Winter outdoor activities for toddlers can begin at about 15 months. Once you’re certain they’ve learned to walk steadily enough to safely move through snow and slippery areas. Bundle them up snugly, with snowsuit, hat or hood and lined mittens.
One of the first fun things they’ll do naturally is to make snow angels. With another child or adult showing how it’s done, they can enjoy being flat on their backs in fresh fallen snow areas while waving their arms and feet to create the angel impression. Be sure to have the cell phone or other camera handy to catch this first winter fun moment of the toddler.
2. Toddlers will understand the idea of a snowman if they’re allowed to participate in the creation of the figure. They may not be able to roll the big snow balls that are needed for the project, but they can help by packing wet snow into the areas that need bolstering.
They can also relate to clothing the snowman with old hats, coats, gloves, scarves and other materials from the attic or basement. They’ll enjoy helping to make the funny face with pieces of fruit, nuts or vegetables.
3. Toddlers may be too young to be permitted to roast hot dogs or marshmallows in a family backyard winter barbecue. If they do, an older child or adult must be with them to avoid accidents. However, if the rest of the family is enjoying the event, the littlest members should be able to participate as much as possible in the fun.
4. If the toddler walks well and has developed good physical coordination, beginning ice skating may be worth a try. First of all, because of the winter cold at the rink, the toddler should be so well padded and bundled up, a slip and fall to the ice shouldn’t cause any pain or bruising. An older child or adult who is a good skater and has lots of patience can give the toddler the first ice skating lessons.
5. Toddlers take to sledding quickly. At first, try some gentle snow-covered slopes with the toddler sharing a sled with an older child. Then, as confidence and skills improve, give the toddler a small sled and some supervised downhill rides. As with other winter activities, the toddler should be bundled up against the cold, and for protection from the inevitable bumps and falls that make sledding so much fun.
Fun winter activities for toddlers are good ways to help in the physical development. Whether sledding, skating or building snowmen, they’ll happily realize they’re beginning to be a fully-participating member of the family.