Get off your butts and climb out of your caves, Mamas…
Winter “hibernation” tendencies naturally kick in right about now, especially when you’re home with a toddler, it can be way too easy to stay inside for days at a time. But c’mon, can’t you remember your favorite memories from childhood? I’m pretty sure if you grew up with winter weather, some of the most treasured ones involved the great outdoors blanketed with snow. So get off your butt, bundle yourself and your little ones up, and get outdoors for some of these toddler-friendly winter activities:
As soon as your kiddo can walk (maybe even crawl) he/she can sled… on your lap of course. Channel your inner child and hit the local hill with your toddler. Tip: avoid large, steep hills. An accident with your toddler can get very ugly very fast when you consider your weight against theirs.
2. Make a Snowman (or Sandman)
When the sticky stuff starts to pile up and all you can think of is how miserable it will be to dig yourself out of the driveway, scratch plans to go into town and hit your backyard for some snowman making adventures. If there is no snow and you live near the beach, consider making a sandman instead! Tip: Don’t forget to bring along the carrots, buttons or rocks, a hat, an old scarf, and a camera to document your new family friend.
3. Build a Snow Fort
If you’re feeling extra motivated, search Google and you’ll get the inspiration you need to build the backyard snow fort or igloo of your dreams… er, I mean your child’s dreams 😉 Seriously though, if you do manage to tackle this one, please share your masterpiece with the Mom Meet Mom community!
4. Shovel… No Kidding
Toddlers love to do house and yard work and let’s face it, that won’t last long, so take advantage of it now. When the white stuff starts to really stick, break out the shovels and let your toddler lend a “helping hand”. Hint: most hardware stores sell kiddo shovels.
5. Roast Marshmallows
We always associate camp fires with warm summer nights, but how cool would it be to break out the beach chairs, bundle the family in the warmest snow gear and blankets, and light up a winter bonfire? What the heck… call up your mom friends and their hubbies (if you’re married) and make it a party with s’mores, hot cocoa and some winter lagers or Baileys for the grownups!
6. Play Ball
You don’t need a grassy field or packed dirt mound to enjoy a fun game of soccer, baseball or football. Bundle the kiddos up in their snowsuits and let them indulge in the sport of their choice. Invite the neighbors’ kids for an extra fun time (and give those mamas a break while you’re at it). The good news is there will be no grass stains and way less bruises when the playing field is white instead of green.
7. Hit the Playground
What’s better than going down a slide? Going down a slide in a snowsuit with a pile of soft snow to catch you at the bottom. Next time you’re looking for a place to let the kiddos run wild, remember the parks don’t shut down in the winter. Just watch out for ice!
8. Make Snow Mazes
This will be a huge hit. Go online and look for a simple but fun maze pattern. Once you’ve selected a good one, print it out, grab your shovel and start digging out back. Consider watching Alice In Wonderland beforehand so your kids can get lost in their imaginations and the magic of this activity.
9. Host an Outdoor Playdate
Find some moms near you and arrange an outdoor playdate. While the kiddos run it out in your backyard, you can relax and catch up on some adult social time with other moms like you.
10. Pop a Tent
While it’s far from the first activity that comes to mind in the blistering cold, backyard camping can actually be pretty fun in the winter as long as you prep so it’s safe. And if you’re not ready for an overnight, set up just for daytime camping fun. Who knows? Your kids might prefer to start with daytime camping, anyway.
11. Go for a Hike
Break out the snowshoes, toddler back carrier (if they’re still too little for long walks), and hit the trails for some winter wonderland hiking adventures. Remember you don’t need to go far with your toddler for them to enjoy this. A small local park is plenty sufficient and safe for winter hikes.
What are your favorite winter outdoor activities for toddlers? Let’s hear ’em! And if you’re committed to staying indoors – which is totally understandable considering the current cold snap – we’ve got you covered for indoor playdate ideas for toddlers!