• Winter time fun!

    The weather outside may be frightful, but we’ve come up with 50 ways for your little ones and you to make winter delightful!

    Keeping toddlers and preschoolers active in the winter is often a challenge, so we asked our expert ECFE and preschool staff to share their favorite cures for cabin fever.

    Head outside
    You may want to hibernate, but children still need fresh air during the winter. Grab your hat and mittens and enjoy the snow!

    • Make patterns or tracks in the snow.
    • Fill a spray bottle with water and a little food coloring to ‘spray paint’ the snow.
    • Go on a scavenger hunt.
    • Use pails and shovels to build snow castles.
    • Make snow critters – how about a caterpillar, using twigs for the antennae.
    • Freeze a bucket of water then use a stick to ‘carve’ an ice sculpture.
    • Go sledding.
    • Make snow angels.
    • Shovel together.
    • Build a snow family.
    • Go on a walk and look for tracks in the snow – animal prints, boot prints, etc.
    • Play snow soccer.
    • Go to a local skating rink.
    • Make snow faces on your trees.
    • Play tic-tac-snow.
    • Blow bubbles and watch them freeze.
    • Draw pictures in the snow. 
    • Pin the smile or nose on the snowman.
    • Catch snowflakes on your tongue.
    • Play hockey.
    • Try ice fishing.
    • Create a snow construction site with cars and trucks from the summer sandbox.


    Stay indoors
    Some days it is just too cold or icy to go out.  Ward off cabin fever with these ideas:

    • Create an indoor obstacle course.
    • Make up a story; then have your child draw their favorite part.
    • Practice drawing letters or shapes with shaving cream in a plastic zipper bag.
    • Fill the sink or a large bowl with warm, soapy water and let your child ‘wash dishes’ or bathe baby dolls.
    • Cook or bake something together.
    • Bring some snow inside (kitchen sink or bathtub), add sand toys, buckets, and shovels - wear your mittens.
    • Have an indoor picnic.
    • Feed the birds – string popcorn, cranberries, and cereal; or pile Crisco on a stick and roll in birdseed. 
    • Make a sock puppet theatre.
    • Finger paint with pudding.
    • Freeze small toys in a plastic bowl – use eye droppers filled with salt water to help them escape.
    • Make a tent with a blanket – indoor camping; don’t forget a flashlight.
    • Have a snowball fight with cotton balls or rolled-up socks.
    • Fill your house with good smells - poke whole cloves into a clementine.
    • Drink hot chocolate or warm cider and watch the snowfall.
    • Put bubble wrap on the floor – how many ways different ways can you use to make it pop?
    • Have an indoor beach party.
    • Put a puzzle together.
    • Make a home movie.
    • Throw a dance party.
    • Play freeze tag.
    • Have a backward day – start with dinner, end with breakfast.
    • Make a family time capsule.
    • Learn a magic trick.
    • Have a pajama day.
    • Play dress up.
    • Make paper snowflakes.
    • Draw a picture.
    • Make marshmallow snow people or animals with toothpicks, etc.


    Download a checklist of these 50 snowy and cozy fun winter ideas.


    And don’t forget to curl up under a blanket with a good book. A few of our staff favorite winter-themed books are:

    • “Snowy Day” by Ezra Jack Keats
    • “Snowmen at Night” by Caralyn Buehner
    • “The Mitten” by Jan Brett
    • “The Lonesome Polar Bear” by Jane Cabrera
    • “Holly’s Red Boots” by Francesca Chessa
    • “Here Comes Jack Frost” by Kazuno Kohara


    Whether we have no snow or too much snow, we hope you enjoy winter fun with your family - indoors, outdoors or both. 


    Visit our Facebook page and share your photos of your favorite wintertime activities - www.facebook.com/AnokaHennepinECFEandPreschool

  • Preschool girl with snowman


    Playing in the outdoor kitchen in winter at Sorteberg Early Childhood Center

     Snow Painting

     Indoor Snow

    Snow painting

    Young girl enjoying snow