If you have a toddler, you know how active they can be. Sometimes, they seem to have an excess of energy, and figuring out how to burn it off during the colder months can be a challenge.
Luckily, there are a ton of winter activities that aren’t just entertaining, but also physical, letting your toddler put their energy to good use. Here are some of the best winter activities for toddlers that engage the body and the mind.
Go Sledding (and Climb the Hills)
Racing down a snow-covered hill is always an exhilarating experience. The brisk air and the sensation of flying across fresh powder are sure to bring a smile to any child’s face.
Plus, when you don’t just sled down the hills, but climb up them as well, it’s a great workout for everyone. Just make sure to stay by your toddler’s side as they conquer the climb, so you can be ready to steady them if they slip.
Trying to catch snowflakes on your tongue is a quintessential childhood experience. Since it usually involves running around, it’s a great energy burner too.
You can also take this magical experience to the next level by teaching your kids to gently toss the snow in the air. Just take a few minutes to remove any obstacles or potentially dangerous objects, like rocks and sticks, before you start in on the fun.
Build a Snow Fort
Building anything out of snow can be a fun family-friendly activity, but a fort can also encourage fun after the construction process is complete. Start by teaching your toddler how to make “bricks” out of snow by compacting it into the proper shape. Next, guide them through the stacking process, ensuring each new brick provides support. Then, just keep an eye on them as though go, giving them help should the need arise.
Once the fort is ready, you can play new games that make use of the building. If your weather is staying cold and you don’t get any rain, your family may even be able to take advantage of the fort for days after it is built.
Create Snow Angels
Snow angels are another classic winter activity that every child should experience. After all, you are encouraging them to collapse into the snow, which is fun in its own right. Plus, the arm and leg motions get your toddler moving and teaching them to get up slowly to keep their design intact promotes awareness. Just make sure your toddler doesn’t try to make a snow angel by laying face down in the snow as that could be dangerous.
Snow can be an incredible medium for art. If it is fairly packed, your toddler can use their finger or hands to draw pictures. They can build up the snow in certain areas to make their design 3-D, or add items like sticks, rocks, or colored ice cubes to create their masterpiece.
Plus, you can easily add color to any part of their drawing with some watered-down food coloring. Just keep in mind that food coloring is safe but can stain, so make sure to dress them properly for the art-filled occasion.
Try Follow the Leader
Even if you don’t have any snow, that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun outside with your toddler. A simple game of follow the leader can be a great option as it allows you to retain a certain level of control, something that may be essential in icy conditions.
A scavenger hunt can be ideal for improving your toddler’s observational skills. You can use pictures or words to guide them through the hunt, letting them know what they need to find and bring back to you. If your area isn’t filled with a lot of items to find, you can also add sounds to listen for or smells to notice. Nearly anything goes, giving you the ability to make this an immersive experience for your children.
If you need to stay indoors, getting your toddler involved in snack preparation can be an excellent activity for everyone. You could let them help you combine ingredients, decorate cookies or cupcakes together, or turn a group of different snack foods into a snowman’s face on a plate. Overall, it promotes creativity, so nearly any option can be fun.
Food can be a little scarce for birds in the winter. Luckily, you and your toddler can help your neighborhood feathered friends by creating some simply pinecone birdfeeders.
Once you have the pinecones, tie some cotton string onto the end. Next, coat them in peanut butter and roll them in birdseed. Last, pick a spot in a tree to hang them, ideally in a spot where your toddler can see them from a window.
It’s an easy little project that also teaches them about the world around them, making it a great option for curious toddlers.