When the weather turns from chilly to downright cold and unpleasant, it can be really easy to fall into the trap of plopping your kids in front of a TV and just hibernating until after the first crocuses bloom.
It is so easy to do – who doesn’t love snuggling in front cartoons, right?
But colder weather shouldn’t mean the end to fun activities and engaging playtime with your little ones.
When we’re all in danger of coming down with the winter blues, it can rub off on our little ones too! So let’s dive into some fun and creative mind running with ideas for fun and entertaining ways to occupy everyone during those frosty days.
Below are 10 tips for toddler winter activities that will be sure to give you some fantastic ideas for activities to do!
Table Of Contents
10 Fun Winter Activities for Toddlers
1. Let’s Cook
Being stuck in the house when it is frightfully cold outside is a great time to get a head start on teaching your kids some basic intro to cooking. This is also a great way to figure out the key to pleasing your picky eater…simply by asking “what would you like to eat today?” – and then let them help make it!
Of course, be sure to keep everything age appropriate.
A simple meal that our younger ones can do a great deal of work on is egg salad. Provide them with the hardboiled eggs, give them pointers on taking the egg shells off. For the most fun part, you can let them go to town breaking up those eggs, and then stirring in the mayo!
If you’re interested in some really healthy and easy toddler snacks, watch the video below for some inspiration! Your little one can help you with a few of the steps, too!
2. Puzzle Time
A puzzle is a really great activity to do anytime you cannot get out.
They teach your kids how to problem solve, sit still to focus on an activity, and when the project is complete they see a great picture for their reward. Work on it as a family to create some awesome bonding time!
Don’t have puzzles? Not a problem!! Below are some really fun and easy (totally DIY) puzzle ideas for toddlers!
3. Build a fort
It is an oldie but a goodie! Who doesn’t love to hide out in a fort?!
While there are some options available for forts that you can buy, half of the fun is figuring out what blanket works best, and what piece of furniture to throw it over. (Plus, it makes the time go by much faster when you’re trying to have your toddler help you figure out which bed sheets to use!)
Once the fort is complete, there is a great deal of fun to be had sitting in their new space and playing with whatever they want – books, coloring and maybe if they have had a good day, you can sleep together in the fort!
If you have older children (or want to set up an amazing fort for your young kids to play in for a longer period of time) – check out this amazing cardboard box fort!
4. Snow Coloring
We can’t hibernate like bears throughout the whole winter, even if we feel like it. Bundling your toddler up to brave the cold might seem like a whole day’s task in itself – but there’s so much fun to be had outside in the snow!
Sick of seeing that nasty old snow?
Mix yourself up a bottle (or many bottles) of food coloring and water, throw that into a spray bottle, bundle up and head outdoors!
You and the kids can create a nice scene, flowers in a landscape that has been covered in snow is always a nice touch, or go all Jackson Pollock on the mounds of snow.
What matters is that you are outside, breathing in some fresh air and having a great time together!
Here’s a cute tutorial by some older children on how to create fun snow coloring bottles – maybe you can have your toddler’s older siblings help our or invite some of the neighbor kids to have some snow coloring fun together!
Not able to spend time outside for some reason?
Why not make your own snow!?
Check out the infographic below on how to do it!
5. Living Room Picnic Date
Not all days can be spent outside, even if you bundle up warm. Want a great way to fight to winter storms? Plan a picnic! Not outside – but in your very own living room!
It’s a seemingly simplistic idea, however, kids of all ages get more excited than ever if you do something just slightly out of the norm.
Make a surprise picnic, and have a meal on the floor in the living room.
Prepare a basket and make sure to have many great snacks. There will be a lot of giggles and smiles.
What is a picnic without some fun (and super easy to make) picnic food ideas!?
Watch the video below to get some inspiration for easy, fun and cute snack ideas for toddlers.
6. Color Scavenger Hunt
How about sending your little ones out around the house to find items and objects of a certain color.
From something as simple as a game of “I Spy” to something more elaborate like “Can you find me 3 RED objects in the living room?” – there are so many different versions of this game that you can play.
What I like most about this game? It’s easy for the adult to multitask! Have to clean the kitchen or need to fold laundry? Bring them along and let them play the game in the room of your choice – or send them to their room and tell them to bring a blue toy back to the laundry room.
Great fun and for learning their colors!
Below is a video with some really great teaching moments in it for toddlers just starting to learn their colors!
7. Hallway Hopscotch
How cool would it be to grab some colored paper and tape to make your kids hopscotch down the hallway!?
Even if your child is not quite getting the concept (like little Lucy in the video below) – it’s still a great way to expend that energy before bed or get them moving their bodies first thing in the morning.
8. Indoor Water Fun
Well, how about getting some ice trays, filling them up with water (plus food color dye of choice), adding little sails with paper and toothpicks for ice cube boat races? How fun is that?
Time for a bath?
No problem – bring them along! Slide them along the bathtub for some more fun, watch them dissolve into the water as your child plays.
OR, what about ice-cube painting!?
Oh, the fun you can have with water is endless.
For a really easy ice cube painting activity, watch the video below!
9. A Piece Of 2 x 4 Wood?
Anything can be a toy if you have a little imagination!
Grab a piece of wood, lay it on the floor for balance beam walking.
Great for the fine motor skills and balance for your little one.
It’s also a great indicator if your little one would be interested in some gymnastic classes or baby and me gym sessions!
If you’re interested in making a more permanent balance beam for your kids to use outside or inside, watch the video below!
10. Pretend Playing
Encourage this and set up a room with some real and play food and go grocery shopping!
Engaging with your child’s imagination and encouraging independent play time is such a great tool in helping them involve into fun, energetic and playful children.
Below are a few fun pretend playing ideas I love to practise with my toddler!
- grocery shopping (either with toys or in our very own kitchen with real food)
- matching games (DIY matching games with cards you make yourself or a matching card game set)
- toy store (lining up all their toys in a little make believe store and letting them “buy” or “rent” them, bringing them back to exchange with different toys).
- puppet shows
- dress up like adults – let them wear your or your partners clothes and act like adults for the day
- role playing – be a ninja, a princess, a lion or a king for an afternoon
If you’re interested in more make-believe fun ideas for you and your toddler, Pinterest always has you covered!
Whatever you’re doing, whether outside in the cold or inside in the warmth – you’re not just having fun with your child, you’re teaching them to enjoy life as it comes and to make the most of even the snowiest of days!
I’d love to hear in the comments below some of your favorite winter toddler activities!