Winter Play Invitations

What to do when it feels too cold to go outside and your kids still need that time with nature?

Create a few simple indoor play invitations to chase away those winter blues and spark wonder.  Here are my top ten suggestions!

  1. Call your friendly local librarian and ask from some books on snow, ice and winter.  Once you’ve got your books, set up a cozy reading nook in your home.  Pile pillows and blankets, set up a play tent if you have one, string some lights for extra comfort.  Cozy up with the books and explore winter in warmth through the pages of your books.  Our winter stack of books includes Over and Under the Snow, Nature’s Day, Hilda and the Troll, The Snowy Day, Owl Moon and Snowflake Bentley. 
  2. Pour water into a shallow tray or plastic bin. Place some plastic toys (sea creatures, dinosaurs, etc) in the water and set it out overnight to freeze. In the morning, lay a towel out on the floor and place the frozen tray down for some ice cracking and exploring! You can provide children with spoons and eyedroppers and water to try melting or digging the ice. 
  3. Bring snow inside.  Take a shallow plastic bin and fill it with snow. Place the snow-filled trays on a towel (to keep the floor dry) and put out shovels, scoops or other toys for exploration. Invite young learners to guess how long it will take for the snow to melt in the house, and see whose guess is the closest!
  4. Make play dough. I like this recipe.  I also like to leave it white, like  snow. Collect a few nature bits from outside in preparation (rocks, pine branches, sticks etc). When the play dough is ready, lay out the nature treasures and invite young learners to create a winter scene using the playdough and nature bits.
  5. Window Nature Journal.  Set up comfortably by a window with your nature journal and pencils. What can you see out the window? Invite young learners to draw the first things they see.  Crack the window open a little and invite learners to draw the first things they hear. 

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