It’s winter. You’re stuck inside the house, school is out, and you don’t know what you’re going to do to entertain the little ones? We feel you.
Don’t despair. We’ve put together a list of easy activities you can do at home (with stuff you probably already have around the house).
Check out our five holiday-inspired activities that address all five senses:
1. Bathtime with Otteroo
Baths are the obvious winter activity but ordinary bath time can be kind of blah…Otteroo elevates it to a whole new level of fun with major developmental + mom & dad benefits!
For parents, it’s easier (no struggling to hold a slippery baby!), more interactive (easier to play & do water activities), AND they can get into the bath to share the warm bubbly experience!
A study by the University of Minnesota also shows that baby swim reduces the baby’s cortisol level and it’s true! Parents continue to report how Otteroo time has been magical to calm and simultaneously tire out a fussy baby with all the kicking, rolling and splashing! Instead of a 5-minute chore that feels cumbersome, Otteroo bath time will be the highlight of everyone's day!
2. Winter Sensory Bin
All you need to do is cut the ribbons to 9 inches (or less), twirl the pipe cleaner into a spring, and throw it all into a bowl. You’ll be amazed at how long it will keep your little one entertained.
Filling up and dumping out? That’s a toddler’s jam. Hence the cups and spoons.
Watch baby explore. (And try not to let your OCD take over when the cooked rice goes everywhere.)
This sensory play allows your baby to practice cause and effect, get to understand different weight variances, test out gravity as they drop (or throw!) the objects, and lose themselves in the learning and discovery.
If you’re headed to a relative’s house, put everything in a Tupperware container, and you have a sensory bin on-the-go.
Photos & Activity Credit: My Small Potatoes
3. Colored Ice Sensory Play
Make ice cubes in several different colors (either with food coloring or food puree). (Because we all know the cubes will end up in the baby’s mouth.) Make sure the cubes are large enough that your child won’t choke on them. We recommend putting the cubes near a container of water. Your child will be amazed when the cubes start to melt and change the color of the water.
Talk to your child about what she is experiencing. You’re building her vocabulary with words like cold, shiny, sweet and smooth (and, perhaps, “wet mess”).
Photo & Activity Credit: Learn Play Imagine
4. Bring Snow Inside
If you’re over bundling up and heading outside to play in the snow, bring it inside! Fill up a container with snow, and the possibilities are endless. Some ideas:
- Using kitchen gadgets (measuring cups and cookie cutters)
- Sand toys (buckets and shovels)
- Paint brushes and water color
- Spray bottles with colored water
- Playing with vehicles (like, construction trucks with scoops)
No snow? No problem. You can make your own with two ingredients: rice cereal and coconut oil. Lemon Lime Adventures has a recipe here for cloud dough. Give it a winter flavor with a sprinkle of cinnamon!
Photo & Activity Credit: Growing a Jeweled Rose
5. Winter Sensory Board
Grab some glue, a foam board and your favorite Christmas items. Get things that have lots of different textures! The bows, the hat, the pine cone: your tot is not going to be able to keep his hands away.
Introduce each object to your child and describe them in detail. This will teach your child a bunch of new words. Play a game with your child by describing an item and let him or her guess which one you are talking about.
Photo & Activity Credit: Toddler Approved
Do you have any winter sensory play ideas? Share your favorite ways to play and learn.