Winter Sensory Integration Activities for Toddlers

Nana-Carols-Corner-Music-Movement-Early-Childhood-Play-LearningAlthough we have only seen a dusting of snow, winter has arrived in Massachusetts.  My granddaughter, Maddie, is now 22 months old. Maddie was just a tiny baby last winter, so she doesn’t remember snow, as far as we can tell.

In this blog post, I am going to share winter sensory integration activities for toddlers that I have been enjoying with her. I hope this post will inspire you to have fun with the little ones in your life.

Winter Sensory Table Fun Learning and Active Play Lessons for Toddlers

Snow What Fun!

Just after Thanksgiving I started to read Maddie some winter theme board books.  Her favorite is Frosty the Snowman by Steve Nelson and Jack Rollins.  She can sing the words to that song and clutches a large plush snowman as she sings.

Toddler Activity Frosty the Snowman Literacy and Play Childcare Directors

Snowballs by Lois Ehlert is another favorite of Maddie’s.  I don’t actually read the words in the book to her.  We talk about the detailed and beautiful illustrations Lois Ehlert created for this book.  Maddie especially likes the red bird (she knows him from Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? By Bill Martin, Jr.) She loves seeing the bag of peanuts and the squirrels.  Maddie and my adult son, Robbie, throw peanuts to the blue jays and squirrels each day that she is at my house.

 

Winter Sensory Integration Activities for Toddlers with books, music, and sensory table. Get inspired! Click To Tweet

 

Maddie always clutches her plush Peter doll as we read The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats.  We cannot wait for it to snow so that we can retell the story with Maddie by giving her a stick to drag through the snow, showing her how to make footprints in the snow, and making a snowman with her.

Like all of the other That’s Not My….books by Fiona Watt, That’s Not My Snowman was an instant hit with Maddie.  She has learned to say the adjectives that describe the textures in the book.

We’ve been using our snowballs from Bear Paw Creek to have safe indoor snowball fights.  Although Maddie still hasn’t made a hand preference she tends to throw the snowballs with her left hand.  She loves to throw the snowballs as hard as she can and belly laughs when she hits one of us with a snowball.  She also LOVES when we bounce the snowballs up and down on our parachute from Bear Paw Creek.

Affordable Toddler Activities Props Dynamic Movement Set of Thirty Soft Snowballs in Mesh Storage Bag

Winter Music and Sensory Table for Toddlers

I have a Winter playlist that I use with Maddie each time she is at my house.  She has mimicked my actions so many times when we hear “Hat and Jacket, Pants and Boots” from Miss Carole’s Season Sings! album that now she can do the song on her own.

I used one of my die cut machines to cut felt mittens for Maddie. I spread the mittens out and place one mitten on the felt board as we sing “Each Mitten Has a Mate” from Miss Carole’s Season Sings! album.

Maddie knows her colors and finds the matching mitten and places it on the felt board.  Then she says, “More.  More.” which is what she says when she is enjoying something.

Miss Carole Macaroni Soup Let's Build a Snoman

I also used one of my die cut machines to cut felt snowmen for Maddie.  We use those snowmen with “I Can Make a Snowman” from Miss Carole’s HUM album. I sing the song to Maddie and when I say what color my snowman will be she places that snowman on the felt board.

I purposely made the snowmen only be about 3” tall and there are no details on them so that Maddie focuses on the color of the felt.

Felt Snowman Early Childhood Special Needs Education Music Therapy

We are busy learning other songs from my Winter playlist and I’ll write about them another time. Meanwhile, let me tell you about the Winter Sensory Table I created for Maddie.

The bottom of the table is lined with a sheet of quilt batting. I added small plastic ornaments that are a variety of colors and textures. I drew snowman faces on ping pong balls and put them in the table.

I went through my Christmas decorations and pulled out all of the snowmen that are child safe and added them to the table. I adhered felt details to some Zero Water bottles and put them in the table along with a stash of white pompoms.

Maddie can push the pompoms into the bottles and also add in some of the ornaments to create snowmen.  There are also some small pails in the table for Maddie to fill with snowballs and a few of my Bear Paw Creek snowballs to add another texture to the table.

Winter Sensory Table Homeschool Music Pre K Teachers

Carol Hartery

Carol Hartery

I retired 3 years ago after teaching in the early childhood world for 42 years.  Now I spend my time doing music and movement activities with my 10 month old granddaughter.  When we play music she responds by "babbling along" and shaking her body to the beat.   I know from my experience as an early childhood educator that music and movement activities benefit a child's fine and gross motor skills, listening skills, and language development as they burn off some energy and have fun!