It’s time for snow, ice, and arctic activities to have their moment in the (cold) sun. These winter activities for kids are the perfect way to experience the season (even when the weather doesn’t totally cooperate). Enjoy these 20+ winter ideas for tabies, toddlers, preschoolers and even big kids.
What are the best winter activities for kids
While the weather outside might not be the most inviting for kid activities right now, there are tons of ways for kids to experience winter from the warmth of inside.
And as much fun as it is to scroll Pinterest on a snowy day, it can be hard to find easy indoor and winter themed activities that are actually doable for kids.
There’s a lot of complicated stuff out there, ideas that take so much time and enough supplies to refill Michaels. I do not have time for this sort of winter activities.
So I went looking for truly easy winter activities for kids (that kids will absolutely love).
Looking for more structure each day?
Check out Playing Preschool: Busy Toddler’s 190-day at-home activities program
Why do winter activities with kids?
I love using activities as a first experience for kids.
When my oldest was a toddler, he had no understanding or context for what “winter” was because he didn’t remember it from last year. I turned to winter activities to lay a foundation for winter and expose him to the different parts of the season.
As we got more and more into winter, he understood. He had context. He was starting to see parts of his activities come to life in a very real way.
RELATED: Looking for other indoor activity ideas for kids? Check out this list.
The best winter activities for kids
Enjoy this curated list of easy activities for kids at winter times. These activities span broad age ranges and interests.
Tape Resist Snowflakes
We love tape resist art, and this winter snowflake version is fantastic. The best part of tape resist is how inclusive it is for different ages: from tiny toddlers or big kids, everyone can find success.
Painting on Snow
Bring the snow inside! Especially with little ones who aren’t into the cold, filling a container with snow and letting them paint it (with water and food coloring) is an A+ winter activity.
Snowman Ball Sort
One of the most inviting seasonal set ups for tabies and toddlers, the snowman ball sort is surprisingly easy to make (just use one of the many Amazon boxes you have in the garage…).
Penguin Ice Sensory
Some penguin toys, ice, and blue water: this is not to be missed. It’s such a simple activity for winter, but it’s absolute perfection.
Freeze paint (yes, paint!) to make “paint-sicles” for kids to create with. This is shockingly easy (and something I keep in my freezer year round).
Snowman Play Dough
This inviting play dough set-up absolutely crushes it in wintertime. Pull out all the extra craft supplies to make a myriad of snowmen.
Use con-tact paper and craft supplies then let your taby or toddler go to work decorating their “sticky snowman.”
Feed the Snowman
Using an old creamer bottle and cotton balls, create a feed the bottle station for tabies and toddlers. Add a dice and make it a math activity for preschoolers. The possibilities are endless.
Winter Bear Rescue
The bears are frozen in ice! Time for a winter rescue. This idea from Days with Grey is too cute. Freezing toys is always a hit activity.
If you live in an area that gets cold enough (like this blogger in Wisconsin), make a batch of homemade bubbles and observe them freezing in the cold air. Seriously: they freeze.
Have you ever made Snow dough? It’s different than play dough and seriously awesome. It’s a perfect winter activity for kids.
Arctic Habitat Sensory Bin
An unbelievably inviting sensory bin for children to play with. This winter activity for kids is the perfect blend of toys and sensory materials.
Painting Ice Cubes
Grab the ice from the freezer and toss it in a storage container. Let your kids paint the ice with
My kids love this activity! You’ll need pipe cleaners and beads. These turn out so cool!
Fill the spray bottles and get the kids outside. This winter art activity is perfect for all kids ages.
Winter Tree Art
What’s awesome about this activity is the broad age range for it (it’s really perfect for all different stages). Don’t overlook this activity!
Winter Art Activity
Create winter mittens with glue, water, and tissue paper. This is a slow, methodical, and calming approach to a stained glass piece.
Snow + food coloring + sand castle buckets. It has to happen! Kids will love exploring the changing snow colors and building with the colorful snow.
Make Fake Snow
Create your own fake snow with just three ingredients (that you probably have on hand). This is a perfect quick and easy sensory activity for all ages.
Snowman Sensory Bin
Bring the snow inside to let kids explore and play with it in a (slightly) warmer environment. This allows them to still experience and be part of nature without having to get them bundled up.
My daughter’s absolute favorite activity and it’s only ingredient is baking soda. Something about this activity is mesmerizing for kids. *Please remember that baking soda is not taste safe when consumed in mass quantities.*
Frequently Asked Questions
No! Winter activities are an awesome option for kids but not necessary or mandatory. I use activities as tools when I need help with my kids – but never everyday. Some days, I need help and use an activity tool. Other days, I don’t.
Check out these snowy books! This list was created by a librarian (and owner of Happily Ever Elephants).
That varies kid to kid. One thing I do always mention is that activities are a great way to introduce new seasons and concepts to young children.
Susie Allison, M. Ed
Susie Allison is the creator of Busy Toddler and has more than 2 million followers on Instagram. A former teacher and early childhood education advocate, Susie’s parenting book “Busy Toddler’s Guide to Actual Parenting” is available on Amazon.
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