Winter Wonderland

It’s been winter for a few weeks, but with all of the Christmassy fun we’ve been having, we haven’t had time to stop and properly enjoy this season- until now! This week’s lessons are full of snowy, cozy wintery fun perfect for toddlers and preschoolers alike! So bundle up and let’s go!

Winter cotton ball painting: I saw this wintery cotton ball painting idea on Fantastic Fun and Learning and knew we had to give it a try! You just have your little paint a black (or dark blue) sheet of paper by bouncing a cotton ball clipped to a clothes pin up and down in paint, then on the page (we used white, dark blue and light blue paint). Then, take their picture all bundled up in their outdoor winter clothes, print it, cut it out and have them glue it to the center of the page. Use snowflake confetti or stickers to decorate the page as a final touch.

Mitten hand print craft: Cut out a large heart and two mittens from construction paper. Have your little glue the mittens on the heart. Then paint their hand and have them make a print on top of the mitten. I added the phrase “Cold hands, warm heart” to the bottom too as a final touch!

Play snow sensory bin: Our elf Erin brought us some instant play snow this year and it was a total blast! You just put the “snow” in a large storage bin, add cold water until it’s the consistency you want (not too wet, but not too dry either- we added 2 cups at a time) and give your littles measuring cups, spoons, toy bowls etc. and let them play! If your little is still putting things in their mouth often, try our second “play snow” idea below!

Play snow idea #2: For this play snow, I just mixed some silver, gold and blue sprinkles with a bunch of sugar in a cake pan (in fact, if you’ve been following me for awhile, this is the same recipe I used for “Pixie Dust” back during Disney week if you saved it!) Then the littles got out their snow plow and dump truck toys and had a blast plowing and moving the snow around. (To contain the mess a bit, place a large towel or blanket under the pan- luckily it also vacuums up super easy!)

Ice berg hop: Cut out “ice bergs” from paper or cardstock. Write the numbers 1-10 on the bergs. You can laminate them if you’d like to use them again in the future, but I will say I’ve done it both ways and plain paper sticks to the floor better and is less slippery! Then tape the ice bergs to the floor and help your little hop from one to the next while saying the numbers to build counting and number recognition. I got this idea from Mrs. Plemon’s Kindergarten.

Mitten color matching: I cut out some mittens in various colors of construction paper, placed one mitten from each set on the floor, then had my little match the other mitten to its pair. As he worked, I went over the mitten colors with him.

Do-a-dot mitten painting: I printed a few mitten do-a-dot pages and let my littles decorate their mittens with dot markers. This is great hand-eye coordination practice for toddlers…if you can get them to actually stamp the dots! LoL

S is for snow: My little has been interested in letters for awhile now, so I thought it would be fun to start introducing some of them to him. Toddlers don’t have the fine motor skills to write yet, but they can start forming letters using dot markers and stickers. I printed a letter S do-a-dot page, then I had him dot the letter S. Next, I wrote various letters all around the S and asked him to find the S’s, which I then dotted for him (eventually, I’ll let him dot them, but he was being silly and I didn’t want dots all over the page!)

Snowball cup topple: This is a fun and easy game you can play with items you probably have in your home. You just set up a pyramid of plastic cups (I got clear ones so they looked more like ice!) then ball up some sheets of scrap paper for snowballs and have your little try to knock the pyramid over with the balls.

Don’t Break the Ice: This game is so much fun, and is great fine motor practice, even if your little isn’t old enough to understand the rules yet! They will love hammering out the ice cubes over and over again! If you have an older toddler it’s a perfect beginner game because it’s simple and teaches taking turns. You just place all the “ice cubes” in the table, then have your little hammer them out. If they are older, they can take turns hammering one out with you (or a sibling). Whoever knocks the penguin down loses.

Supply/shopping list:

  • cotton balls
  • play snow
  • sugar
  • sprinkles
  • small dump truck/snow plow toys
  • snowflake confetti or stickers
  • solo cups
  • tongs
  • white pom poms
  • Don’t Break the Ice

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