Keeping an energetic toddler busy can be a difficult task, no matter what the season. But winter weather, in particular, can be somewhat challenging for parents and caregivers. After all, your little one can only play safely in cold weather for so long. And spending too much time indoors can quickly lead to cabin fever if you’re not prepared.
The solution? Having a combination of indoor and outdoor winter activities for toddlers at the ready. Whether you’re looking for arts and crafts projects, sensory play activities or toddler-friendly activities you can do outside, there’s bound to be something on this list that will inspire you this season.
Outdoor Winter Activities for Toddlers
1. Make Snow Angels
Honestly, who doesn’t love making snow angels? They’re pretty easy for a toddler to do (just lie in the snow and flap your arms) and kids of all ages can join in the fun. Just make sure your little one is dressed properly for a romp in the snow. Dress your cutie in a waterproof snowsuit layered over a toddler Onesies® Brand Bodysuit and a pair of cozy pants. Don’t forget mittens, boots and a comfortable hat!
2. Build a Snowman
Build a snowman with your toddler by teaching them how to roll a ball of snow with their little hands. Let them decorate the snowman with cute accessories (a scarf, carrot nose, etc.).
3. Paint the Snow
For this activity, you’ll fill a water bottle or a spray bottle with colored water and let your toddler paint the snow. Tip: If you’re using a water bottle, choose one that releases water slowly so the activity lasts a little longer.
4. Go Sledding
If you’re lucky enough to live somewhere that gets tons of snow, take advantage of all that fresh powder by taking the kiddos sledding. Your little cutie is sure to squeal with laughter as you race down the hill! Be sure to follow these tips from KidsHealth from Nemours for a fun and safe sledding experience.
5. Shovel the Sidewalk
Toddlers love being your little helper. Why not let them shovel some snow? Buy a kid-sized snow shovel and let them have at it. If the snow is fairly deep, remove half of the snow from your toddler’s area to make it easier for them.
6. Go to the Park
Dealing with more rain than snow? Dress your toddler for the weather and go for a stroll at a nearby park to sneak in some exercise. If your little one enjoys stomping in puddles, be sure to bring extra toddler socks in case their feet get wet.
Winter Arts and Crafts for Toddlers
7. Melted Snowman Painting
No snow? No problem! Just make your own with this melted snowman tutorial by KiwiCo. The beauty of this craft project is that there is no “right” way for a melted snowman to look, which makes it perfect for tiny artists.
8. Make DIY Ornaments Together
Why spend money on generic ornaments for the tree when you can simply make your own ornaments with the kids? This salt dough handprint mitten ornament tutorial is so easy to do and makes for the perfect holiday keepsake. It would also be a great gift for the grandparents!
9. DIY Gift Wrapping Paper
Did we mention how much toddlers love being little helpers? Take advantage by letting your little one help you make your own festive wrapping paper this year. All you need is contractor paper from your local home improvement store, acrylic paint, brushes and sponges and some creativity. Gift recipients will love the personalized touch!
10. No-Bake Reindeer Snacks
These no-bake reindeer snacks are the perfect cold-weather activity. They’re also super simple to make, so your toddler should have no problem making these treats all by themselves. Pair your snacks with a reindeer-themed book and let the kids munch on their treats while you read to them.
11. Ice Wreath Bird Feeder
Feed the birds this winter with an ice wreath bird feeder craft. Not only will the birds appreciate it, but the kids will love checking on their bird feeder to see how much has been eaten each day.
Winter Sensory Activities for Toddlers
12. Snowflake Slime
Does cold weather have you trapped inside the house? This sparkly snowflake slime can be made in about five minutes and will give your toddler something to play with again and again. They’ll love stretching the slime out as big as they can and breaking it apart!
13. Cinnamon Sensory Bin
Rice sensory bins are a cheap and easy form of tactile sensory play for toddlers. This cinnamon sensory bin will keep your tot happily entertained this winter. Plus, it smells amazing! You can throw in extra goodies for your little one to find, such as large holiday ornaments.
14. Ice Bubbles
Does your toddler absolutely love blowing bubbles in the bathtub? Take the activity outside and see if you can get your bubbles to freeze. (Obviously, the temperature needs to be below freezing for this activity.) Before you go outside, ask your toddler what they think will happen when you try to blow bubbles outside. Then, put your experiment to the test and have fun.
15. Packing Peanuts Winter Sensory Bin
If you order a package that comes with packing peanuts, hang on to them! They’re perfect for this mess-free winter sensory bin, which helps kids develop hand-eye coordination. Simply fill a small plastic bin with packing peanuts, throw in blue pom poms and snowflakes and let the kiddos have a ball.
Whether you’re stuck inside your home this winter or have a fresh blanket of snow to work with, these winter activities are sure to keep your little one occupied. And if your activity doesn’t work out as planned, you can always save the day by curling up with a winter-themed book and a cup of warmed milk!
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