Winter play – Toddler

ETTS Winter Play ToddlerIn winter children need to get outside to run, jump and wiggle using their big muscles. Outdoors in nature provides lots of space for active play and different environments to explore.

Did you know?

We know that children love jumping in puddles and playing in mud. Winter can be a great time to get your boots on and get outside! They are learning balance and coordination skills while having fun!!

Add language

As toddlers explore the winter world, try making comments e.g. “It’s slippery” “What a big puddle”. Ask occasional questions e.g. “What’s happening? “What are you doing?” “What does it feel like?”. Give simple directions or thinking tasks e.g. “Find one like this”. This will help to develop their understanding and use of different words.

Other development

Exploring the world in winter gives lots of opportunity for making discoveries and experimenting. Shaking the branches after it has rained teaches cause and effect. Walking through puddles or running through them teaches different splashes happen with different forces. All this is building science concepts.

Noticing differences in sizes, shapes and colours all build early maths concepts. Counting leaves or sticks or stones you discover helps develop number skills.

Allowing your toddler some space and time to take the lead helps to develop their confidence and self-worth. As they let their imagination run wild, inspired by what they find, they are also developing their social communication skills.


Why not make ‘leaf boats’ and float them in the biggest puddle you can find?

On a really rainy day, why not visit the local library and choose a book or two together. It could even have a nature or winter theme, like “Stormy weather” or “The Very Hungry Caterpillar”.

Across the ages

All the activities listed on our “Play Ideas” page can be applied across different age groups. See how winter play can be a fun activity for babies, children and playgroups.

Activities listed under “toddler” are suitable for children aged 1-3 years. Toddlers enjoy activities that include exploring their environment and finding out how things work.