These winter bucket list ideas will give you tons of fun ideas to add to your to do list this winter season.
In this post, you’ll find 100 winter family activities guaranteed to make your winter fun! How many of these things can you check off this winter?
Be sure to check out my 20 Winter Books for Kids for fun indoor reading time!
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Winter Bucket List Ideas for kids
While some of these winter bucket list ideas are for kids, others are neutral and can be done at any age!
1. Build a snowman
Use playdough and loose parts and craft supplies if you don’t get snow where you live.
2. Make snowflakes
Do some paper folding and cut out fun shapes. Then open to see your surprise snowflake! You can also use coffee filters for this activity.
2. Drink Hot Chocolate
This is the time of year to warm up with a mug of hot chocolate.
3. Decorate The Christmas Tree
Do you put up a Christmas tree? Have a family decorating night. You’ll love going over past Christmas memories with each ornament.
4. Have a gift wrapping party
Get the whole family involved wrapping gifts! Scrap paper, tape and gift bows make a great sensory bin filler as well for kids to work on their cutting skills.
5. Bake Cookies
There are so many benefits to baking with kids! Get out some holiday cookie cutters and bake cookies. When they’re done and cooled you can decorate them together.
6. Cuddle up together and read books
Set out some holiday and winter favorites, cuddle up under a blanket and enjoy reading stories. Start by reading through our list of favorite Christmas and 20 Winter Books for Kids. Are any of your kids’ favorites on the list? Also check out these 23 Read Aloud Snowman Books For Preschoolers.
7. Have a snowball fight
You can buy soft snowballs to play indoors and for those of you who don’t get snow in your area.
8. Go out to look at Christmas Lights
Does your neighborhood go all out with holiday decor? Put on your coat and hat to take a walk around the block. Or you can go for a car ride through town.
9. Take a family photo
You don’t need to hire a photographer to get the perfect holiday photo. Grab some Christmas props, stand in front of the tree, and smile! Check out our Matching Family Outfits and red and white family outfit ideas too.
10. Go ice skating
If you don’t have a place to skate outdoors, check for the closest skating rink.
11. Make a snow angel
Don’t forget to use your finger to add a smile. 🙂
12. Have a family game night
Let each family member pick their favorite board game (see our post on Best Board Games For Families To Play Together) and get comfy for a night of board game fun.
13. Go on a candy cane hunt
It’s like a scavenger hunt, but with candy canes! Decide how many you want to hide and hide them around the house. Kids will have a blast searching for the sweet treats.
14. Make holiday cards
Make a list of all the loved ones who your kids want to send a card to and set up a card-making station with coloring materials, stickers, construction paper and whatever else your kids like to use to get crafty.
15. Make paper snowflakes
Making paper snowflakes is great for fine motor skills (see more Fine Motor Activities) and is good cutting practice. Don’t forget to hang them up.
16. Watch a holiday movie
To keep screen time to a minimum, have each family member choose their favorite holiday movie and spread out the movie night marathon over several days. Here is a list of the best Christmas movies.
17. Make a gingerbread house
There are many pre-made kits available for purchase at grocery stores. You can also make your own with frosting and graham crackers. Make sure to set out bowls of candy and sprinkles to decorate!
18. Do a snowflake art project
Have you ever tried salt and watercolor painting? Kids are fascinated by how the paint spreads over the salt. Use white glue to draw a snowflake on a piece of cardstock. Sprinkle salt over the glue and let dry. Once it’s dry, shake off the excess and let kids paint.
19. Write a letter to Santa
Kids can work on their writing with some letter writing. If your family doesn’t include Santa in your celebrations, have students write a letter to an elf or a snowman. Make it fun.
20. Do an advent calendar
Have you heard of advent calendars? They are used to countdown the days until Christmas. Normally, you open a small flap or box of the calendar to reveal a small treat or toy. There are so many variations you can do–a new book each day, small candy, slips of paper with special activities, etc.
21. Go to a holiday parade
It’s so exciting to find the perfect front-row spot to watch the local parade! Keep your eye out for Santa!
22. Clean out the play areas
It’s a great time to clear out old and broken toys to make room for any new gifts kids will be getting. Have them participate in tidying up and getting rid of things no longer needed.
23. Choose a gift for someone in need
Many stores participate in the “Angel Tree” gift-giving program and others similar. Choose a needy family or child to sponsor and pick out some gifts for them. A wonderful way for children to experience the joys of giving.
24. Host a special visitor
Do you do Elf on the Shelf? Kids love seeing what fun antics he gets up to everyday! Here are some ideas to get you started.
25. Go Sledding
Find a tall hill and sail down on a sled!
26. Celebrate the winter solstice
In December there is an event called the winter solstice. It usually takes place on the 22nd or 23rd. This is the day where we have the shortest period of daylight. It happens because the earth reaches its maximum tilt away from the sun. This is the perfect time to make a paper or mason jar lantern.
27. Make salt dough ornaments
You just need 2 cups of flour and 1 cup each of salt and water. Mix together and make your ornaments! Kids’ handprints are a great idea for these and they can be painted after they are baked.
28. Turn off the lights and make shadow puppets
What animals can you make using your hands? Even the youngest kids will love seeing their shadows on the wall.
29. Make a winter themed sensory bin
All the directions are in the sensory bottle post. Use snowflake table scatter and blue glitter to make yours winter-themed! You can also add red and green pom poms for more of a Christmas theme.
30. Play with playdough
Practice shapes with snowman shape mats.
31. Play with arctic animals
See how you can set up an arctic-themed sensory bin for some winter-themed fun.
32. Play winter dress up
33. Make snow
34. Build a fort and talk about hibernation
Here are some hibernation book suggestions.
35. Create a Christmas sensory bin
Here is a post on how to set up a Christmas sensory bin with your child.
36.Create snowman art
37. Play Bingo
38. Visit the library
Take some time to slow down and browse the local library. You just might find your next favorite book!
39. Winter post it scavenger hunt
This fun winter idea is a great way for your kids to burn off energy! Draw some Christmas and winter shapes and symbols on a large piece of paper (such as a pine tree, bell, star, snowflake, gingerbread man, etc.) then draw the same symbols on Post-Its and hide them around the house. Children will search for all the Post-Its and match them to their correct image on the paper.
40. Make a Christmas countdown chain
Work with kids to make a construction paper chain with 25 rings. Watch the chain get longer and longer as you staple or tape a ring on each day until you add the last one on Christmas!
41. Have a bubble bath
Warm up with a bubble bath. Add some favorite bath toys and enjoy.
42. Play with an ice cream sensory bin
It might be too cold to have real ice cream, but you can set up an ice cream sensory bin! Mix shaving cream with a drop or two of food coloring and play ice cream shop.
43. Color holiday pictures
You can find holiday-themed coloring books at many dollar stores or use our Christmas color by number pages.
44. Write letters for a retirement home
Warm the heart of a senior living at your local retirement home with a letter and handmade card.
45. Build igloos with sugar cubes
You can then use your igloos to play with arctic animals you choose.
46. Make winter themed sun catchers
Here are the directions. These look so beautiful displayed in a window! You can make whatever seasonal design you’d like.
47. Make smores
You can make these graham crackers, marshmallow and chocolate treats in the microwave, no need for a campfire!
48. Write a Christmas song
Challenge your kids to write an original song about the winter season. Set up a show for kids to perform their song.
49. Go Skiing
Hit the slopes and do some skiing!
50. Indoor camping
No tent? No problem! Drape some blankets over some chairs or the sofa and make your own indoor tent. Bring in some comfy blankets or sleeping bags and have an overnight campout in the living room.
51. Hang stockings
If you don’t have a fireplace, have your kids discuss where the best place to hang the stockings will be!
52. Visit Santa
Most malls and/or large stores will host Santa at least a couple of times in December. Make a plan to visit and take some photos.
53. Visit a Christmas Tree
It is so fun and magical to visit a Christmas tree lot, even just to browse!
54. Write New Years Resolutions
Do you have any goals for the new year? Encourage children to think of things they would want to accomplish next year. Learn how to set a New Years Resolution for kids.
55. Decorate the windows with winter gel clings
This activity can be done again and again! Window gel clings can be purchased inexpensively and kids can make their pictures as many times as they want.
56. Make a popcorn garland
Thread popcorn on a length of sewing thread using a plastic needle (much safer for children!) and decorate your Christmas tree or home with your kids’ homemade decor. Tip: if you let the popcorn harden for a few days, it becomes easier to thread!
57. Make treat’s for Santa’s Reindeer’s
Learn about what reindeer eat and then put together a small bag of treats to sprinkle on the ground Christmas Eve night.
58. Make a calendar
You can find blank calendar templates to print online. Let kids draw a picture for each month of the year. For older kids, have them fill out the days and label any holidays. For younger children, pre-label the calendar.
59. National Thank A Mail Carrier Day
Did you know that February 4th is Thank-a-Mail-Carrier Day? Write a special note or draw a picture to show your appreciation for all your mail carrier does for you.
60. Write Thank you notes
This is the perfect time to practice those writing skills. Write thank you notes for any gifts received during the holiday season.
61. Learn about holiday’s around the world
Read this post all about cultural diversity!
62. Stay up late for New Year’s Eve
If your little one gets too sleepy to wait for midnight, show them some highlights from celebrations around the world the next morning.
63. Celebrate National Pizza Day
February 9th is National Pizza Day! Bake a homemade pizza together to enjoy.
64. Watch Santa’s Journey
You can watch Santa deliver his gifts all over the world with NORAD’s Santa Tracker! Kids will love watching him soar over the earth with his reindeer as he gets closer and closer to their house.
65. Donate to the local animal shelter
Dollar stores have lots of great, inexpensive pet items. Put together a small basket for the animals.
66. Have a pancake breakfast
Pancakes are always a hit with kids. If you’re feeling ambitious you can try making them with colored batter in condiment bottles to create fun designs.
67. Play with flashlights
Ever heard of flashlight tag? Instead of tagging by touching someone, you shine your flashlight at them! Just remind kids that flashlights aren’t meant to be shined in others’ eyes.
68. Grow Crystals
This science experiment is sure to fascinate kids. Here is some more information, along with some other similar projects that would be great for older kids to do as well.
69. Donate warm clothes and blankets to the homeless shelter
Go through your closets and storage to see what warm items you can send to the homeless shelter. They always appreciate warm clothes and blankets during the cold months.
70. Make some Reindeer Crafts
We have lots of fun reindeer crafts you can do with your kids this holiday season.
71. Put together a memory book for the year
Look back on all the fun from the previous year by putting together a memory book. Use photos, write about memories, and draw pictures. You’ll enjoy looking back on these now and every year.
72. Make a homemade wreath
Most dollar stores sell a plain wire wreath that can be decorated. You can wind a garland around and have kids add ornaments and bows. Or you can have kids practice their fine motor skills by tying pre-cut strips of fabric on the wreath.
73. Play holiday Mad Libs
This silly game is all about learning parts of speech and completing sentences. Kids have so much fun playing that they don’t even realize that they are learning! Here are a few you can buy: Christmas Carol Mad Libs, Christmas Fun Mad Libs, All I Want for Christmas is Mad Libs
74. Decorate a Gingerbread Man
You can decorate a cookie or foam cut out. Fill bowls with candies and sprinkles if using real cookies, or stickers, glitter and other art supplies for a foam cutout.
75. Bundle up and go for a walk
What interesting nature finds can you find on your walk? Are there any special things specific to wintertime?
76. Have a pajama party
Get cozy in your favorite pajamas and have a “Wear PJs All Day” celebration.
77. Frozen animal rescue
Freeze some favorite small animals in ice cube trays. Once they are frozen, toss them in a bin and have kids rescue the animals!
78. Watch the Winter Olympics
These occur every four years, so if it is not an olympic year, watch some past winter sports videos. Children will be amazed at the feats the athletes are capable of.
79. Christmas Tree Stem Project
Challenge your kids to build a Christmas tree. Some ideas for what to use: LEGOs, LEGO Duplos, Mega Bloks, magnetic tiles, popsicle sticks
80. Make a snowglobe
Find detailed instructions at National Geographic Kids. These are so much fun and kids will love making them as much as viewing them!
81. Video chat with friends and family
If there are loved ones that live far away, give them a video call to say hi and spread cheer.
82. Decorate an ugly Christmas Sweater
Or if you don’t have any plain sweaters to decorate, print out a sweater template and decorate that instead.
83. Drink Eggnog
Do you and your kids like this traditional winter drink? Give it a try if you haven’t and decide for yourself!
85. Leave special treats for delivery drivers
Delivery drivers are working hard getting everyone’s packages to their homes on time. Leave out a basket of treats for them–bottled waters, snack size chips and crackers or candies.
85. Go on a Christmas Scavenger Hunt
Do this scavenger hunt around the neighborhood. Put together a list of decoration items to find on a neighborhood walk. Some suggestions: candy canes, Santa, snowflakes, reindeer, a sleigh, etc.
86. New Years Eve Sensory Bin
Set up a fun sensory activity to ring in the new year.
87. Write a wish list
Give kids an outline, what do they wish for that is:
- Something they need
- Something they want
- Something to read
- Something to wear
88. Make Valentine’s for l oved ones
February is still a winter month, which means Valentine’s Day is a winter holiday! Set out art and crafting supplies and get started on those Valentine’s cards.
89 Candy Crush Sensory Bin
Kids will enjoy this smash sensory bin. Break some candy canes into 2-3 pieces and place in a bin. Give kids a child-size hammer and let them go to town smashing the candy into pieces and dust. If you want, you can then use the crumbs to top hot chocolate.
90. New Years Science Experiment Confetti
Have you tried the vinegar and baking soda experiment with your kids yet? When combined they make a fizzy reaction. Add foil confetti for a fun New Year’s theme.
91. Celebrate Groundhog Day
February 2nd is Groundhog Day! This is the day when the groundhog wakes from his hibernation and heads outside. If he sees his shadow, it means that we will have 6 more weeks of winter. If he doesn’t see his shadow, spring will come early. Read some fun books about Groundhog Day: Celebrating Groundhog Day, The Night Before Groundhog Day
92. Play pin the nose on the snowman
Draw a snowman on a large piece of white paper and cut out carrots from orange construction paper. Then grab something to use as a blindfold and try to pin the snowman’s nose on his face.
93. Make pipe cleaner candy canes or icicles
You need pipe cleaners and pony beads for this activity. To make a candy cane, thread white and red beads onto the pipe cleaner. To make an icicle, wrap the pipe cleaner around something to create a spiral. Then add blue, purple, white and/or silver beads.
94. Decorate paper ornaments with loose parts
Some fun items to include are large gems, flat vase filler beads, sequins and beads.
95. Cut Santa’s Beard Practice
See this post for a fun, Christmas-themed activity to practice scissor skills.
96. Play Christmas I Spy
Print out a game card and see what you can find!
97. Counting practice with gift bows
You can do this on a wall for great vertical work. Put up numbers 1-10 (or 1-20 depending on your learner) and have kids peel the sticker off the back of the bows to represent the number. You can even use them for addition and subtraction practice!
98. Snowball toss with marshmallows
Use marshmallows to represent snowballs. Set up bowls and see how many your child can toss in, in this Minute-to-Win-It type game.
99. Make a snowman pom pom popper
Cut off the bottom of a styrofoam cup and stretch a balloon over the opening. Draw on a snowman face and use the cup to launch white pom pom “snowballs.”
100. Drink peppermint hot chocolate
The peppermint hot chocolate at Starbucks is delicious. We tried it when curating our favorite Starbucks drinks for kids.
101. Catch snowflakes with your tongue
If you are lucky enough to live somewhere that snows, try to catch a snowflake or two with your tongue.
102. Use a hot tub outside
If doing this activity with really young children, have a warm bath instead with lots of bubbles.
103. Have some homemade soup
Soup on a cold day is always so warming for the body and soul.
Have you done any of these fun winter activities? See how many of these winter bucket list ideas can be checked off at the end of this winter and make your holiday season extra special! Keep this winter bucket list handy whenever you need a fun activity to fill your winter days.