Winter Outdoor Activities for Preschoolers

Winter is a wonderland! Don’t let a little snow stop you from heading outside for fresh air, physical activity, and learning about the winter season and all the magic it brings with it.

Winter time is nearly here, and you may be wondering what types of fun and educational outdoor activities you can incorporate into your daycare schedule. Whether you are looking for activities that you can relate back to your lesson plans, or simply want to get outside and get active, winter weather can be a lot of fun for preschoolers.

Just because it’s snowy out, that doesn’t mean you have to stay indoors! We’ve put together this list of winter outdoor activities for preschoolers to help you start planning and take advantage of what the season has to offer. Of course, before you head outside, you should ensure that all children are properly bundled up in weather-appropriate coats, hats, mittens, scarves and footwear.

  • Build a snowman. This is a classic winter activity that preschoolers and adults alike can enjoy. Help children roll their snowballs and decorate their snowman with accessories. Encourage children to work together in small groups to build their snowmen and develop teamwork skills.
  • Create snow art. Fill spray bottles with water colored with food dye and let their imaginations run wild! Create pictures, practice writing names or just have fun watching the snow transform from white to bright colors.
  • Search for animal tracks. Go on a hunt to identify animal tracks in the snow, and guess which animal left them there. See how many different tracks you can identify.
  • Experiment. Try freezing different levels of water in a variety of containers. Which freezes the fastest? Which took the longest? Ask children to consider why. Bring the frozen water inside and experiment with how long they take to thaw out!
  • Make snow castles. Use the same toys as you would in the sandbox in the snow. See who can build the biggest snow castle.
  • Go on a scavenger hunt. Create a list of items for children to find outdoors, such as pinecones, rocks, sticks, or leaves. Give each child or group a container to collect the items on the list. Work on categorization skills by describing items the preschoolers should find, such as something smooth, something brown, or something hard.
  • Snowball target toss. Create a target using a hula hoop on the ground, and have children create their own snowball and toss it into the target area. Use different containers or change the target’s distance to make the game more challenging.
  • Go for a winter walk. Experience the sights and sounds of winter with a refreshing walk. Point out animals, birds, icicles and other unique winter features.

When the weather is cold, getting the physical activity that little ones need can seem like a challenge. However, you don’t have to let the winter stop you. Planning fun winter outdoor activities for preschoolers can be a great alternative to being cooped up indoors all day, and often takes nothing more than a few simple items and some snow!

For more great tips and activity ideas for your child care facility, keep up to date with the HiMama Blog.

Ron Spreeuwenberg

Ron is the Co-Founder & CEO of HiMama, where he leads all aspects of a social purpose business that helps early childhood educators improve learning outcomes for children.