Winter with a toddler can be a little tricky however, with new challenges ranging from their point-blank refusal to put on a coat, or your own concerns that the cold wind is just a little too biting for their delicate skin. But that doesn’t mean winter can’t be enjoyed – all it takes is a little-forward planning, and a few inspired ideas up your sleeve. And that’s where we come in…
Outdoor winter ideas for toddlers
A woodland walk
Woodland walks can be particularly stunning in the winter, plus the trees should offer a little shelter from the winds. Why not take some binoculars and go on a bug hunt, or collect pretty leaves and pine cones for indoor craft activities?
Make a bird feeder
The birds and ducks often need a little help to find food in the cold months, so why not head to a duck pond (with suitable food, not bread!) Or make a bird feeder (perhaps from the pine cones you’ve collected in the woods?) Simply layer lard and bird seed all around the cone, and pop in the fridge for a few hours.
Many ice skating rinks pop up at winter time, so have a look to see if they have specific toddler-friendly sessions. Or if your little one isn’t quite ready for such high-octane activities, just watching the bigger children woosh around could provide a surprising amount of entertainment.
‘I really struggled to get my son outdoors in the winter,’ says Cherry. ‘He takes after me in that he much prefers being cosy! But I wanted him to get fresh air every day so at the very least we would simply put on our wellies and look for puddles. All the better if they were frozen.’
Indoor winter activities
Build a den
It’s a truth universally accepted that children love building dens. Who knows why? But it’s easy to do with a few sofa cushions and/or kitchen chairs and a sheet, and it keeps them seriously entertained.
Hide and seek
Play a game of hide and seek with their toys. You hide 10 of their cars, for instance, around the kitchen and they have to find them (with you telling them if they’re ‘hot’ or ‘cold’, of course).
Don’t worry about how your artistic skills stack up - you don’t need to make anything technical or pretty. Glue, pasta, paper and a few crayons can certainly make something worthy of being stuck to the fridge.
There’s a whole host of toddler recipe ideas online that are both simple and not unhealthy. Let them get stuck into mixing up the ingredients, so there’s some good messy play time in there too.
‘Getting Max off the telly was always hard, particularly in winter when we were indoors more,’ says mum, Debbie. ‘But we would “play” whatever he’d just watched on tv, for instance we’d make Peppa and George Pig out of playdough, and he loved it’!
So there you have it – plenty of ideas to see you through until spring! And for more entertainment inspiration, see our range of articles on toddlers to help you on your way.