Winter Break Play Activities (Part 2)

We’re keeping the fun going with even more fantastic winter-themed activities to keep kids busy and learning over this long winter break. Here are five days of activities to keep the learning and exploration going. And if you missed the first roundup of activity ideas, you can find them here: Winter Break Play Activities (Part 1).

Day 1 – Paint on Ice

Time for some art to go along with winter fun! Start by filling a pan with water – enough to comfortably cover the bottom, but no need to fill the pan completely to the top. Mix in a half cup of baking soda until the water looks white like paper. Put the pan either in the freezer or outside until it is frozen through.

Once frozen, this will be your canvas. Grab paint and brushes and make your own art creation. Once the ice is covered with paint, just rinse it off with cold water and start painting all over again. Repeat until the ice melts for long-lasting fun!

Watching ice melt is a great opportunity for kids to use their creative thinking skills to make observations. Encourage their exploration of science by asking some open-ended questions like:

  1. How does the ice feel? Why do you think it feels that way?
  2. I wonder what will happen if you hold your finger down on a piece of the ice?
  3. What do you like about this project?

Try to let kids explore freely and make their own unique observations. You never know what kids will discover when you let them lead the discussion.

Day 2 – Build a Snowman Sensory Bag

The outdoors isn’t the only place you can build a snowman. Build your own melted snowman sensory bag using the following:

  • A gallon sized sealable plastic bag
  • Black permanent marker
  • 16 oz of hand sanitizer or hair gel
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Snowman pieces:
    • 2 googly eyes
    • Orange foam triangle piece for the nose
    • Small black pom poms
    • Small buttons

Draw the body of the snowman on the outside of plastic bag. Make sure to leave the eyes, nose and mouth blank so kids can fill it with the snowman pieces later. Next, fill the bag with hair gel or hand sanitizer, drop in the snowman pieces and seal the bag while removing as much air as possible. Lay the bag on a flat surface and secure it with tape to prevent the bag from moving or becoming unsealed. Now, the fun begins! Kids can use their fingers to push the pieces around and create their own snowman.

Day 3 – Winter Tree Art Project

Head outdoors and have the kids gather natural art supplies like small twigs, rocks, leaves or other things they find that could be added to their creation. Next, ask the child to plan out how they want their tree to look by laying their found pieces out on a flat surface. Once the design is set, use glue to adhere the twigs and other items to construction paper to make your tree. Add some extra flair by using paint, pom poms, glitter, ribbon, popcorn, colored paper or other materials to decorate your winter tree.

Day 4 – Snowball Launcher

This DIY craft is a fun STEM activity to explore with kids. You will need balloons, a small plastic cup and a hot glue gun or tape.

Create your snowball launcher by cutting the bottom out of the plastic cup, leaving the rim end intact. Next, take the balloon and tie the end without blowing it up. Cut the untied side of the balloon off and stretch it so that it fits over the smaller end of the cup. Secure the balloon to the cup using tape. Place a snowball inside the cup and pull the tied balloon end back. Release and watch how far your snowball flies!

Day 5 – Play the Iceberg Game

Looking to help kids improve their balancing skills while playing an easy game? Try the iceberg game! Cut out some blue, grey or white icebergs from construction paper and lay them on the ground.

The object of the game is to move from iceberg to iceberg without falling or touching the ground. Whoever can stay on icebergs longest, without stepping on the ground or another object, wins the game. Add an extra level of difficulty by spacing the icebergs farther and farther apart.

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