art experience, collaborative art, exploration zone, holidays, inspiration, mothering, sensory experience, teaching, toddler art

Winter Activities for Littles

Here in Texas, the weather is getting, well, it seems totally random. Some days we have a high of 50 and other days it spikes to 80! I’m not complaining…that’s for sure. Especially in front of all of you “snowed-in” friends!

Mornings are usually in the low 30’s or 40’s, so H and I spend time together doing different activities and projects. Sometimes she’s on her own, left to explore, and other times I try to create something meaningful and authentic for her!

Even in the cold weather, it’s so important to bring our little ones outdoors! But during those times you are stuck inside (or choose to be) I’ve created a short list of winter inspired activities for you and your little learners. This list is for 2-5 year olds, but some activities will need to be modified to meet your child’s needs! 

Enjoy a Winter-Inspired Sensory Experience

Recipe: 1 cup flour, 1/4 cup salt, 1/2 cup water, and 3 drops blue food coloring

Make the dough together with your little, and find wintery objects that lend themselves to a full sensory experience. This small branch broke off our christmas tree (it smells deliciously like pine and is spiky to the touch) and I had a vase full of white flowers. So many options when we bring nature indoors. Other ideas would be pinecones, acorns, colorful leaves, etc. We were gifted the sparkly snowflakes, and I’ve used them for open-ended play the past couple years for H in different capacities! Add extra flour for snow, sprinkles, or eco-friendly glitter. Voila! Should keep your wild one occupied for a little while….

Screenshot 2018-11-27 at 8.23.41 AM
Winter inspired sensory experience

Develop Fine Motor & Gross Motor Skills

Head to the thrift store and look for kitchen items that intrigue you. I asked myself how H could use this particular item, and she has used it in so many ways.

Ribbon is ubiquitous this time of year! Find some ribbon and set up some weaving activities for your little one using unusual items that lend themselves to this activity. Great hand-eye coordination as well as a perfect way to develop fine motor skills.

I found the puffballs at Target (we have about 12 of them). So many games can be played with them, including:

  • Try to hit a target
  • Throw them in a basket
  • Have a snowball fight
  • Put them in a blanket and try to keep them in the center without dropping them
Screenshot 2018-11-27 at 8.23.30 AM
Weaving ribbon and snowball fights

Create an Eclectic Tree

Find a tree branch outside and paint it with your little. Decorate the tree with ornaments and place it in your little one’s room. 

Screenshot 2018-11-27 at 8.23.10 AM
Create your own christmas tree with a tree branch

Make a Wintery Village 

I found these small wooden houses at a thrift store, but you should definitely check out Right Brained Mom’s amazing shop for incredible set-ups to inspire your little. Put small ornaments and other loose parts in a bowl so your child can use them in whatever way their imagination desires! What other items would you put in your child’s wintery village set up?

Screenshot 2018-11-27 at 8.22.56 AM
Make a wintery village play set-up

Get Creative with Recycled Items

Chocolate tins can turn into perfect places to store bells, pom-poms, and other items for open-ended play. Bells can be very pleasing for some littles, as they make that lovely jingle-jangle sound. 

IMG_20181126_113720627
Recycled items with bells

Explore Mazes

Dip small jingle bells in paint and have your littles “roll” their way through this maze with your help! Kids of all ages will love warming up this winter with this fun maze! Be sure to check out Education.com for more snowy day preschool activities!

After you finish, create another maze on a large piece of paper. See if your little one can use dot paints or create a colorful path using wintery paints!

Screenshot 2018-11-27 at 9.11.32 AM

Another idea would be to create your own tape mazes for children to cut! Such a great fine motor activity. Check out the Inspired Treehouse’s tape mazes cutting activity!

Hopefully this list of activities has inspired you. Each activity can also be modified for families that do not celebrate Christmas or winter holidays (e.g. snowflakes can be used on the tree instead of christmas ornaments, the winter village can be set up without the christmas tree as the focal point, loose parts can include cotton balls for snow and bells instead of reindeer, etc.).

I would love to hear about the fun winter-inspired activities you do with your littles! Please comment below or inbox me! 

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