Keeping your children active and busy during the winter can be tough. If you want to go outside with them, you need to fight the bundling up battle. But, there are only so many things you can do inside!
To help you out, we rounded up our favorite winter activities for kids, both indoors and outdoors, so that you can avoid bored little ones during the cold months. If you are looking for online and in-person classes and activities, check out the Sawyer marketplace and let your child’s love of learning grow!
Winter activities for kids
The beginning of winter is often synonymous with the holidays for many children and adults. That means there is no shortage of fun winter activities that you can do that are connected to the holiday season. If you are looking for Christmas activities, like Christmas crafts and DIY Christmas cards, Hanukkah activities, and holiday crafts for kids, we’ve got you covered!
Unfortunately, winter continues for much longer than the holidays. What are some good winter activities for kids that you can do in January, February, and March? Keep reading to see some of our favorites!
Create winter art scenes with natural objects
Like the winter scavenger hunts, this activity includes inside and outside time. In fact, it can even be done right after a scavenger hunt! First, your child should find objects in nature that they can use in their art. Then, set them up with paper, glue, glitter, paint, markers, and anything else they need to let their inner Monet out. Mixed media art helps children expand their creativity. This is one of our favorite winter crafts for toddlers especially because of the many benefits of art for kids who are developing their motor skills.
Have a winter movie night
Gather the family together in your comfiest pajamas and settle in for a winter movie night. Pick a classic snowy movie like Ice Age, Snow Dogs, or Frozen, turn down the lights, and let the beautiful winter scenes wash over you. Bonus points if you make some delicious winter snacks like hot chocolate, s’mores, and peppermint bark to really set the mood.
Write a winter fantasy story
Something about crisp air and gently falling snow awakens our creativity. Take advantage of those feelings and let your child’s imagination run wild. Give them a winter-themed writing prompt and have them write a story. There are so many benefits of creative writing for kids. If they prefer drawing to writing, let them make a comic instead! The goal is to get their creative juices flowing and show them how fun storytelling can be. If you are looking for some inspiration, Sawyer provider Story Pirates runs camps and classes where children are in charge of telling the story.
Take a winter drive or train ride
Little ones love getting in the car and taking the train so this is one of the best winter activities for toddlers and preschool-aged children. It’s like going on a vacation without having to pack bags or pay a lot of money! Take a winter car ride or train trip with your children so that they can see how their neighborhood changes in the winter. If you have the time, you can venture further so they can explore a new area or town and marvel at the winter beauty.
Go on a winter scavenger hunt
We love winter scavenger hunts because they can be done indoors or outdoors and can be enjoyed by children of all ages. All you need to do is come up with a list of items that your child needs to find. They can be physical items, like 4 pinecones, 5 red leaves, and 3 things that float, or they can be less tangible. For example, you can ask them to find something in the house that looks like something else, animal footprints, or different types of trees. Interested in setting up winter scavenger hunts for your kids? Check out our guide with tips.
Things to do outside with kids
Even when the temperature drops, your children need some outdoor time. After you’ve bundled everyone up, have fun with these things to do outside with your kids.
Play in the snow
It’s so obvious, but it needs to be said! Put those snow pants, mittens, hat, boots, and big jacket on and get out there with your little ones. Try to get your whole family outside and build a snowman, make snow angels, play snow football, and have a snowball fight together. When you’re all tired, thaw out with some hot chocolate or freshly baked cookies. Sawyer educator, Freshmade, has a class where you can learn to combine the two and make hot cocoa cookies!
Make snow treats
This can be an outdoor activity for toddlers and older children, but it requires help from adults no matter what! Heat up maple syrup and then pour it over clean snow to make snow candy that your everyone will love. You can also take (clean) snow and add sugar, milk, vanilla, and sprinkles to make snow ice cream!
If your children are a bit older, they can make some allowance money by shoveling snow for their family and others around them. If you have older neighbors, they can offer to shovel the sidewalk, walkway, and driveway for them as a great way to teach responsibility and keep them active during the cold weather.
Make frozen bubbles
This is such a cool activity for children, but adults love it, too! On a day where the air is below freezing, bundle up and bring a bubble wand. Because of the cold air, the bubble will freeze in the air when you blow it, creating a beautiful science experiment. This is a fun science project that your children will want to do over and over again.
Go ice skating
Ice skating is another one of those classic outdoor activities for kids. It is such a fun way to get outside with friends and have a great time. Just make sure your little ones are careful on the ice! Check out your local ice skating rinks for free or discounted skate nights so you can make the most of your outing!
Indoor winter activities for kids
We know, it’s really cold out there. Keep the whole family warm with these indoor winter activities for kids.
Try a new recipe
Cooking together as a family is a great way to bond, increase your child’s interest in good food, and help them develop stronger math and language skills. Plus, it’s just fun! This winter, make a point to learn new recipes as a family. Sawyer educators The Dynamite Shop, Wannabee Chef, and LIFT Enrichment teach cooking and baking classes and camps for children and their families. Maybe trying new recipes can be a new year’s resolution for you and your kids!
Learn a new skill
Winter is a great time for your child to learn a new skill because they will be spending more time indoors after school. Maybe they are interested in learning how to code, speak a new language, or play an instrument? There are so many benefits of coding for kids as well as language immersion and, of course, music classes. Plus, it is super easy to find online and in-person classes in these topics and so many more on Sawyer!
Do a puzzle
Winter and puzzles go together like hot chocolate and marshmallows. Since your children will be spending more time inside, designate a table as the puzzle spot and get a jigsaw puzzle going. It is a great way for children and adults to unwind while still using their brain and keeping their mind active. Plus, the sense of accomplishment when you finally finish is something that will have you reaching for the next puzzle in no time! Check out some of the other benefits of puzzles for kids in our article.
Build a fort
If the idea of building an igloo sounds good to your children, but they don’t want to get bundled up and actually brave the cold, building an indoor fort is the next best thing. Depending on their age, adult supervision might be helpful, but for the most part, you want to let the children be in charge of the construction. Help them source materials (i.e. blankets, pillows, and couch cushions) and then give them free reign. Just make sure they clean up afterwards!
Read a winter book
Sometimes, there really is nothing better than cozying up with a good book. We rounded up the best Christmas books for kids and Hanukkah children’s books, but there are also so many other great winter-themed books for children like The Snowy Day, The Mitten, and Kamik’s First Sled. This is a great opportunity to help your child fall in love with reading and celebrate the season at the same time.
If you are still looking for more in-person and online winter activities for kids, including winter break camps for kids, check out what our educators are offering on the Sawyer marketplace! We have art, cooking, coding, dance, language, and so many more types of classes available. Your child won’t be bored this winter! And if you are planning a trip with your children, check out our guide with family travel tips to help it go as smoothly as possible.