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15 Simple Winter Activities

Young girl giving a snowman a hand.

Need a little fun to cure the winter blues? Try these simple but fun activities! I recognize not everyone has the winter with snow and cold weather. But for those that do it’s time for sledding, ice skating, building snowman, hot chocolate, and more than usual indoor activities. So I have mixed playing in the snow, art and crafts, and a few recommended books

  1. Ice sculptures – Put water in different containers, with food coloring if you like.  Then when frozen, pop them out to build things!  Keep the pieces sealed together by spraying the “joints” with water.  This can be done inside or outside, though it will last longer on a cold day outside!
  2. Homemade Snow – Baking soda and shaving cream mixed together make fun “snow.”  Knead till snowy.  Consistency is up to you, but start with one pound of baking soda and slowing add a handful or more of shaving cream!
  3. Marshmallow & toothpick sculptures – Large marshmallows can be connected with toothpicks to make any sculptures that your children can think of.  This activity requires adult supervision, since toothpicks have sharp tips!
  4. Kids’ Band – Get some metal pots and pans and wooden spoons and let the band perform!  You can also pour different levels of water in plastic bottles to make different sounds when you blow in them (like a standing flute).
  5. Food Finger Painting – On a tray, drop some yogurt and let the finger painting begin!  Different flavors will have different colors, so you can let imagination soar.  Take pictures along the way….
  6. Tent Forts with Sheets – An old standby, making tent forts by draping sheets over various pieces of furniture is always a big hit.  Add pillows inside and flashlights to complete the effect.  (Don’t forget to put in a “door”!)
  7. Indoor Ice Skating – Be careful, this is slippery activity!  Take wax paper and wrap it around socks with rubber bands and you can skate on the carpet (which is softer than the wood floor)….
  8. Coffee Filter Snowflakes – You can fold flat, circular coffee filters in half and cut designs into them to make snowflakes.  Hang them from ceilings and it’ll be snowing!
  9. Sandpaper Yarn Drawings – Get some sandpaper (not too rough, not to fine) and yarn.  Draw a design on the sandpaper with a marker (snow flake, house, tree, etc.), cut pieces of yarn to match and press them onto the sandpaper.
  10. Paint with Masking Tape – You’ll need paper, watercolor paint and masking tape.  Choose something to “draw,” such as a snowflake, tree, or the outline of a house and tear strips of masking tape to make the object.  Then paint all over the paper and let it completely dry.  Then remove the masking tape and you’ve a great silhouetted drawing underneath!
  11. Paint the Snow – If it’s snowed outside, fill squeeze bottles with water mixed with food coloring and squirt onto the snow.
  12. New Culture Day – On one weekend day, pick a culture with your child from somewhere in the world and do a bit of simple research – where it is, what language(s) is/are spoken, what traditional dress is like and what are the local foods.  Then go to the book store and find a simple book with pictures of the place and stop at the grocery store to get some of the local food to try at home.  Make file cards in the local language to label each dish.  Have your child make a quick presentation to the rest of the family on the culture.
  13. Make Your Own Frost – Take a can and take the outside label off (a soup can, for example) and fill half-way with ice.  Add some salt and water and watch the frost grow on the outside of the can.  The cold side of the can causes water vapor in the air to freeze into small crystals on the outside of the can.  If you wait long enough, your children might even be able to draw in the frost with their fingers.
  14. Modern Ice Block Sculpture – Freeze water in a cardboard milk container.  Once frozen, cut the container off of the block of ice.  Sprinkle salt on top and add a few drops of food coloring on top of the salt.  The salt will eat into the block of ice, taking the food coloring with it, making beautiful, colored streaks within the ice, looking like a modern piece of art!
  15. Ice Pendants – In a shallow plastic dish, perhaps 3-4 inches in diameter, place part of a leaf, a flower petal, or any object that will fit (fairly flat) with a ribbon hanging out of the dish (for use in hanging your art later) and pour water into the dish.  Lay flat in the freezer and when it’s frozen, you’ll have lovely art to hang in the cold outside the kitchen window (for example).
  16. Sledding – outside if you buddle up
  17. Make a Snowman – be creative with the facial feature, hat and arms
  18. Ice-Skating
  19. Sugar cube igloo
  20. Winter Children’s Books
    1. The Snowy Day
    2. The Mitten
    3. Owl Moon
    4. The Polar Express
    5. The Snowman
    6. Snowflake Bently
    7. Little Bear
    8. Nutcracker
    9. Snow
    10. Waiting for Winter
    11. White Snow, Bright Snow
    12. Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins
    13. Charlotte’s Web
    14. Winter Poems
    15. Mrs. Claus Saves Christmas

Hope you have fun!

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About the Author: Yvonne Wonder

As the founder and managing director of Destination Sitters, LLC, a national hotel and event babysitting service, and the mother of two children, I strongly believe that family comes first. I personally needed babysitting when I moved to San Diego 14 years ago. Like most parents, I assumed there were standards for temporary babysitting; in reality, there are no state standards or licensing requirements for temporary babysitting. The idea for Destination Sitters was born! I wanted to Give Parents Peace of Mind® when traveling with their children, so I created strict screening requirements for the sitters we refer. There is nothing like the peace of mind that comes from getting great professional help to care for your children, especially when traveling away from home. I and my partners, along with our office staff, have that one goal in mind with everything we do. Through the years of working with children, I have been inspired to write three books, and this blog for parents’ and children’s wellbeing. I believe the best way to teach a child is leading by example, with love, honesty, integrity, compassion, perseverance, and personal responsibility. Learning these values and teaching children that all women and men are equal will encourage them to dream big to be anything they want to be! An entrepreneur for over 35 years, I previously spent years running a construction and design company with two offices in California and built million-dollar estates and remodeled existing ones. For three and half years, I was one of the primary designers on HGTV’s Curb Appeal. I have also been published in books, magazines and newspapers, and have been a featured designer in multiple showcase houses.

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