Build a Snowman!
Playing with playdough is a really simple but beneficial way to work on both creativity and all of those little muscles in the hands and forearms that will later be used when writing and in other fine motor movements. In this activity you can give this activity a seasonal spin by using the dough to make a little snowman. Your child’s age and experience with the dough will determine how close they get to making a snowman, but it’s their attempt and experimentation that they will learn from.
Stuff to Have
Fine motor, art
Shaving cream apparently has about a million uses, including several fine motor and sensory activities for young children. It really is a great medium that kids will have a ton of fun with. Mix a box (or a half box depending on how much you want to make) of cornstarch with a can of shaving cream in a large plastic container. Mix together to get a fluffy, snowy, moldable consistency. Let children dig in and play as they like, ask a lot of questions, and occasionally give new ideas for play (ie add toys, cars, containers, scoops, spoons, cookie cutters, etc).
Stuff to Have
1 box cornstarch
1 can of shaving cream
Large plastic container
Fine motor, sensory, early science
Set out cotton balls (or craft balls) in a large bowl along with the empty muffin tin or ice cube tray. Let your child experiment with different types of utensils (tongs, spoons, tweezers) to move the cotton balls from the larger bowl to the small compartments. Younger children will have an easier time using spoons, and older children might enjoy the challenge of tongs or tweezers.
Variation: If using colored craft balls make sure to talk about the colors. Older children might enjoy sorting by color adding an early math concept to this activity.
Stuff to Have
Cotton balls or craft balls
Spoons, tongs, tweezers, etc
Muffin tin or ice cube tray
Early Science & Math
Melt & Freeze
As simple as it may seem, the change from snow to water is a scientific transformation… but with these ages we are just going to play with it, watch it change, and have fun! If you have some snow let your child, or help them, collect a bowl full of snow. You could take this chance to add some color to it, or just leave it sit in a visible location to periodically watch the change. Be sure to ask questions and take some time to feel the snow as it changes. Set it aside and watch it over time, or throw in bowls, cups, spoons, etc. and turn it into a sensory experience.
Stuff to Have
Containers to collect snow
Food coloring diluted in water in a spray or squirt bottle, optional
Bowls, cups, spoons, empty containers, etc.
Early science, sensory
Cooking & Baking
Choose a Favorite!
Choose something that you love to make together with your child!
Add on Activities
Large Motor: As it starts to get colder getting large motor movement into the day gets harder and harder to do. Definitely take every chance you can to bundle up and get outside to run, jump, climb, and play! But on the days that you can’t, get creative. Try yoga for young children, keep a balloon up in the air, toss scarves up and try and catch them, or have a silly dance party. Not only will your kids have fun, they will be learning and growing at the same time!
Music and Rhymes: Have fun looking for winter themed music and rhymes! Hearing rhymes and the sing-songiness of music is building a foundation of phonics for learning letters and reading in the future! But for now, just be expressive and silly and have fun with it!
Books: Head to the library or read some of your favorite winter books. Reading is such an important activity for building vocabulary and adding to that foundation for reading in the future. Not only are they getting so many learning benefits from reading, but you are getting special one on one time with them!
Join us on Facebook! For more tips about play, activity plans, large motor, music and rhymes, and book ideas check out the Real. Meaningful. Family. Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/realmeaningfulfamily/
Mostly enjoy your child and happy playing!