My toddler and I were so excited to wake up on Sunday morning to a good covering of snow on the ground. My husband and I couldn’t wait to show my toddler the snow out of her bedroom window and she was enthralled to see it.
After breakfast we wrapped up warm and headed out into the garden. At first, my toddler was a little hesitant, as the snow practically came up to her knees. However, she was soon very excited by it and couldn’t wait to explore the snow-covered garden.
Together we all built a snowman, using my toddler’s bucket to scoop up the snow and pile it high to create the body of the snowman.
We used a carrot for the snowman’s nose, stones for his eyes and raisins for his buttons.
My toddler loved scooping the snow into her bucket using her spade. She also enjoyed dragging her plastic rake through the snow.
However, her favourite moment of the morning was when we got the sledge out of the shed and pulled her round the garden on it.
Overall, my toddler loved her first experience of playing in the snow. We would love to hear how your little ones enjoyed the snow and we hope you had lots of fun!
Everyone keeps telling me that we should expect snow in the next few weeks. There was some snow last year but I doubt my toddler would remember it: she was about 7 months old and only experienced it whilst being pushed around in her pushchair, wrapped up warmly. This time I am sure that she would love running around and making snowballs! I decided to create some simple activities based around the idea of snow and snowflakes.
Pipe Cleaner Snowflakes
To set up this activity, take 3-4 pipe cleaners, fold them in half and then twist to secure in place. Fan the ends out into a star shape.
Pour paint onto a paper plate. We used black and blue pieces of sugar paper. I prepared two pipe cleaner snowflakes and gave my toddler both white and glittery silver paint.
She thoroughly enjoyed this activity and the snowflakes showed up beautifully on the coloured paper.
Cotton Wool Snowflakes
This was a fun and simple activity, which was well suited to my toddler’s skill level. First, I put some PVA glue in a pot and gave her a paintbrush. my toddler painted the glue on the paper where she wanted to put her snowflakes, and then stuck the cotton wool on top of the glue to create snow!
We used blue paper to create the illusion of the sky; however, darker blue would have also worked well and allowed the white to stand out.
For this activity, I gave my toddler two circular foam paintbrushes and three circular prints, each with a different design.
She had lots of fun dipping the various utensils in white and sparkly silver paint and creating her very own snow blizzard.
my toddler ended up filling several sheets of A4 paper with her efforts; if we were doing this activity again it would be good to use a larger sheet of paper.
If you do not have foam brushes or prints, you could easily create your own utensils – you could use cotton wool dipped in paint and/or potato prints with little designs on.
Snow sensory bottle
This was very easy to assemble. Pour equal quantities of water and vegetable/sunflower/rapeseed oil into a bottle. Add some silver glitter and your toddler has their very own snow globe!
my toddler enjoyed playing with this and shaking it up so the glitter moved around in the bottle.
The perfect music to accompany our activities is Elgar’s The Snow, Op. 26 No. 1:
This is a beautiful song and a lovely way to introduce your child to the music of Elgar. The text is as follows:
O snow, which sinks so light,
Brown earth is hid from sight
O soul, be thou as white as snow,
O snow, which falls so slow,
Dear earth quite warm below;
O heart, so keep thy glow
Beneath the snow.
O snow, in thy soft grave
Sad flow’rs the winter brave;
O heart, so sooth and save, as does the snow.
The snow must melt, must go,
Fast, fast as water flow.
Not thus, my soul, O sow
Thy gifts to fade like snow.
O snow, thou’rt white no more,
Thy sparkling too, is o’er;
O soul, be as before,
Was bright the snow.
Then as the snow all pure,
O heart be, but endure;
Through all the years full sure,
Not as the snow.
my toddler loved creating snowflakes in these simple ways. We are both hoping for some snow in the coming weeks so that she can experience it in real life! We hope you have fun trying out these activities and would love to hear how you got on.
Well we’re now into the last week of November and that can only mean one thing… Christmas is coming! This will be my toddler’s second Christmas.I love getting things ready for Christmas and what better way to start than with some homemade Christmas tree ornaments?
We made four salt dough ornaments. These are great mementos to keep year after year. Last year I made some with friends from my post-natal group to mark our babies’ first Christmas and it was a lovely thing to do together.
Making the salt dough
The first thing we needed to do was make the salt dough. We used the following recipe:
1 cup salt
1 cup plain flour
1/2 cup water
Mix the ingredients together and knead. Then sprinkle some plain flour on your work surface and roll the dough out. You should have enough to make 4 ornaments. my toddler and I made two snowman fingerprint ornaments, a Father Christmas handprint ornament & a snowman footprint ornament. Once you have created the shapes of the ornaments, bake them in the oven at 180-200 degrees for 2-3 hours.
Snowman Fingerprint Ornament
Roll the dough out and cut it in a circle using a circular cookie cutter or the rim of a glass. Your toddler can then poke their finger in 3 vertical spots to create the shape of a snowman (see photo above). Use a pencil or straw to poke out a hole at the top. Bake as described above and leave to cool. Paint the whole ornament with blue acrylic paint. I needed two coats of this.
Once dry, paint the snowman, ground and snow white. Choose another colour of paint for the scarf. Use brown paint for the arms and hands, and paint on the snowman’s nose, or use an orange marker pen. Finally, use black paint and a fine brush, or a permanent marker, for the eyes, smile and coal buttons. Paint the ornament with a layer of Mod Podge using a foam brush to add a nice shine. Finish by tying a pretty ribbon through the hole and hang on your Christmas tree!
Father Christmas Handprint Ornament
Roll the dough out and let your toddler press their hand into the dough to leave a clear handprint. Cut around the handprint and use a pencil or straw to poke out a hole at the top. Bake as described above and leave to cool. Paint the whole ornament with white acrylic paint. I needed two coats of this.
Once dry, paint Father Christmas’ hat red and his face light pink.
Use a permanent black marker or fine brush and black paint to outline the bottom of the hat and his beard. Draw or paint his eyes, nose and moustache and you have a lovely Father Christmas ornament! Paint the ornament with a layer of Mod Podge using a foam brush to add a nice shine. Finish by tying a pretty ribbon through the hole and hang on your Christmas tree!
Snowman Footprint Ornament
Roll the dough out, pop it on the floor (in a container/on a large chopping board) and let your toddler press their bare foot into the dough to leave a clear footprint. Cut around the footprint and use a pencil or straw to poke out a hole just underneath their heel. Bake as described above and leave to cool. Paint the whole ornament with white acrylic paint. I needed two coats of this.
Once dry, use blue paint to paint around the shape of the foot and toes. Choose another colour and paint your snowman’s scarf, then paint in the brown arms and hands. Use a permanent black marker or fine brush and black paint for the eyes, smile and coal buttons, and use an orange marker or paint for the nose. Paint the ornament with a layer of Mod Podge using a foam brush to add a nice shine. Finish by tying a pretty ribbon through the hole and hang on your Christmas tree!
These ornaments are so special, as each year they will evoke memories of my daughter at this age (18 months). I hope you enjoy making some Christmas ornaments with your children, too. Older children could have lots of fun decorating these themselves.