When it comes to toddlers and winter the combination can lead to either a nightmare or having memories that will last a lifetime, and there is no in between. Getting a toddler bundled up to go outside can be difficult (and is usually followed by a request to go to the bathroom before you can even get out the door), so you want to make the most of it while you can. If you decide to stay inside, you will need some things to do so both you and your child don’t go completely crazy from cabin fever.
One craft idea you can do that combines both inside and outside time is to make a winter mural. For this you will need paper, glue, crayons, and markers. Dress you and your little one warm enough for the weather, go outside and find anything you want that will make you think of winter (i.e., pinecones, berries, nuts, seeds, etc.), you can also pick up plastic versions of these things at your local craft store. Spread your items out on the floor or the table and have your toddler arrange them onto the paper however they want. Apply the glue and show your child how to stick them on. Allow them to draw on the paper with the crayons or markers. Make sure you hang their artwork somewhere they will be able to see it and will be able to show others.
When you both begin to feel like you are going crazy and you absolutely have to go outside, there are many things you can do. If you live in an area that gets snow, this can be exciting. Building snowmen with your child can be fun, even if they don’t help. If you do a snowball fight, don’t pack the snowballs very tight to prevent injuries.
If you would like to take your child sledding, but are worried that it is too dangerous or you don’t live close enough to a sledding hill, don’t let that stop you. Take a sled or snow tube and attach a leash or a rope to it and pull them along. Not only will your toddler have fun, but you will get in the exercise that most people long for during the winter.
If you don’t want to go outside, or if you don’t have snow, you can still have a snowball fight inside. Take some soft scrap paper and crumble them into balls. Divide them evenly between each child and make shelters for them. When everyone is set up, let them throw their “snowballs” at each other. When they run out of “snowballs,” call a cease fire to gather all of their snowballs and start again. Make sure you watch out for eye injuries.
Winter can be an exciting time when you are a child. Just because you are an adult, it doesn’t mean you can’t allow your children to have fun. If you try hard enough, you might just have a little bit of fun yourself. Sometimes you need to get creative, but your toddler would have fun just being able to run through the snow, touch it, feel it, and (of course), eat it. When you get done, come inside for some hot chocolate, make sure that it is not too hot for your toddler, and warm up.