Winter Activities

Things to do during the Winter with 1-'2'-5 year-olds

Throughout 2017, our 125th anniversary year, we asked Norlanders, Norland students and staff to suggest activities for 1-'2'-5 year-olds. Here are their suggestions for things to do during the Winter months. 

Activity Suggested by
#1 Make frozen hands by filling gloves with water. Once the water is frozen, remove the hand from the glove. As the hands start defrosting, add food colouring and sprinkles of salt for a beautiful melting display. This activity can help you introduce the concepts of freezing and melting. Sarah Wilder, Set 25
#2 Learn about animals and their environments. Make a home for your favourite animal, we chose a polar bear and penguin. Use cotton wool for the snow and added glitter to create an icy effect. We used feathers as trees and you could even make a little water hole for the penguin and bear to fish in. Bliss Leijten, Set 32
#3 Bake homemade jam tarts. Cooking with children encourages lots of mathematical and physical development. Lucy Draper, Set 35
#4 Practice posting schema with multi-coloured pipes and an upside down colander. This will also encourage fine motor development. Lucy Draper, Set 35
#5 Go on a walk, splash in muddy puddles and then make a character from your favourite book using materials collected from outside. Great for language and social development. Charlotte Tasquier
#6 Paint pasta and then thread it onto a piece of string to make a bracelet or a necklace. You could even stick the pasta on some cardboard and make a photo frame. Great for fine motor skills development and role play. Charlotte Tasquier
#7 Sing familiar nursery rhymes and miss off the last word. For example: 'Baa, Baa Black … Have you any wool, Yes sir, yes sir, three bags …' Great for recall and rhyming. Alison Holt (nee Woods)
#8 Make a glitter globe. All you need is an old mason jar, some glitter, food colouring and water. Screw on the lid and shake! Helps with motor skills and language development. Becky Williamson, Set 32
#9 Make your own Dinosaur egg. Fill balloons with water and squeeze a plastic dinosaur inside. Place the balloons in the freezer overnight. In the morning pop the balloon to reveal the dinosaur egg. Sprinkle some salt over the top to help him to emerge and hatch. Katie Crouch
#10 Construct a marble run using a cardboard box and kitchen roll tubes. This activity is good for problem solving and dexterity. Dorcas Yabbacome, Set 29
#11 Make a winter fairy garden by collecting interesting nature items. You can leave the items natural or you can decorate with paint and glitter. Add in painted bird houses. Hang them all in an area in the garden to create a fairy garden. Good for imagination and creativity. Ellis Carveth, Set 37
#12 Create a fairy door out of lolly pop sticks and tell a story about the world behind the door. Great to develop a child's imagination and understanding about constructing stories. Francesca Thorn
#13 Make an obstacle course out of pillows. Prudence Boalch
#14 Construct a cosy den out of bedsheets and chairs. This creates a safe space where children can feel soothed and comfortable. Prudence Boalch
#15 Have a bubble wrap race. Cut two squares of bubble wrap and separate children into two teams. The first child or group to pop the bubble wrap by jumping wins! A fun way to encourage physical activity. Ishbel Brown
#16 Make an artistic design using a circle of paper in a salad spinner, add a splodge of paint and turn the handle for a painted picture. A lovely, creative activity. Libby Gordon
#17 Make hanging snakes from paper plates. A lovely, creative activity. Jenni Brown, Set 22
#18 Collect rocks and create individual characters. Then tell a story. Lovely for developing imagination and story-telling. Simone Fulford, Set 35
#19 Create a weaved pattern. Set up a loom on a piece of cardboard with some wool. Then use bits of wool, string or even leaves to weave with to see what pattern you can make. Helps to support fine motor skills. Anita Flynn, Set 30
#20 Devise a toothpick constructions using toothpicks and sticky tack to make a structure. The construction can be used to discuss mathematical concepts of size, shape, symmetry etc. Anita Flynn, Set 30
#21 Go on a glow in the dark egg hunt. Insert glow sticks inside plastic eggs and then hide them in a darkened room for children to find. It makes a nice alternative for children that can't have sugar. Anita Flynn, Set 30
#22 Play indoor balloon tennis. Stick some craft sticks to some paper plates to make a racket. Blow up a balloon and then play. Great for physical development. Anita Flynn, Set 30
#23 Cut out paper star shapes and hide them all around the garden each child has to collect 10 stars. Great for outdoor discovery and number skills - e.g. how many? Do I need more or less? How many more? Louenna Hood, Set 28
#24 Has there been a frost? Wrap up warm, go outside and find a table. In the frost with gloved fingers, practice your mark making skills. Be rewarded with a cup of hot chocolate when you return to the warm! Elizabeth Harvey
#25 When tidying up your toys, take a small bucket and go on a hunt for different coloured toys and objects. Once you have collected the toys you can build a rainbow. Helps with matching and colour recognition. Lorna Farrell
#26 Create a coloured sweets rainbow. Place the sweets around the edge of your dish. Add warm water, then wait and watch what happens to the colours. Why not experiment and try three dishes next to each other, one with cold water, one with warm and one with hot water and compare what happens to each. This is a perfect activity for a budding scientist! Don't forget to enjoy the flavours afterwards. Sophie, Sarah and Siobhan, Set 32
#27 Shaving foam powder paint and glitter: sprinkle the powder paint over the shaving foam and glitter. Can you make marks in the foam and watch how it mixes the colours and powder. Katie Crouch
#28 Practice opening and closing. Fill a basket with various small empty containers and let the child explore. Ensure the child is supervised, as small items may pose a choking hazard. Great for physical and language development. Lucy Morley
#29 Put celery in a glass with food colouring and watch the colour travel up the stem. A lovely science experiment. Elizabeth Harvey
#30 Sort out socks in pairs and then group the socks into colours. Elizabeth Harvey
#31 When it snows, wrap up warm and go outside and collect a bucket of snow. Discuss how does it feels. Is the bucket heavy or light? Bring in the snow and place it in a builder’s tray. Add a little a blue, red and yellow paint and use a variety of paint brushes. The big ones you might use to decorate with will make the biggest marks in the snow. Katie Crouch