“It’s the most wonderful time…” can be said of just about any season. But winter can be a time when kids are stuck indoors more often, and get the “doldrums.” So whip out a few activities to bring a little more wonder to your days! Here are six ideas to get you started:
1. Mitten Match-up Garland
With this activity you get it all: tracing, cutting, matching practice, lacing, and then… winter décor!
- Patterned Cardstock (at least 5 sheets)
- Child-Safe Scissors
- Hole Punch
- Length of Ribbon (about 2 feet wider than a doorway or mirror you’d like to decorate)
First, with the cardstock placed horizontally, trace your child’s left hand onto the left side of cardstock one time – trace around the whole hand to make a mitten, not individual fingers like a glove. Older kids can trace their own hands.
Fold the cardstock in half so you only see the traced hand. Cut out the mitten shape to get a perfectly matched right mitten too!
Repeat with remaining cardstock, using different designs.
Punch two holes in the bottom of each mitten. Mix up the mittens!
Have child “match” the pairs of mittens – the more sets of mittens, the more challenging!
Children can “lace” ribbon through the punched holes to create a garland to hang!
2. Scratch a Snowy Scene
When the weather outside is frightful – bring it safely inside with a piece of artwork. But how to draw snow? Easy! Use Scratch Art paper in white to create snowmen, snowflakes, and snowy hills under sparkling stars! Placed on a Scratch Art Light Box, the winter scenes become even more vibrant and enchanting!
3. Create a Stained Glass Ornament
- Clear bulb ornaments (glass or plastic)
- Poster paint
Open the bulb and place a few drops of various paint colors inside. Kids can cover opening with thumb and roll or shake the bulb so paint swirls around in pretty patterns! Depending on the thickness of paint, you may need to shake more vigorously! If you don’t have the clear bulbs, try this alternative! These ornaments make delightful gifts!
4. Snowflake Sequencing
It’s snowing! In all shapes and sizes! As the white beauties fall, have preschoolers arrange their own mini snowstorm! They can sequence the snowflake shapes from this printable in order from largest to smallest or vice versa. Or teach them big-bigger-biggest.
5. Trim a Lace-up Tree
A fast activity to create and do! Cut a simple triangle pine tree from green cardstock. Punch holes one inch apart around the entire edge.
Kids can lace the cardstock tree with a shoelace or ribbon to “trim” the tree (while also building fine motor skills). This makes another great décor item hung on a door front after lacing.
Try this activity with other simple winter shapes like a snowman, candy cane, or mitten!
6. Play Dress-up For Cold Weather
Young children want to run right outside into the snow and play. Use a magnetic dress up set like Joey to role-play proper garments for cold weather.
- Thin magnetic sheets (or use magnets from businesses)
- Fabric scraps
- Child-Safe Scissors
- Non-Roll Glue Sticks
Trace the outline a hat, boot, mitten, etc. onto a magnetic sheet. Use the magnetic clothing that comes with the toy to trace a similar looking item, then customize the fit. Cut out the magnet, then cut out a matching piece from a piece of fabric. Glue the fabric to the magnet and voila! A new outfit for dressing warmly!
Children will learn new vocabulary, discuss cold weather attire, and talk about what winter activities or sports require different gear!
Winter can be a time of true delight in learning with Wondrous Winter Activities for Kids!
Julie Kieras is mom to two active an inquisitive boys and wife to a wonderful husband. She can usually be found playing with her toddler and infant, organizing her craft closet, reading a good book, taking a walk, or perhaps baking her semi-famous apple pies. In between, she writes a blog about family life at A Year With Mom and Dad.