Kids need to stay engaged regardless of the weather, so it helps to have outdoor winter activities for preschoolers planned. Whether you are a teacher or run a home daycare, activity is important, even when it is snowing.
There are many ways to keep children active, engaged, and learning, even when the ground is covered with snow. Colder months should not automatically mean you have to stay indoors.
Fresh air is still important and there are many things your preschoolers can do. The outdoors is full of learning opportunities no matter what the season.
We have developed a guide of the best outdoor winter activities for preschoolers to help keep minds and bodies busy. Depending on where you are, you may or may not get snow. But the weather will definitely get colder during winter.
These activities will enhance motor and learning skills all while letting the kids have fun. So, bundle them up and open the doors.
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Winter Activities Preschool
Winter is here but this doesn’t mean outdoor fun has to stop. Whether you have snow on the ground or not, there are so many activities for preschoolers to enjoy outdoors.
From physical playtime and motor skill enhancement to creative art projects, outdoor winter activities for preschoolers are a necessity.
Our guide will help you find the perfect activities for your preschoolers to encourage growth and fun, all in one. Kids do not care about the weather. They want to get out and explore even when it is cold outside.
Having outdoor activities organized will keep them busy while enhancing learning. But to them, it will just be fun.
Outdoor Winter Physical Activities For Preschoolers
Keeping preschoolers active in the winter is important. The weather will be colder, so it is important to have them bundled up.
You also do not want to organize activities where they will exert themselves too much. This is not advised when the air is cold. Below are some simple but fun activities they can engage in when it is cold.
Go On A Color Hunt
With or without snow, there are still colors everywhere. Having snow just makes it a little harder to see the colors, so you can go and find them. Let the children explore the area to find colors. Give them notebooks with each page designated for a certain color.
As they explore, they can draw anything they find on the designated color page. Leave a table in the middle with crayons for them to use as they find items they want to draw.
They may have to get a little creative and dig through snow to find some colors. Let them share what they found with others at the end of the color hunt.
In a similar fashion as the color hunt, you can organize a good old-fashioned scavenger hunt. Create a list of items that you know can be found within the area and let each child have one.
Provide them with a basket for them to collect as many of the items as they can find. Grab a set of affordable baskets from Amazon that you can save and use again at Easter.
Rather than listing items, you can also use descriptions such as “something that is smooth” or “something that is yellow”. To further engage them add other senses such as “listen for birds” and “smell a pine tree”.
A scavenger hunt is the perfect way to combine physical activity and observational and sensory skill enhancement.
Winter Outdoor Gross Motor Activities For Preschoolers
Despite the colder weather, preschoolers still need gross motor activities for healthy growth and development. Balance, coordination, strength, and endurance can all be enhanced through certain physical activities.
To keep your preschoolers moving in the winter, try these outdoor winter activities.
Just as with the original tag game, all the kids get to run around a designated area. Use cones to mark out the play space. One child is “it” and will chase the others to tag them.
When tagged, a child must freeze but they can be unfrozen, when another player tags them. To keep the game interesting, each time a new child is “it”, change the movement. Try running, skipping, walking, and hopping.
With every child taking a turn as “Simon”, this is a classic game with modern day benefits. Body awareness and motor development are both enhanced with this fun game and all preschoolers love the chance to give instructions.
This can be played in the snow or any winter weather, without exerting the kids.
A great outdoor game for preschoolers is hot potato. Play with a regular ball or snowballs. You can also organize team games involving catching and throwing, or even throwing balls at a target.
If there is no snow, you can always buy some plush snowballs on Amazon so the kids still get a more realistic winter experience.
Set up some tables with fun winter snacks such as s’mores and hot chocolate. Bring out a radio or other music player. Let the children have a winter dance, snow or no snow.
They can have dance competitions or play musical chairs too. Add in some colored lighting from Amazon to create a real dance stage.
Fun Winter Art Activities For Preschoolers
So long as the weather is pleasant and calm, you can even move arts and crafts outdoors. Fresh air will inspire creativity and nature has plenty of inspiration to offer too.
Make A Pinecone Bird Feeder
You will need pinecones, peanut butter, cornmeal, and oats. You will need to create the peanut butter mixture by adding cornmeal and oats. Let the kids spread this mixture on their pinecones using a spoon or their fingers.
Let them sprinkle birdseed all over until completely covered. Let them choose where they want their feeder to be hung and they can watch for birds and squirrels over the coming days.
For added enrichment, have them keep track of the animals that go to their pinecone. This can also be done in the summer or spring, and the kids can compare how different the animals are from each season.
Create A Nature Collage Book
You don’t need colorful spring flowers to create a nature collage. The winter has plenty of beauty to offer. Take the kids for a nature walk and have them collect twigs, leaves, rocks, and winter flowers for their book.
Have colored pencils on hand too for them to draw trees and animals they see. Talk with them about what they find. How do things smell, how do they feel, and how big or small are they?
When you get back indoors, have the kids talk about their finds and which=ich object or discovery they liked best.
Make Ice Art
Create colorful blocks for sculptures. Add food coloring to water and then freeze in ice cube trays, fun-shaped baking molds, muffin tins and even old yogurt tubs.
Once frozen, take all the blocks outdoors so the children can create ice sculptures. By adding a little water to each block or cube, it will stick to another one.
What To Do On A Snowy Day Outside
When the winter brings snow, you can still get outdoors. In fact, whenever there is snow, all kids want to do is go play outside. You can organize physical activities as well as artistic and creative ones.
Snow is a wonderful canvas for outdoor play and a versatile art supply. Below are some fun ideas for outdoor play when those snowy days come around.
Using sticks, rocks, and other items from nature, let the children draw in the snow. Sticks are nature’s pencils, or they can be laid out to create a picture.
Adding rocks and other items can complete the artistic works. Make sure you take pictures, so they can enjoy their art long after the snow has melted.
Bird Seed Snow Angels
Once the kids are all bundled up, making snow angels is the best. This time there is a creative twist. Make sure you help each child up so the imprint does not get smudged or altered.
Sprinkle birdseed within the imprint area. You can also cover pinecones with peanut butter and oats and arrange them as wings around the angel. Watch over the coming days as birds and squirrels enjoy the angel feeders.
Snow Obstacle Course
Using cones and hoops you can set up an outdoor snowy obstacle course. If there is play equipment, make sure to include that too. Running in snow boots always adds to the workout, and kids will enjoy trying to be the fastest on the course.
Paint The Snow
A fresh blanket of snow is the perfect canvas for kids to express their creativity. All you need is water, spray bottles and powder paints. Add powder paints to a bottle, fill up with water and replace the lid. Shake gently before use.
The ideal mixture is 2 or 3 tablespoons of paint and the bottle to be filled ¾ full. You can always add more paint or water to achieve lighter and darker colors. Then, let the kids spray the snow to create wonderful designs or they can build snowmen and paint those too.
Ice Jewel Dig
Using a silicone jewel mold, water and food coloring, create ice jewels and freeze them. The children can help you do this part as it is part of the fun. Mark an area outside where the jewels will be hidden. You can use hula hoops to make out small circular boundaries.
Each child can have their own special area. Scatter and bury the jewels within each area and let them dig and discover all the hidden gems. You can always re-freeze the jewels for another day.
Try different games too such as finding matching colors only. Each time a jewel of a certain color is found it needs to be placed in the corresponding color cup.
Under The Snow
Parachute play meets the snow in this fun game. Choose 2 kids to be the mice and everyone else holds the parachute. The mice go under the parachute and those holding it begin to shake it around.
Choose one other child to be the arctic fox. The arctic fox has to try and pounce on the mice as they move under the parachute. If tagged the mouse joins the others holding the parachute. Make sure everyone gets a turn to be a mouse and a fox.
If there is enough space, you can create small slides or hills for the sledding. The kids can all take turns pulling each other around the field and up and down slopes.
For added motor skill development, throw in some obstacles like cones that they need to pull the sled around. They can also do sled races as teams.
Have all your preschoolers make snowballs and keep them in a big pile. Mark out a baseball diamond in the snow using a stick to draw lines or by setting out cones. Create mounds at each base and home plate. There needs to be a mound in the middle for the pitcher too.
Place an empty plastic bottle at the top of each snow mound. Taking turns, the children throw snowballs at each bottle to try and knock it off the mound.
Whoever uses the least number of snowballs to knock all the bottles off is the winner. Remember to set up the mounds at an appropriate distance for preschoolers.
Find The Snow Flag
This is a great game for outdoor snow play. Tie a white cloth or flag to a short stick. Taking turns, have each child hide the flag within a specified area.
Every other child needs to try and find the snow flag. Keep track of how long it takes for the flag to be hidden. The winner is the child that hid the flag the best (took longer to find).
Building sandcastles is the best way to spend time on the beach in the summer. You can have the same amount of fun entering too. Using the same mold and sand toys as you do in the summer, kids can create their own snowy beach.
Helpful Tips For The Best Outdoor Winter Activities For Preschoolers
There are plenty of outdoor activities for preschoolers to do in winter. But before you run out and grab supplies for all the fun, remember these helpful tips.
- Offer a variety of outdoor activities as not all kids like sports and not all like crafts. Variety also gives them a choice so they can take part in what catches their interest at a particular time.
- Make sure you organize indoor time afterwards to allow the children to get warm and share what they learned
- Keep a change of clothes on hand
- Make sure kids are always bundled up, even when it is not snowing. Don’t forget winter boots, scarf, hat, and gloves.
Winter is a wonderland for preschoolers and kids of all ages. The outdoors offers learning experiences, fun, fresh air, and excitement. Colder weather is not a reason to stay inside all day.
With these fun outdoor winter activities for preschoolers, your kids will have more fun than they can imagine. And they can learn and develop important skills as they play. With or without snow, winter will be waiting to welcome them with open arms and a world of wonder.