Getting a bit tired of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse? Looking for some seasonal ways to entertain your toddler this winter & Christmas? Here’s a Winter Bucket List for Toddlers – 20 great things you must do with your toddler this winter.
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1. Enjoy Elf on the Shelf Mischief
That little mischievous elf that lands on the 1st of December. Sent from Santa to keep an eye on your little ones to check they are being good. During his stay he gets up to some interesting things – from bringing gifts, to climbing the Christmas tree, to writing on the bathroom mirror with tooth paste to playing with your child’s toys. This is a great activity that brings great fun and excitement to all the family.
For more information and free Printables see East Coast Mommy for a Month of Elf on the Shelf Ideas.
You can also look into Kindness Elves which is an alternative to this tradition where each day you do an act of kindness. The Educators Spin On It share some great ideas with free printables.
2. Build a Snowman
Nothing more exciting than snowfall. Grab your wellies, thick coats, hats, scarves and gloves before venturing out to build a snowman. Why not have some competitions – best snowman, most creative snowman, who can build a snowman the quickest?
If you can’t wait for snowfall why not create your own Sensory set up with some pretend snow indoors – here’s 7 Simple Sensory Box Ideas.
Buggy and Buddy create a snowman using Play dough.
3. Visit Santa
The festive season wouldn’t be complete without a trip to see the main man himself. Mr Father Christmas. Have a look online at the different grottos around in your area. Some places have real life reindeer also which adds to the magic!
4. Dance and Sing to Christmas Carols
Put on your party hats and enjoy a little boogie and a sing song with your children. Out of the Ark music do some fabulous Christmas songs that help teach the Christmas story. A favourite in our household is The DIY Nativity CD – the songs are fantastic and are great for the young audience!
5. Decorate a Christmas Tree
Children love helping and will love nothing more than getting stuck in and helping to decorate the tree. Give them guidance when getting the decorations out so their help is really valuable – no one likes getting their tinsel in a twist!
You could also create a tree for them to decorate over and over again. We have a great guest post from The Momma in me on our blog – Creating a felt Christmas tree.
You might also like 50 Fun Things to do with your Toddler
6. Make Homemade Christmas Ornaments
There are so many different beautiful crafts you can make at home that make beautiful gifts for family and friends. If you are looking for some inspiration here is a great list of 10 Christmas Ornaments from Rainy Day Mum.
You may also like 12 Easy Homemade Advent Calendar Ideas for Kids
7. Go Christmas Shopping for a Loved One
Let your children select someone in the family and think about what they might like for Christmas. Get out in the hussle and bussle together and enjoy a shopping trip. Let them select the gift, pay for it and bring it home to wrap it up.
8. Make Snow Angels
Snow angels are a must do when it has snowed. See who can make the biggest one? You can also have a go at painting you snow angels afterwards.
Mama Papa Bubba share their experience with spray painting snow which is great for developing fine motor control too!
You could also use turkey basters and paint brushes like Lemon Lime Adventures.
9. Eat Mince Pies
Call round the Grandparents, Auntie and Uncles and enjoy a catch up, eating some festive mince pies! You could even have a go at making some yourself with this Mince pie recipe.
10. Drink Hot Chocolate
After a walk out in the cold, come back and enjoy a nice warm hot chocolate together, snuggled up warm on the sofa.
You might also like 50 Winter Activities for Kids & 50 Christmas Activities for Kids
11. Watch Christmas Movies
What is your favourite Christmas movie? Ours is Elf! It wouldn’t be Christmas without your favourite movie! Arrange a night in, by the fire under a nice warm blanket with the room lit by the twinkling Christmas lights – that will get you in the Christmas Spirit for sure!
You might also like these 39 Great Family Christmas Movies, Picked by Parents.
12. Make Rudolph Hand Print Art
These Rudolph Hand Print crafts were super easy to make and look so cute! All you need is brown paint, paper, googly eyes and red pom-poms. We stuck the paper to red card, to make them stiffer, and more festive. Just thread through some ribbon for hanging.
Learning and Exploring Through Play
13. Have a Snowball Fight
This is so much fun no matter what your age! Just make sure you don’t compact the snow too much! Ready, Steady – Gooooo! Why not set targets in the garden – see who can hit them? Grab a bucket/garden pot see if you can get the snowballs into the pot.
14. Decorate Gingerbread Men/Gingerbread House
What’s not to love about decorating Gingerbread? Lots of yummy delicious colourful sweets ready to be popped onto some delicious gingerbread snacks! I think this is an activity that would be enjoyed by most children. Lets Play Kids Music share a post on decorating gingerbread houses and have a delightful song to go with it.
15. Listen to the Christmas Story
Whether you buy a bear that tells you the Christmas story or you purchase a book and read it, this is a great family tradition to have. I actually highly recommend a book for children 18 months – around 4 years Usborne Touchy Feely Nativity(affiliate link). It tells the story so well, a lovely board book – great pictures and easy to understand text for younger children. The pages also have things to touch and feel adding to the sensory aspect.
16. Feed a Reindeer
Lots of garden centres and farms have reindeer come to stay during Santa’s visits. Most if not all of these venues advertise online and it is really worth checking out. It adds to the magic.
17. Cosy up by the Fire
After a long, hard busy day what is more relaxing and enjoyable, than getting all nice and cosy around the fire together? It will soon wash away the stresses of the day!
18. Make some Christmas Cards
It really does put a smile on your family and friends faces to receive Christmas cards that have been handmade by your little ones. If you are looking for some inspiration to make some cards with your little ones – The Imagination Tree have a round up of 8 Christmas Card ideas.
19. Go for a Walk and see the Christmas Lights
Wrap up warm and have a walk around to go and see some Christmas lights. Ask around amongst your friends and family who live close by to see if there are any houses not to be missed! Some houses are decorated from the roof tops to the end of the drive ways and collect for Charity.
20. Write and Post a Letter to Santa
This is a very special activity. Get together with your little ones and create letters to Santa to let him know what they would like most for Christmas. If your children aren’t writing yet use pictures cut out from catalogues, scribe for them and/ let them draw what they want. Messy Little Monster created a great letter to Santa and they also have a free printable.
You might also like Santa’s Wishlist
Lots more ideas for Christmas & Winter Things to do with Toddlers & Preschoolers on my blog Learning & Exploring Through Play
Have you anything else to add to this Bucket List? Let us know in the comments below.