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February 18, 2024

Winter Play: What to Do at Home When It’s Too Cold to Play Outside

Explore the magic of winter play at home. From sensory bins to winter art and indoor snowball toss games to bilingual storytime, discover delightful ways to entertain and educate your child when it’s too cold to play outside. Embrace the winter wonderland indoors with these creative ideas for family fun!

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February is not only the month of love. It’s also a chillier time of year, depending on where you might live in the U.S.. And for some of us, the cold weather prohibits spending too much free time outdoors with our little ones.

But fear not! At Tierra Encantada, your local Spanish immersion daycare and preschool, we’ve got a treasure trove of indoor activities to keep your children entertained and engaged during the frigid days. 

Join us as we explore creative and educational winter play ideas that are easily adaptable for at-home playtime.

At-Home Winter Activity Ideas for Kids

1. Snowy Sensory Bins

Bring the magic of winter indoors with a sensory bin that captures the essence of a snowy wonderland. 

Materials Needed:

  • Large bin or tray
  • White rice
  • Shredded paper
  • Miniature winter-themed toys (i.e. animals, trees, snowmen)
  • Utensils for scooping and pouring (i.e. spoons of all sizes, measuring cups, plastic drinking glasses)

Activity Steps:

  1. Fill the bin or tray with the rice and paper to create a snowy base.
  2. Add the miniature winter-themed toys, encouraging your child to explore and discover hidden treasures.
  3. Provide the utensils for scooping and pouring, enhancing fine motor skills.

This sensory play engages the senses while allowing your child to create their winter stories right at home, encouraging imaginative play. 

2. Winter Wonderland Art

Unleash your child’s creativity with winter-themed art projects that double as charming decorations for your home. 

Materials Needed:

  • White construction paper or canvas
  • Kid-friendly blue and white paint
  • Cotton balls
  • Non-toxic glitter
  • Non-toxic glue
  • Stencils of winter shapes (i.e. snowflakes, mittens, snowmen)

Activity Steps:

  1. Set up a painting station with the white paper or canvas.
  2. Encourage your child to use blue and white paint to create a winter background.
  3. Use stencils to add winter shapes.
  4. Add a touch of sparkle by gluing the glitter and cotton balls to represent snow.

This activity allows your child to artistically express themselves, and it introduces them to the aesthetics of winter through the creative process.

3. Indoor Snowball Toss

If your child is old enough, bring the excitement of snowball fights indoors with a safe and entertaining toss game. This activity helps improve hand-eye coordination and provides an outlet to expend some pent-up winter energy.

Materials Needed:

  • Soft, plush snowballs (you can purchase these at a craft store or use balled up socks instead)
  • Buckets or baskets

Activity Steps:

  1. Create a designated throwing area with buckets or baskets arranged at varying distances.
  2. Invite your child to stand a few feet away and toss the snowballs into the containers.
  3. Adjust the difficulty by changing the distance between the throwing spot and the containers.
  4. If you want to make it even more of a learning experience, try designating points to each basket. Each time your child makes a basket, they can practice counting. Keep a notepad nearby to write down the points as you go so your child has a visual aid while counting their total points earned. Bonus points if they count in Spanish!

This indoor snowball toss is a delightful way to promote physical activity and coordination. It also provides a learning opportunity for them to work on their counting skills!

4. Bilingual Winter Storytime

Winter is the perfect time to cuddle up with a good book, and at Tierra Encantada, we love incorporating bilingual storytime into our indoor activities. Reading together not only fosters a love for language but also introduces children to diverse cultures.

Materials Needed:

  • Winter-themed bilingual books (Spanish and English)
  • Cozy blankets and cushions

Activity Steps:

  1. Create a comfortable reading nook with blankets and cushions. You could even create a reading ‘fort’ to make the activity and environment even more exciting.
  2. Choose winter-themed bilingual books that capture your child’s interest.
  3. Take turns reading in both languages, exploring the beauty of winter celebrations from around the world.

Bilingual storytime enhances their verbal, visual, and auditory language skills. And it’s even more fun when it’s in a designated, cozy environment!

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