10 Easy Winter Activity Ideas for Early Years Children
It’s not always easy keeping young children entertained during the winter season. The cold and wet make those daily playground trips or hours in the garden harder, and the shorter days and busy Christmas / New Year period can make for exhausted parents too! That’s why we’ve put together these 10 easy winter activity ideas. It’s one less thing to think about over the festive period:
1. Settle down with milk, cookies, and a storybook
Let’s start really easy. Sometimes it’s nice to be reminded of the simple things, like connecting with our children in a low-pressure way that we can enjoy too! This winter, make time to get comfy with your child, a yummy snack, and a good book. Enjoy each other’s body heat and remember there’s so much your little one is learning just by cuddling up for a story.
2. Have a pretend-play snow day
Put on your hats & coats and get ready for a snowy adventure without leaving the house! You can pretend you’re walking through a winter forest or grab some rolled-up socks and have a ‘snowfight’. Let your child’s imagination lead the way.Who knows, you may encounter a snow monster, build an igloo, or get caught in a blizzard!
3. Get messy with snowy finger painting
Try snowy finger painting for a winter-themed craft activity that’s easy to set up. All you need is some dark or coloured paper and white paint. Show your child how to create snowflakes and snowballs with their fingers, then watch them get messy as they create their own snow filled scenes.
4. Take cuddly toys ‘sledging’
Grab a selection of tupperware pots or trays, and a handful of their favourite cuddly toys, then take them sledging around the house. You can set-up hills and slides with cardboard boxes and pillows, to see if they really can whizz down a hillside.
5. Make your own skis
Next time you’ve got cardboard lying around, get some scissors and make your child a pair of skis! Gently tape onto their feet and away they go sliding across the carpet. Adult supervision is recommended at all times with this one…
6. Snuggle up and stargaze
Shorter days mean darker pre-bedtime evenings for the kids. This is a great time to enjoy the magic of the skies together. Put your coats on and take an evening stroll with no other intention than to gaze up and spot the stars above you! This is a fascinating app for learning more about the constellations.
7. Try ‘Snow & Reindeer Carrot’ mark making
For a fun way to help your child practice letter formation, how about setting up a ‘snowy’ invitation to mark make? All you need is a tray with a thin layer of sugar or flour. And a carrot. Have your child use the reindeer’s carrot like a pen as they create shapes, letters or numbers in the ‘snow’.
8. Set-up a tasty Winter Wonderland for small world play
Give your children a winter treat with a small world play invitation with a delicious difference. Fill a tray with scoops of vanilla ice cream (snow) and then add small-world characters or animals they can play with amongst the frosty base.
9. Make outdoor ice paints
Fill ice trays with a dash of food colouring and water, add ice lolly sticks, then leave outdoors on a cold winter’s night. In the morning you’ll have some colourful ice paints to be used on the patio, windows, or walls. Don’t worry, they’ll be easy to wash off after. In fact, you can probably let the rain do it for you.
10. Take a winter scavenger hunt
For another easy outdoor activity, use this Winter Finds poster and take your child on a winter scavenger hunt. Can you find all these natural treasures? What else catches your child’s eye? Wrap up warm and find out.
Interested in reading more winter-ready play and learning ideas? If so, you might also like ‘10 Ways to Have Fun in ‘Bad’ Weather’.