Ideas for cold-weather activity


Some of our readers will be seeing temperatures starting to plummet as winter sets in properly! It’s easy to forget that young children may not have experienced these conditions before, or that they may not be able to remember much about the last snap of freezing weather.  But keep this in mind as the landscape turns white with frost, snow and ice, and you’ll see that a whole winter wonderland really can open up for little ones.  The landscape can even become a unique blank canvass…

After marvelling at the brightness of a blanket of white snow or frost, ask children to imagine what it would look like if snow or frost was blue like the sky, instead of white.  To find out, you can create a special viewing window.  Have the children help you to cover a window pane in blue cling film (the type used in professional kitchens), then give them plenty of time to take in and talk about the view.  Encourage them to share the viewing experience with their parents or carers when they are collected.

Children can achieve a similar effect by making play binoculars – simply stick two cardboard tubes together with sticky tape.  Cover one end of each tube with a coloured cellophane disc, and go outside for a colourful look around!  Children can also experiment with colour mixing, by adding additional discs in different shades.   cover a window pane in blue clingfilm, hat it would look like if the snow was blue or pink?

How about taking some paint outside on a snowy or frosty day too?  Splatter painting with bright colours on a designated section of the ground is especially good fun.  Dramatic effects can also be achieved by liberally sprinkling unmixed powder paint on the ground and watching it react with the wet, frozen snow or frost.  You might like to take some quick photographs as the effect will be short-lived!  Children can also experiment with taking prints of their handiwork by pressing a sheet of card against their snowy colour burst.  Don’t forget that they’ll need aprons on over their coats…

Bundling up a group of pre-school children in winter clothing does tend to be time consuming, and many children really dislike putting on their gloves and hats!  If this sounds familiar, you may like to inject some fun into this routine task with a winter warmer obstacle course.  Set out several obstacles outside as usual, such as a hoop to step through, a beanbag to toss into a bucket and a ball to kick at a target.  This course will have a twist though, as it will actually begin indoors…

Decide on an indoor start position, and set out further obstacles leading to the door.  Interspersed, place items of the first player’s winter clothes, each to be put on before they race to the next obstacle.  Once it is part of a game, motivation to bundle up in winter wear generally soars, and self-care and independence is promoted too.  Be on hand to replace the clothes with the next player’s garments, and to open the door when each player is ready to head outside for the latter part of the obstacle course.

Until next month,