So far the weather has been pretty mild. But as sure as Autumn turns to Winter, this rain will turn to snow.
In anticipation of the cold days still to come, we’ve pulled together this list of fun yet freezing activities to enjoy with your children. The weather is too mild for most of these ideas right now, but this early heads-up will give you plenty of time to gather materials and prepare.
The weather outside might be frightful, but they’ve still got energy to burn so get your gloves on and head into the garden.
#1 Ice Marbles
This is so simple but can give you a good quiet hour in the garden having fun. Before bedtime, fill up balloons with water, add a drop of food colouring, and tie it shut. Don’t fill the balloons right up. As the water freezes it will expand, so an overfilled balloon will stretch and burst. Place in a tray in the garden, or better still suspend from the underside of your slide or climbing frame. Overnight (if it’s cold enough) the water will freeze in the balloon. Cut the balloon and peel it from the ice, and you will be left with a beautifully coloured ice marble. Children can have fun rolling them down the slide, bowling across the patio, or pushing them around with a hockey stick. Whatever they can think of.
You can add an element of science education to this game by measuring around the circumference of the balloon in the evening, then taking the measurement again in the morning. Also measure the weight of the filled balloon on the kitchen scales both in the evening and the next day and note any changes.
#2 Learn About Nurturing
This is a great time of year to begin nurturing your local wildlife. In the winter many birds become totally dependent on friendly humans leaving food out. Birds need high fat foods to help them lay down the reserves needed to make it through the winter. You can buy ready made suet balls to hang in your garden, or if you’re feeling creative, you can mix up your own.
For a super-quick, no-cook solution, all you need is some peanut butter, seeds and empty cardboard toilet rolls. Spread peanut butter all over the cardboard rolls. Spread the seeds out on the plate and roll the peanut butter covered tube over the plate until it is completely covered.
These can be left on a table, weighted with a stone placed inside, or punch a hole in the top of the cardboard and hang with a piece of string.
#3 Come Inside
Far too cold to play outside? Bring the snow in. Fill up a sand or water play table with fresh snow and bring it into the kitchen. Just keep plenty of old towels to hand so you can mop up spillages.
There are more play ideas to come, so look out for Winter Play Ideas Part II coming soon.