the shoveling done
- in the end, they will be so tired you’re very likely to get some quiet time inside.
One of the winter activities for toddlers that are also perfect for older kids, and even their parents, is having a snowballs fight. And it’s relatively easy to teach a toddler to make snowballs.
If you still find it hard, or you just want to produce a massive amount of snowballs, there’s a kit for it as well. Like this ultimate snow toys kit that includes 2 snowball makers.
As a kid, I loved sledding on a heavy metal sled like this one. As a parent, however, I just hate to drag it back up the hill.
Luckily, now there is a huge variety of toddler sleds that are safe, comfortable, and last but not least, lightweight. Here are a few suggestions you may want to look at.
If you have both a toddler and a baby like I do, or if you just want to be extra safe, you may choose one with a 3-point safety harness and a wide and angled backrest.
If the weather is bothering you you could get a sled with a weather shield. It also features a safety belt to keep your little one in place.
On the downside, it is only suitable until about 24 months of age.
If you want to slide together with your kids I’m sure you’ll like this huge snowtube sled.
It has handles for toddlers and a reinforced rubber base.
And they come in a pair of two so they are perfect for bigger families.
Do a winter scavenger hunt
Scavenger hunts are a great way to engage your little one and improve their vocabulary in the meantime. And since I love scavenger hunts, this activities list cannot pass without one too.
Unfortunately, although beautiful, winter is often freezing cold. So for the days when you prefer to stay in the comfort of your home, here are a few indoor winter activities for toddlers.
Color winter-themed coloring pages
Coloring is a great skill for your toddler to master. And while you should keep your expectations realistic (like don’t expect them to stay within the lines), you may still allow them to improve their pencil grip.
By the way, the activities workbook includes 3 coloring pages I’ve made just for you.
And if your kid wants more, you can download free winter coloring pages from Crayola.
Or, for personal use only, you can print out images you find online. However, be sure that you only use these at home if you don’t want to get charged with copyright violations.
Drink hot chocolate
Wait, I know what you think!
Chocolate is not suitable for toddlers!
To be honest, however, I believe that it’s perfectly fine to offer your little one a cup of hot chocolate after a long play in the cold outside.
What I would recommend, though, is to make your own homemade hot cocoa instead of using a store-bought mix. Here’s a quick and healthy hot chocolate recipe from Baby Foode.
First chocolate, now screen time. I know, I’m a terrible mom.
Or I’m just being honest.
Admit it, you allow your toddler a bit of screen time even if they haven’t watched a full-sized movie yet.
And while this is not suitable for younger toddlers because of their short attention span, it can be a great family bonding time with 2.5-3 years olds.
And if Frozen (1h 42m) is just not your style, here are a few other ideas.
- Beauty and the Beast – 1h 24m
- The Polar Express – 1h 40m
- Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas – 1h 6m
- Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer – 47m
- Home Alone (yes, really!) – 1h 43m
Make winter slime
This one I found a while ago and saved it to try when winter comes.
It’s a DIY snow slime recipe from DIY Sensory Play Fun and it looks simply awesome. I can’t wait to try it and update you with a picture.
Taste-safe sensory bin
This idea comes from The Train Driver’s Wife and just the pin she included makes me want to try this today!
And the best part is that all you need is potato flakes and some toys to place in the “snow”. That’s it.
Although you might want to place a play mat underneath first.
If you don’t live in an area with enough snow in the winter you can always make your own snowballs by using two simple ingredients: cornflour and shave foam.
This idea comes from Paging Fun Mums and is really as easy as it gets, just mix them up and voila.
After that, you can create an indoor snowman or take them outside for a snowball fight.
Snow painting in a tray
If you want to show your toddler how to paint on snow it’s not necessary to spend an hour outside.
You can just as easily grab a baking tray, fill it with actual snow and take out the painting supplies. Turn their attention to how the paint spreads on the snow or how the water melts it down.
Christmas activities for toddlers
No winter activities for toddlers list is completed without giving the holidays their due.
So reserve all of December for Christmas activities to keep the holiday spirit high. Here are fun ways to spend your time while waiting for Christmas eve.
Bake Christmas cookies
I’m not much of a baker… to say the least. But this time I plan on making a few batches of Christmas cookies and including my toddler in the process.
Yes, it will be messy. But it will also be a lot of fun. May even become my favorite of all the winter activities for toddlers.
Here are a few Christmas cookies recipes worth trying.
- Classic Christmas cookies by Odlums
- Italian Christmas cookies by Betty Crocker
- M&M Christmas cookies by Handle The Heat
- Ricotta cheese cookies by Christmas Cookies (yup, the site is entirely for Christmas cookies)
Make some Christmas ornaments
Creating your own ornaments is great for so many reasons.
You get to add a personal touch to your tree, increase the number of ornaments for a more festive look, and, most importantly, can provide hours of entertainment for your kids.
And while Pinterest is full of ideas you can try, here are the ones I liked the most and intend to try out this year.
- Handprint mittern ornaments by Busy Bugs
- Frozen Inspired Snowflake Ornament by Mommy’s Bundle
- Popsicle Stick Christmas Trees by One Little Project
- Sparkly Icicles by Kids Craft Room
- Paper chain garland by Mom Life Made Easy
Ornament a tree
I really don’t have much to say about this aside from that it’s simply exciting for the little ones. Although in our case, the excitement wore off after 15 minutes.
Just to be safe, remember not to allow your toddler near any glass ornaments. It’s also a good idea to toddler-proof your Christmas tree to avoid any unfortunate accidents during the holidays.
Learn a Christmas song
Does your toddler love to sing? My daughter literary cannot stop singing and dancing when she’s in the mood. And she goes on for at least an hour at a time.
Here are a few easy Christmas songs for toddlers to dance to and learn.
- S-A-N-T-A by Super Simple Songs
- Reindeer Pokey by The Kiboomers
- Deck the halls by Cocomelon
- Jingle bells by Little Angel
If English is not your native language, however, I recommend that you find popular local songs instead to improve your toddler’s language development first.
Wrap a present
It sure won’t look picture perfect but it’s a great fine motor activity. However, I need to include two notes here.
- If you wrap presents in front of your toddler, you may need to get them two gifts, one from you and one from Santa. Toddlers are surprisingly thoughtful for their age.
- NEVER leave your kid alone around scissors and foil wrappers. Even half a minute can be too much.
Write a letter to Santa
While 2-3-year-olds often don’t know exactly what they want for Christmas, writing a letter to Santa is a tradition that will help you in the next few years too.
And I have a free template available to you in the activities workbook.
Whether you’ll dress up the neighbor or go to the mall, every child deserves to meet Santa.
Do a Christmas scavenger hunt
What’s better than going on a scavenger hunt?
Going on two scavenger hunts! And this one is Christmas-specific. You can create your own hunt or use the one I’ve included in the activities workbook. Here are a few of the items you can search for:
- Christmas cookies
- Elf, etc.
Christmas tree crafts
Last but not least, if you need a few minutes for yourself, you can always turn to the variety of Christmas tree crafts that can entertain your toddler for a good 10-15 minutes at a time.
They usually include a template of a Christmas tree and different ways to decorate it. Don’t worry, I’ve included a template for you in the activities workbook.
And here are a few ideas on how to decorate it:
- Finger paint. Show your toddler how to leave a fingerprint on the tree and the ornaments are ready, it’s as simple as that.
- Cotton balls. All you need are different colored small cotton balls and some washable glue.
- Buttons. Use different colorful buttons for a unique festive look. And don’t forget the big yellow button for the Christmas star.
Like the ideas above? Get the free workbook to help you out.
Want even more ideas? Check out the Pinterest board for the post.