Looking for ways to keep your little one entertained this December?
Look no further, we’ve put together the ultimate list of 50 of the best Winter activities, from arts and crafts, to science experiments and recipes to get the whole family in the festive spirit! Don’t forget, all activities must be supervised by an adult, especially when cutting and chopping is involved.
How to turn everyday bits and bobs into works of art! Our favourite Winter arts and crafts.
From glue sticks to tree sticks and mini Christmas trees to making your own snow, there’s something to make for you and your child as a reminder of the festive season.
Treat the birds in your garden to a feast this Winter! This wreath bird feeder is not only fun to make but looks pretty impressive too. Get your little one involved in the process, they will love pouring, mixing, and seed sprinkling.
Tip: This wreath bird feeder also makes a wonderful Christmas present!
Tissue Paper Wreaths
This simple but effective craft is great for frosty December days. Ignite your child’s creative spirit by creating a tissue paper wreath. The motion of twisting and scrunching the paper can be calming for children, helping them to feel relaxed and focused whilst strengthening the muscles in their hands.
Paper Cup Angel
Before you throw your coffee cup into the recycling why not sprinkle it with some festive spirit? Turns out old paper cups can make wonderful tree toppers, simply add some angel wings and a halo and let your little one decorate however they like!
Crafty Christmas Trees
This super simple paper plate Christmas tree is the perfect way to keep little minds busy during the Christmas holidays! All you will need is a lollypop stick and a paper plate, easy! Let your child’s imagination run wild as they layer up tissue paper and glitter for the trees decorations.
Personalised Snow Globes
Create this personalised snow globe gift with your child this year. They will love making and pouring the snow into the jar almost as much as giving someone special this unique Christmas gift.
Stained Glass Sharpie Decorations
This is a quick and easy Christmas craft that is virtually mess-free! All you have to do is create a cardboard shaped Christmas tree, cover in tin foil and colour in with Sharpie pens. The tin foil will illuminate the ink giving it a stained-glass effect which your child will love!
Whimsical Winter Lanterns
We really loved this whimsical Waldorf-inspired lantern idea. All you have to do is draw a snowflake with glue on the glass and then your little one can cover, paint and glitter to their hearts content. Finally, pop in a tealight and watch your creation truly sparkle.
‘Hand’ made Reindeer Greetings Card
Say goodbye to your everyday Christmas card and give your loved ones this personalised reindeer alternative. Simply use your child’s hand print to recreate the reindeers antlers, cut out the face and pop on a red nose. What an excellent way to treasure their little handprint this year!
Egg-cellent Christmas Trees
With all of the extra packaging, this time of year is great to start teaching children the importance of recycling.
And what better way than to turn something no longer needed into something fun! All you will need is an empty egg carton, some glue and green paint to create this 3-D Christmas tree!
Take painting to the next level by making these three-dimensional Christmas masterpieces! When your child has finished their painting, pop them in the microwave for 30 seconds and watch the paint magically puff up!
If you’re lucky enough to have a white Christmas this year, why not carry on the fun indoors with snow painting? Save some snow and pour into a tray, let your little one paint their masterpieces on the frosty canvas using water colours.
Baking Soda Snowmen
Carry on the fun of making a snowman indoors with this super-simple baking soda clay recipe. Your child will love making rolling, kneading and pinching the dough to make their snow friends. You can even collect twigs and acorns from the garden to decorate the snowman.
Story Book Decorations
If you come across any old books during your pre-Christmas clear out, instead of throwing them away, why not transform it into a wonderful decoration? This is a great way to teach your child about recycling by breathing a new life into some old stories, with a craft that can be used every year.
Winter Wind Chimes
Recycle your old tin cans with this wintery snowman craft that also doubles as a windchime. This is the perfect outdoor decoration that your children will love getting involved in making!
Shivery Snow Paint
Your children will love creating their wintery masterpieces with this glittery snow paint! It’s easy to make and with just a few simple ingredients you can whip some up yourself at home. Tip! Use snow paint to create a sensory experience by adding to a large container and letting your little one explore and play!
Is there anything more satisfying than stomping on a leaf and hearing the crackle as it crunches? This activity lets your child (and you!) do exactly that. Collect some leaves on your Autumn stroll to bring home, then break them up into tiny pieces to make your very own leaf glitter!
Stimulate the senses and run your fingers through these festive sensory activities
There are so many things to experience in the world outside of what meets the eye.
These sensory activities can help build vocabulary, creativity and motor skills as your child discovers new colours, textures, sounds and tastes.
Clean ‘Mud’ Sensory Snowmen
What child doesn’t love getting messy? This Christmassy ‘clean mud’ activity gives you the best of both worlds, a fun sensory experience without the cleaning up (well, almost). All you will need is a toilet roll, a bar of soap, a cheese grater and festive cookie cutters.
Christmas Sensory Bottles
Children are always exploring through their senses and sensory bottles are a great way to introduce new sounds and colours, and have even been proven to have calming effects.
The best part about them is that they can be made from just about anything, why not add some festivities to the fun with Christmas themed bottles.
Gingerbread Sensory Rice Recipe
Scented rice is a simple and effective sensory activity you can make at home. Why not add a Christmassy spin and use festive fragrances like this gingerbread rice? This is a great way to introduce new textures, sounds, smells and colour!
Reindeer Food Writing Tray
Add some extra magic to your reindeer food this year for plenty of fine motor fun. Your child will love scooping and pouring the oats and glitter before practicing writing letters in this tray that’s irresistible for little hands.
Winter Ice Tray
Build your very own icy experience with this winter ice tray. Simply collect natural items like pine cones, acorns and leaves from your garden or on your next walk and freeze in water. Let your child explore the items through the ice and as it begins to melt different textures will make their way through.
Water trays make excellent sensory experiences for toddlers and preschoolers. You can use a large plastic box or bin filled with water and fill with cotton balls, snowflake sequins and white pom poms (or just about anything that will fit into your watery wonderland) for this, let the sensory exploration begin!
Hot Chocolate Cloud Dough
This sensory play recipe incorporates everyone’s favourite winter treat, hot chocolate! Cloud dough is perfect for sensory play activities and your child will love exploring the doughy texture. This recipe only requires a few simple ingredients which you probably already have in the pantry.
Genius waits for no one. Not even the cold! Here are our favourite STEM activities to do this winter
Just because things are a little colder outside doesn’t mean your child’s learning should stop. If anything, Winter brings some ice cool learning opportunities! These are some of our favourite ways to bring science, technology, engineering and mathematics indoors this Winter.
Melting Ice Globes
We absolutely love this melting snow globe science experiment which is a great way to teach children about how ice melts into water and what can make this happen quicker. Why not add food colouring to the ice and shine torches underneath them as they melt for a truly magical experience? Tip! Use small sprinkles of salt to help melt the ice quicker.
Erupting Play Dough
Bring the science lab home with this scented erupting Play Dough recipe. You will be just as amazed as your children as the bubbles magically begin to grow and fizz.
Festive Lava Lamps
Add some festive fun to one of our favourite activities at Fennies. For this lava lamp creation, all you will need is a few household items and some red and green food colouring to create a magical lava-like illusion!
Merry Mathematics Game
Who says learning can’t be fun? Add a festive spin and you’re onto a winner. This Christmas tree addition game is not only exciting to make but can be played in lots of different ways depending on your child’s age and learning objectives!
Grinch Slime Recipe
Get inspired by ‘The Grinch’ this December and create some themed homemade slime with this recipe. Lots of science concepts like mixing, elasticity, and substances also come along with the fun, your child will have just as much fun learning as they will playing!
Baking soda and vinegar activities are perfect for children and make great hands-on learning experiences too! To make your bubbling baubles, fill a clear bauble with a tablespoon of baking soda and glitter, then mix up some vinegar and food colouring and ask your child to drop the mixture in. They will love watching as their decoration bangs, fizzes, and pops!
Elf on the Shelf Skittles Experiment
This experiment will be the best elf on the shelf visit yet! All you have to do is line Skittles sweets around a plate and pour warm water and watch the magic happen before your eyes. As the water soaks in, the colours run in to one another creating an amazing rainbow effect! Tip! Give it a go using white vinegar, different temperature water and even lemonade and see what will happen.
Are you not sure what to do with those baubles left in the bottom of the box after decorating? Give this Christmas counting game a go and make use of those old ornaments which will let your preschooler some number practice.
Greetings Guessing Game
Estimation games are a fun way to develop your child’s mathematical skills and even better this one is super simple to make. Ask your child to guess how many items are in the jar and watch their anticipation and excitement build before the correct answer is revealed!
Ice Star Experiment
Children are fascinated by ice, the way it melts, and how they can make it melt even faster! All you will need for this frosty experiment is some moulds, edible glitter and you’re good to go. This is a great way of explaining what happens to ice and why it melts.
Snow Volcano Experiment
For this simple, science-y snow volcano, all you will need is a cup, baking soda, and vinegar. Your children will have endless fun watching as the snow fizzes and erupts, you can even add a drop of food colouring to really bring your lava to life!
Bring the magic of snowflakes indoors with this snowy symmetry activity by Hands On As We Grow. All you need is a piece of paper and some scissors This game has it all from developing fine motor skills, creativity, and an understanding of symmetry. You can even hang them up at home when you’ve finished.
Tip: Try asking questions like “how many sides does your snowflake have?” to encourage your child’s counting skills and encourage effective interactions.
Ice Melting Experiment
Why not give this wonderfully Wintery science experiment a go with your child? This is a fantastic, hands-on way to explain how salt melts ice, throw in some liquid watercolours and you’ve got yourself a bright and beautiful sensory experience.
Be the best Elf you can be with our winter PE activities!
Looking to stay warm whilst it’s cold outside? We’ve got you covered with some of the best physical activities you could ever want. Once you’ve done that, settle down with a mince pie, make yourself a cosy blanket fort and watch Elf on repeat!
Set up your very own Santa’s workshop this year by getting your child involved in all the exciting Christmas preparations! Create an itinerary for the day including present wrapping and delivery missions inspired by ‘Inner Child Fun’ who also added an orientation video (watching a Christmas movie) and jingle bell jumping jacks!
Indoor Play Gym
Learn how to make an indoor gym for your little one this holiday season. This is the perfect way to burn some energy for those days it’s too cold to play outside.
Tip: Why not add a festive twist and incorporate Christmas decorations?
Make a Blanket Fort
Sometimes, the oldies are the goldies! Making a blanket fort is the perfect way to burn off some steam on wintery days and your little one will love watching a movie or reading their favourite book in their new cosy kingdom.
Tip: add fairy lights for a magically cosy blanket fort!
PE at Home
Fennies PE Coordinator, Sasha Flynn has put together 2 of her favourite games (with a festive twist) that you can try at home:
This is a twist on the classic game ‘Simon Says’ and can be played just about anywhere.
- Call out simple instructions like “Santa says stretch tall like a Christmas tree” or “Santa says make 5 snow angels on the ground”
- If the instruction doesn’t begin with “Santa Says,” it shouldn’t be followed, for example, if you say “spin around and touch the ground” the children must remain still
- If your child follows the instruction they must sit down and stand up as quick as possible
This activity also help the ability to retain and act on instructions help improve children’s language and communication skills, memory, and concentration.
Tip: Why not take it in turns to be Santa and wear a Santa hat?
‘Popcorn Parachute Game’
This is a Christmassy take on one of the Fennies’ children’s favourite PE activity. In this game, the children usually place bean bags on top of a parachute and shake until the bean bags bounce in the air. You can give this a go at home by switching the beanbags for scrunched up paper or cotton wool to look like snowfall!
This is a great way to develop children’s teamwork, communication and gross motor skills.
Tip: Try using a bed sheet or thin blanket as an alternative to a parachute.
Sometimes the simplest activities are the most effective! In fact, jumping in puddles has a lot of crucial benefits for children’s physical development, including the improvement of balance, strength and agility in little legs. Here’s why you should say “yes” to puddle jumping here!
Merry and Mindful
Winter can be a busy time, even your little one should take some time out to relax. Why not give this Chrismas themed yoga video a go which includes some stretching and breathing techniques. It’s so good that you’ll want to join in yourself!
How to eat a Christmas tree and other amazing wintery food to make and eat
Last but definitely not least, or should we say feast? What Winter activities list is complete without talking about the best part, the food? Just like seeing your grandparents at Christmas, you’re not leaving hungry!
We’ve something for everyone here, from a warm Winter soup to actually eating Santa’s face! (not really, well, you’ll see).
Now get stuck in.
Vegan Apple Muffin Recipe
Baking is the perfect rainy-day activity for your little one. They will love mixing the ingredients together and filling your kitchen with seasonal smells of cinnamon and sweet apple. Enjoy your vegan apple muffins curled up in front of your favourite Christmas movie!
Reindeer Cookies Recipe
These reindeer cookies are the perfect Christmas movie viewing snack, and a breeze for little hands to make. Get your child involved with mixing the sensory experience of making the cookie dough and be creative decorating the reindeers faces.
Crispy Christmas Trees
We love this festive spin on a classic treat! Rice Crispy cakes are always a hit with children but why not get creative? This recipe shows you how to make green Christmas tree shaped cookies which you’ll have just as much fun decorating as your little one.
Homemade Hot Chocolate Bombs
This homemade hot chocolate on a stick is the perfect Winter treat and your child will have just as much fun making this as they will drinking it. The best part? There’s no cooking involved so this is the perfect recipe for even the smallest hands!
Tip: These also make a great Christmas gift!
Warm Winter Soup Recipe
Soup is the ultimate winter comfort food and this recipe is perfect for a quick but nourishing dinner. This super simple 1-pot vegan lentil soup only requires one pot so it’s perfectly uncomplicated for your little helpers.
Apple Cinnamon Pancakes Recipe
Pancakes are great to make with your children as they can get stuck into mixing, pouring and topping! Give this take on the classic recipe a go with your little one for an extra special snack. After all, nothing says Winter like warm apples and cinnamon.
Festive Fruit Faces
Spruce up snack time with a festive fruit face! This is a great way to include your little one in the kitchen and they will have fun experimenting with different fruit to create their own delicious masterpiece. Tip! Why not try using chocolate buttons or raisins for Santa’s eyes?
Gingerbread Men Recipe
Nothing tastes quite like holiday spirit as much as gingerbread men. This recipe has been recommended to us by the EYNP (Early Years Nutrition Partnership) for the perfect winter treat, which your child will love making and decorating.
Tip: At Fennies, the children loved eating theirs whilst reading ‘The Gingerbread Man!’ Why not give it a go at home?
Did I miss anything? We’d love to know what your favourite winter activity is. Get in touch via email@example.com with the subject line “My favourite winter activity,” and we’ll get you added as soon as possible.