I got so carried away writing the first installment of winter play ideas, that I only managed to describe three ideas. With plenty more inspiration available for cold weather play, I wanted to share it with you in this second part.
#1 Coloured Snow
What's better than playing with snow? Playing with coloured snow! There is creativity, science and fun all rolled into this one activity. All you need is snow (so fingers crossed the weather can provide this), and either food colouring, powdered paints, or a few drops of washable paint. Encourage the children to attack the garden with the paints to create a Jackson Pollock style masterpiece. Then mix all the snow together to see the colours that the different combinations create. After that it is a playtime free for all. Buckets used for sandcastles can make marvelous snow kingdoms, and with the added colourings it will look like a fairytale winter palace.
#2 Ice Treasure Hunt
Take little toys (not favourite ones, or their fate might be upsetting), and add them to small silicone cupcake cases. Top up with water and leave outdoors overnight to freeze. In the morning, pop out the ice blocks and hide them all over the garden. Then the race is on to find them before they melt. If the children do rescue the ice-hostages before the ice has melted, they then need to figure out how to remove the ice. This is a really interesting activity to watch, as your child attacks the situation with their own unique problem solving skills. Will they ask for a sharp tool to chip away at it? Or drop the ice from a great height? Maybe they will whizz the ice blocks down the slide? Or perhaps they'll play it cool and smart, place the blocks in a sunny spot and let nature do the work.
#3 Mini Snowmen
This is great for those days when there is enough snow to cover the ground, but not quite enough to make a snowman. Mr Potato Head accessories are perfect for making mini snowmen. They stick into the snow and stay put, but are easy to switch around to change their appearance.
#4 Ice Bricks
Remember those silicone molds you used up there ^^^. Time to get them out again. You'll need ideally three dozen or even more. They're not expensive. Consider this an investment. Part fill each mold with water and if you want added prettiness, a little dash of paint. In the morning the water will have frozen into circular bricks. Pop them out and they are great for stacking, or even just knocking around the garden.
Hit The Pavements
No literally because that would hurt. Even when the weather is bright, most lawns stay soggy throughout the winter, making outdoor play slippy and muddy. Take a tour of the neighbourhood on go-karts, bikes or rollerskates. The children get to spend time outside, and parents can stretch their legs too.
For more outdoor play ideas check out the rest of the Wicken Toys blog.