It’s cold outdoors on winter days but that doesn’t mean that you have to stay inside with your toddlers and preschoolers. These outdoor winter activities for kids are especially written for the little ones. Lots of outdoor play, and then back indoors for some delicious hot chocolate. So here you go our Favourite Outdoor Winter Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers
Outdoor Adventures and Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers this Winter
Kids will love these fun outdoor winter activities and ideas that will help get them outside, in the fresh air and enjoying nature. Whether out and about or in your own backyard.
Fun Winter Activities for Outside with Toddler and Preschoolers
Build a Snowman
Well what else can you do – we discovered when my kids were toddlers that snowmen were best made the day after the snow had fallen as it then held together better. The nice thing about making them with toddlers and preschoolers they aren’t worried if they look perfect or are as tall as a man. In fact, after you’ve been outside, bring some of the snow inside and create your own indoor snowmen building sensory tub with real snow for them to do.
Take a Winter Hike
Dressed up in a snowsuit, with layers and layers why not take a walk on the wild side and head to the trails or botanical garden near you. You can’t help but spot your toddlers and preschoolers against the white of the snow so let them explore and run around.
Don’t forget to snap a picture – the one above I’ve had made into a canvas and many years on that is still a favourite picture of mine from the winter we had a lot of snow.
Turn it into a nature scavenger hunt there are plenty of things that they can find – how about some berries on the trees, pinecones that have fallen down, leaves on the evergreens or animal tracks in the snow. Maybe you’ll even see squirrels scurring around trying to find their winter store of acorns, nuts and seeds. Why not get the whole family involved and give the little ones a helping hand.
We love the Winter Scavenger Hunt Printable from the Woodland Trust as it has pictures of the different nature objects to find.
No winter would be complete without heading out on the sleds. Well sledges if you are in the UK! Don’t worry if you don’t have one you can improvise and just use a plastic bag to slide down the hill, in fact, the only essential for this activity is a slope. Once you have your toddler used to the feeling why not grab a bag or a sled yourself and race against each other. It’s the best of Winter Fun with the kids.
Making Snow Angels
If you’ve got snow on the ground then you have to make snow angels – it’s almost a right of passage and even now as an adult if I’m playing around with the kids I’ll get down in the snow and do it as well. It’s plain and simple fun!
Once they’ve made the snow angles dig out the sand toys and a spoon to fill then up with, snow is just as much fun to create snow castles and shapes with as sand in the summer.
Set Up Bird Feeders
This won’t take long but will provide you with opportunities to view nature all winter long from inside and give you an opportunity to pop outside every day. Set up a bird feeding station that you can see from a window that you like to sit by. Top it up with a selection of different birdseed and even make your own Suet Balls that will help the birds get the fat that they need to keep warm in winter.
You could even use some bird-friendly peanut butter and birdseed and create a toilet paper roll bird feeder or smeared onto pine cones for a more natural bird feeder. You could even string freshly popped popcorn from tree trunk to tree trunk
Make a Snow Maze
When you roll the ball together for the snowman instead of going all over the place use the ball rolling to create a maze in the garden. Not making a snowman then use your feet to plow through the snow and create a maze don’t forget to make some dead ends and go back on yourself to make it more interesting. This is the perfect extension of our Foot Book by Dr. Seuss Outdoor Winter Activity for Toddlers where we made footprints in the snow.
Don’t worry if you don’t have snow you could always use some of the fallen leaves and create a maze with them.
Make Ice Paints
No need for a freezer when you make ice-paints in the winter so fill up your ice cube tray or molds add in some food coloring and leave it outside then in a few hours get creative making your own ice paint drawings. Perfect for some colourful winter themed art outside.
Make Snow Ice-Cream
If you have the big freeze and the snow has fallen, then before you have a snowball fight or build a snowman, grab a bowl from the kitchen and collect some freshly fallen snow – keep it outside whilst you play and then when you head back inside use it to make some delicious Snow Ice-Cream. You can even be like my daughter and make it pink – check out the recipe from Happy Hooligans on how to make Snow Ice Cream.
Go on a Hidden Animal Hunt
The snow provides an ideal way to spot the animals that can be found even when they are hidden – look down and see what tracks you can find – are there birds, deer, cats or dogs around. Your toddler probably won’t be very good at spotting the tracks but when you find them they will have a wow moment especially if you can return home and find some images of the animals that you can spot.
Make some snow paint and spray it about
One of our favourite snow activities is to grab a spray bottle add some liquid food colouring and water and get outside and paint the snow – spray shapes, letters, words, pictures and numbers and have fun turning the white stuff into a colourful playground before it melts away.
We love making bubbles any time of the year, but after watching the frozen bubbles over on Steam Powered Family we’re really excited to see if our homemade bubble mixture will work and produce frozen bubbles the same way.
More Winter Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers
Once you have finished outside then head back inside and try some of our Winter Activities and Crafts for Toddlers and Preschoolers.
Snow and Ice make great inspiration for crafts and activities give some of our recommended ideas that we have tried and tested with the kids. They will love them! One of our favourites! Bringing the snow inside and having a snow bath! The sensory fun of the warm bath water with the cold snow is different for kids to experience.
If your children loved the snowman building outside the best and you feel inspired why not continue the fun indoors with our activities, crafts, and recipes on the theme of Snowmen. Try the 3 ingredient snowball cookies – they are delicious and so easy to make.
We love singing and these Winter Nursery Rhymes and Songs are ideal to sing together inside and out when the snow and ice are on the ground. Check out our Winter Rhymes Pack of words that you can buy, printout and then use instead of having to reach for the tablet each time you want to sing and can’t remember the words.
When you want some quiet time to snuggle up with your toddlers and preschoolers with one of the books from our Winter Book Collection perfect for reading aloud and inspired by the weather, season and events throughout the winter months.
Cerys is a marine biologist, environmental educator, teacher, mum, and home educator from the UK. She loves getting creative, whether it is with simple and easy crafts and ideas, activities to make learning fun, or delicious recipes that you and your kids can cook together you'll find them all shared here on Rainy Day Mum.