14 Outdoor Activities for Toddlers in Winter for Quality Time

All kids love to play outdoors in winter.  Even if it’s cold, they may not want lots of extra clothes, and gloves particularly as they often get in the way of play.  Don’t panic, as kids will have so much fun they won’t feel the cold. The great outdoors provides so much more than staying inside with the same old toys and games.

Tell them stories about winter and how it’s such fun playing outside. Make a point of looking for wildlife, even if it’s finding the odd beetle or worm, then ask the child where they think the creature hides to keep warm, and where it finds its food.

Snow go?

Snow is absolutely the best play time and snow is probably second only to sand on a beach for playing and having free fun. Your child will become very excited at seeing snow, especially for the first time, and it’s important to get out and allow them to explore it as they’ll be using all sensory activities. 

Trudging along in deep snow is great exercise for kids and they’ll become very excited if they suddenly get buried in it.  If your child is playing in the garden then gather snow, and paint it in different colours. 

It’s great fun, using their beach toys such as buckets and spades, as it takes on a whole new meaning for kids.  Try hiding small toys in the snow then asking kids to find them. Bury someone in the snow so that only their face is showing.  Everyone will enjoy the snowy fun. Also read what to buy a 2 year old boy who has everything for more ideas.


  • Making their footprints in the snow

An age old game of making footprints is a sure fire hit.  Kids will be fascinated and more especially if retracing their footsteps.  Make a trail and see where it leads, and let their imaginations run wild. 


  • Making snow dens

This can be as easy as making a pathway from the snow into bushes in the garden or play area then playing hide and seek. A snow mound made can then become a great little den.


  • Shovel up the snow

Making anything with snow is fascinating but snowmen and snow-women are the best fun ever.  Why not make a snow family, two child size ones, then two taller ones.  Put old clothes on them and give them names.   The child’s imagination will run wild. Make a snow dog and use some beads for eyes, and give him a name too.   Shovel up the snow into a wheelbarrow and let the child make their own hill. They’ll enjoy the best fun jumping all over it.


  • Sledging and snowballs

Kids love to sledge and love being pulled along on one.  They’ll also enjoy shoveling snow onto it, and making it a truck.  Snowballs are simply timeless fun especially if the snow is good quality. Snowball targets such as throwing snow at each other are the best fun and very harmless. Kids will ask all sorts of questions as to why snow falls from the sky and why doesn’t it snow that often, so be prepared with your answers.


  • Snow games

Sledging too is great fun but make sure kids are supervised and have warm clothing, although they’ll rarely be cold as they’re having so much fun.  Kids love adults to join in all of these games, and a favourite is seeing who can build the snowman the quickest, or get down the hill the fastest on a sledge.


  • Winter kids playgrounds

It’s such a novelty playing on playground equipment when you have to brush the snow or rain from it.  Having a plastic bag handy to cover up a wet swing is useful but the child will always want to swing regardless of it being wet or dry. Sliding down a snowy slide is the best fun, and kids will enjoy all the challenges of piling up snow as they go.


  • Wet weather activities

Never mind the weather. Get outside; your child will love the experience of rain and the different sounds and situations it creates. Splish! splosh!, as long as your child is supervised and has rain gear on they’ll have the best fun.  You won’t need to entertain them as they’ll find their own rainy activities.


  • Puddles puddles everywhere!

Puddle jumping is the best ever free fun.  Splashing about is just plain excitement.  If a group of kids are playing just see who can puddle jump the quickest or make the biggest splash.  Ripples on puddles always fascinate kids, and if they see their reflection then so much the better. Chasing through water is the best game.


  • Make paper boats for float and play poo sticks

An age old game is finding twigs then floating them on a river or even down a rainy sidewalk to see how far they travel.  Kids love this, especially if on fast flowing water.  Have some paper handy and make small boats and sail them.  Throwing small pebbles in water is a timeless activity and kids love to see how far they can throw a pebble.


  • Rain gauges

Make a game of rain gauges by putting out containers and seeing what gets filled first. Kids will be thrilled by watching the rain especially if they’ve been out and about jumping in puddles. Have a gauge for each family member and see whose gets filled the quickest.


  • Rainy nature hunts

Get out your umbrella and put wellies on and go off and explore.  It’s ideal in a wood or forest, but even just down the street, go off and see what you can find.  You can challenge your child to ask,’ I wonder where animals hide from the rain?’ Find snails, and any creatures such as worms. All kids love to see wiggly worms and you can usually make a story from Mr. Worms’s rainy day adventures.


  • Rainbows 

If you’re lucky enough to see a rainbow, sing the song, ‘Somewhere over the rainbow,’ and make up another verse using the child’s name. Kids will love seeing a rainbow then get them to draw or paint one when they get home.


  • Make mud pies

All kids love mud and although it’s messy they’ll be using all their sensory experiences. Just give them any old bucket and spade and let them scoop up and make their own mud pies. See how many they can make if it’s still raining; then see how long they last before the pies are washed away. Kids will be fascinated by the process.


  • Windy days

Kite flying is great fun.  Choose a safe environment to fly it and see how long it stays flying high.  Making a homemade kite is great fun; just watch the child’s face light up when they see their very own kite flying higher and higher.

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