Winter limits all our activities. Days are shorter and colder. The weather can turn unpleasant without warning.
Just like with adults, darker days can affect a toddler’s mood, and being stuck indoors with little exercise can lead to anxiety and the blues.
While you can’t speed up the seasons, with a little planning and creativity, you can keep your kids engaged in ways that keep them physically active and engaged.
Sensory play is a great place to start with babies and toddlers of all ages. Sensory activities build both large and fine motor skills, problem solving, and social development.
Babies learn hand-eye coordination, stimulate nerve and brain development, and learn body awareness. Some baby appropriate sensory explorations include:
Learn more at 10 Winter Activities to do with Your Baby.
Two and three-year-olds can engage in more complex crafting projects, including working with cotton balls, crayons, craft paper and a little craft glue to make cotton ball snowmen.
Glue Q-tips on paper in snowflake designs.
Use Snow Dough to make indoor snowballs, figures, and shapes. Snow Dough is bright white and easy to make, using only corn starch and vegetable oil. Add a little glitter, a bin to play in, and your child has an indoor snowscape they can form into shapes and add their favorite toys to explore a miniature winter landscape.
Learn more and get your recipe at Snow Dough Recipe for Winter Sensory Play! Another variation goes by the name Christmas Sparkle Cloud Dough.
Winter suncatcher crafts are great for preschoolers. They’re simple and add a touch of pride as you display your child’s artsy craft in the window. The key ingredient for this craft is clear contact paper. Then, with the typical toddler craft supplies of construction paper, colored tissue paper, kids paint, cotton balls, and safety scissors, you can create a framed masterpiece to catch the sunlight and show off your young artist’s creation.
To see how easy it can be to create a beautiful winter sun catcher, we found this video on Contact Paper Suncatchers.
When the weather is bright and clear and not too cold, getting outside can be important. Fresh air, sunlight, and outdoor activity are great for improving mood and concentration, while also leading to better sleep. Being outside in sunlight also helps in the production of vitamin D.
When it snows, making snowballs, snow men, and snow forts is a natural outdoor activity. You can add a touch of fun and color by filling a squirt bottle with water and colorful food dye to paint the snow in bright colors from ruby red to blue, green, and yellow.
Making snow angels or going for a walk-through neighborhood transfigured by a blanket of snow can be easy adventures.
If there is no snow, don’t worry. Another engaging activity is to set up a bird feeding station and have your toddler help fill it with bird seed. Place in where it can be seen from a convenient window. Have your toddler think of names for the birds and possibly squirrels that come to visit the feeding station.
Another easy outdoor activity that turns winter on its head is blowing bubbles. While that seems like summer fun, blowing bubbles in cold, clear weather often results in longer lasting bubbles.
If you have been worried that your child is struggling with everyday routines and your gut is telling your child may need support with their development, Early Intervention is a program that can help you get answers.
If you have concerns, ask your pediatrician about Early Intervention therapies from TEIS Early Intervention.
At TEIS Early Intervention, our therapists listen to your concerns, assess your child’s individual needs, develop a customized treatment plan, and educate you along the way on simple routine-based solutions to maximize your child’s development in their natural environment.
Early Intervention evaluations and therapy services are available under the Federal Early Intervention Program for Infants and Toddlers with Disabilities. Before services can be provided, an independent evaluation of your child must be completed. To assure impartiality, one agency offers evaluation services while another provides the therapeutic services.
To learn more, call TEIS Early Intervention at 412-271-8347 or visit our Contact Us page to get help today.