Snow is one of the best winter playgrounds, but when little cheeks and noses have had enough of being outside, what can you do to keep your preschooler occupied and active indoors?
Use these fun indoor activities for preschoolers this winter break — and beyond!
1. Make Paper Snowflakes
Making paper snowflakes is a time-honored activity because almost everyone loves it! And major bonus: you can’t mess up a paper snowflake.
Knowing how to use scissors is a critical pre-writing skill. Opening and closing the scissors helps your preschooler develop the small muscles in her hands, while also strengthening hand-eye coordination — both important skills for writing.
Cutting out a paper snowflake also lets your preschooler explore cause and effect — and it’s oh-so-magical once you unfold your paper to see what your snowflake looks like!
Depending on your child’s age and abilities, you may need to guide the folding and cutting process, but try and let her do as much as she can on her own!
2. Make a Newspaper Snowman
If there hasn’t been enough snow for a snowman, make your own snowman out of newspaper! Roll up newspaper into balls. Stack the balls and connect them with glue or tape. Attach branches for arms. “Dress” the snowman with hats, gloves, and more.
3. Indoor Obstacle Course
Kids need to move and wiggle, even when it’s too cold to go outside. Make your own obstacle course indoors this winter to keep your preschooler active. Use items you have around your house.
Here are some ideas for your indoor obstacle course:
- A few Hula-Hoops on the ground creates the perfect setup for skipping, hopping on both feet, hopping on one foot, or jumping backwards. Only have one Hula-Hoop? Have your child jump in and out of it six times with both feet. Now on one foot… you get the idea.
- Put a broomstick between two chairs, and have your child limbo (or crawl) under it.
- Line up a few chairs in a row, and have your child crawl under or over them.
- Throw a bean bag (or ball of socks) into a bucket (or kitchen pot).
- Add a blindfold to the beanbag toss for extra fun.
- Somersault from one spot to another.
- Give your child a ladle or tongs, and have him fill a bowl with small toys or marbles.
- Put a stuffed animal on your child’s head, and instruct her to walk from one point to another.
For some slippery fun, wrap wax paper around your child’s feet and secure with rubber bands. Let him walk (er… slide) across the carpet. Move things out of the way because this is slippery and a fall may happen.
5. Paint with Noodles
Yep, you read that right! Children love to paint, and it’s even more fun and interesting when you use “paintbrushes” that aren’t actually paintbrushes! Your child will get the opportunity to predict (what will the painting look like?), explore, and be creative.
To make your spaghetti noodle paintbrush:
- Gather a small bunch of uncooked spaghetti noodles and tie a rubber band about 1/4 from the bottom.
- Cook them as normal, with a little bit of oil, leaving the tied-off part out of the water.
- Set your spaghetti noodle paintbrush out to cool.
- Once cool, get painting!
It’s such a simple activity that we often overlook the chance to sit down and read. When the weather outside is frightful, that’s the perfect time to snuggle close and read book after book. Make it even more fun and special by getting a cozy blanket and a warm treat.
7. Make Something in the Kitchen
Sure, making cookies during the winter is a fun activity for everyone, but take a moment to think outside the mixer and see what meals or snacks your preschooler can create all on her own. This not only frees up your hands and brain, it gives your preschooler a huge sense of accomplishment — and a higher chance of trying the food she made!
Preschoolers can use plastic knives to chop fruit for their own fruit salad, top their own individual English muffin pizza, make their own sandwich, prepare their own quesadilla, and more.
8. Shaving Cream Letter Practice
Generously fill a tray with shaving cream. Have your child practice letters or “draw” pictures in the cream. (Make sure you tell your preschooler that this is not the kind of cream we eat.)
9. I Spy
Classic car games become the perfect way to pass the time indoors in the winter when you add the right prop. Glue or tape two toilet paper rolls together for a pair of binoculars. Then, use them to play I Spy. Your preschooler will love looking through their binoculars to figure out your clues.
You can also play Name Three Things. For example, tell your child to name three things in the room that are blue/tall/alive/round. He can use his binoculars to locate the three things.
10. Stack Cups
Playing with building blocks is a favorite pastime for many children. Change up the regular routine by letting your preschooler see what she can build with a few dozen paper or plastic cups. Challenge her to use all the cups for one creation, to build three towers with all the cups, to make three different creations with only six cups, and so on.
At UDA Creative Arts Preschool in Draper, Utah, we use art, music, social studies, dance and movement, science, math, reading and writing, and imagination to fully engage our students and help them develop both the left and right hemispheres of their brains. Come see us in action. Give us a call at (801) 523-5930, or contact us online to set up a tour.