Unless you live someplace where it doesn’t really get cold or snow in the winter, winter can be a time of being cooped up. Cabin fever sets in pretty quickly, especially for those with younger children. Frankly, I’m convinced it is long, cold winters that cause mamas to go a bit crazy. There isn’t much worse than being stuck in a house with children going stir crazy. It’s not much better for those kids either. Preschool winter activities can be hard to think about when your brain is already fried from said winter and children.
So here I am, to the rescue! You no longer have to try to have just enough coffee to think creatively without going over the limit and being just as hyper as your kids. Trust me. That’s a fine line and you do not want to cross it. Next time you need to figure out what to do with those kiddos, just check this list. No thinking required! There is a combination of both indoor and outdoor preschool winter activities. All activities can be adapted for younger or older children.
Indoor Preschool Winter Activities
Play dough/cloud dough – I’m not talking just any play dough here. I’m talking bring out all the cookie cutters, plastic tools, everything. Make it an epic play dough session. If you go the cloud dough route, I highly suggest you put down a plastic tablecloth first. I have a 97 cent part tablecloth on hand just for such occasions.
Dance party – Again, time to go epic. Mama joins in and everything (you might need that second cup of coffee for this one). We love Pandora for music. As much as I despise Kidz Bop, it does make for some excellent dance parties.
Crazy crafts – Instead of doing typical planned craft projects, bring out a bunch of random things and let your preschooler create whatever their imagination wants. We have a basket full of craft supplies that my daughter picked out by herself. It has everything from glitter glue to google-y eyes to pipe cleaners. When she does crazy crafts, I never know what she is going to come up with, but it is always interesting.
Table forts – Remember when you were a kid you would throw a sheet over the table or a few chairs to make a fort? Preschoolers love forts! This is a perfect time to teach them how to make one. They love that they have their own cave to play in and us mamas love that it cleans up easily at the end of the day.
Play store – Let your little one loose in your pantry (remember to put away anything you don’t want them handling first). Little kids love playing store with actual food items. Bonus: You’ll probably find some random expired items you didn’t even know about.
Outdoor Preschool Winter Activities
Sledding – We are lucky enough to have a little hill in our backyard that is just right for sledding. If you don’t, plan a trip to a local sledding hill. Most towns have a place where people tend to gather to sled. To make it extra special, bring snacks and a thermos of hot chocolate with you.
Build a snowman / make snow angels – What is it about preschoolers and snow angels? They love them! Must be something about laying down in the snow. Whatever it is, these are two activities that preschoolers never seem to get tired of.
Snowball fights – Again, preschoolers love this one. We are forever telling them not to throw things at people and to be nice. Finally an activity where they don’t have to follow those rules! Just be sure to teach them not to make ice balls. Those can cause some serious pain.
Shoveling – Work to you, play to them. There aren’t a whole lot of years left where you can convince them that work is actually play and fun. Take advantage of it! Get your preschooler a kid sized shovel and let them shovel off the deck, porch, paths, whatever you have.
Jumping in the snow – Much like preschoolers love to jump in piles of leaves in the fall, they also love to jump in mountains of snow. If you have a way for them to jump down into it, great, if not, they can just take a running leap into it. Works best with fluffy snow not heavy, wet snow. Heavy, wet snow packs down too quickly and can be quite painful on little (and not so little) bums.
Hopefully, you now have a list to work from next time you realize you and your children are getting a little crazy from being cooped up in the winter. Sure, you can still do things like coloring, reading, movies, and regular toys but those can get boring very quickly. Next time you need to think of something different to do, put down the coffee and check this list! (Okay. I’m just kidding. Don’t put down the coffee.)