Half term Winter activity ideas

The school holidays have officially started and it can often be tricky to keep the children entertained especially with the excitement of Christmas.  Christmas can also be quite an expensive time for some families and so with that in mind I have put together an inexpensive winter themed activity for each day of the school holiday.

The activities can be done on any day and are for inspiration for ideas; you could do more than one on a given day or take more than one day for other activities.  All activities can be done inside and whilst enjoying a nice warm drink for you and a warm cup of Arla Big Milk for the little ones.

For some of the activities you will need some empty bottles of Arla Big Milk.  Arla Big Milk is fresh whole cows’ milk, finely filtered for freshness and enriched with key vitamins and nutrients. Containing iron which contributes to cognitive development, vitamin D for normal bone development and naturally rich in calcium for the development of strong bones and teeth, Arla Big Milk has been developed to meet the needs to children aged from one to five as part of a healthy diet. The department of health recommends that, from the age of one, children move onto fresh cows’ milk, as well as supplementing their diets with daily vitamins A and D and iron, so Arla developed Big Milk to support both needs for toddlers.

1. Snowflake Mobile [21st]

- White felt/white paper
- Lolly pop sticks
- String

Use the white felt or white paper to make snowflakes.  Attach each snowflake to different length string and then attach them to the lollipop sticks.  The snowflakes hang from the lollipop sticks to create a mobile. 

2. Indoor snow [22nd]

Baby oil

This is one of our all-time favourite activities. In a bowl mix 2 cups cornflower, 1/3 a cup of vegetable oil and add a good sprinkle of glitter.  Mix really well.  This will then have the texture and feel of freshly fallen powder snow to play with which my girls really love.

3. Salt dough decorations [23rd]

1 cup salt
1 cup flour
1/2 cup water

Add salt to flour and then slowly add the water to form a dough.  If it is too sticky add more flour.  You can make any shape you desire; the only limitation is your imagination.  Once happy with decorations, lay the shapes on a baking sheet and cook at 100 degrees C for 2-3 hours, turning half way through if the shapes are thick.  Once baked, leave to cool and then decorate using ordinary paint.

4. Reindeer food [Christmas eve]

Indoor snow

Mix everything together in a bowl and sprinkle outside on Christmas Eve so that Father Christmas can find your house.

5. Wrapping paper stars [Christmas Day]

Wrapping paper
Star template

Using a template of a star cut out stars from wrapping paper.  Fold the stars in half outwards on the points and inwards on the inverts, then unfold and shape to make wrapping paper stars.  This is a perfect way to reuse wrapping paper.

6. Giant cardboard gingerbread house [26th]

Cardboard boxes
Any craft items

All you really need is a cardboard box and your imagination.  Children love playing in boxes and making dens.  Use your imagination and decorate a box of any size converting it to a cardboard gingerbread house.  For more inspiration 

         follow Thisdayilove's board gingerbread house - cardboard on Pinterest.    

7. Snow Paint [27]

Shaving Cream 
White school glue 
Peppermint extract 

If you would like the paint to be cold like snow place shaving cream in the fridge overnight but this is optional.  Mix equal parts of shaving cream to glue.  Add glitter to make it sparkly and a few drops of peppermint extract for that Christmas smell.  Let the little ones create magical snowy pictures.  When dry the snow has a real 3D feel and texture to it, just like snow. 

8.Ginger bread play dough [28]

1/4 cup black treacle
3/4 cup Cornflour
4 tsp Baking Soda
2 tsp Water
2 tbl Vegetable oil
1/4 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Allspice

2 Tbl + 2 tsp Flour

Mix the cornflour, baking soda, cinnamon, and allspice, then add the water, oil, and treacle.  Finally add flour and keep adding flour until the dough is no longer sticky.  Finally add flour and keep adding flour until the dough is no longer sticky. Then let your little ones play and use their creativity to create shapes, nativity scenes etc.– whatever they fancy!

9. Snow man lantern [29]

Empty Arla Big Milk bottle
Fairy lights
Felt pens

These are a wonderful way to light up a winter night.  There are some great examples, with full instructions, on this Pinterest board.

         Follow Thisdayilove's board Milk Bottle Lanterns on Pinterest.  

10. Ice painting [30]

Block ice [freeze water in a Tupperware container]

Watercolour paints

Place the block of ice onto a tray and let your little one paint away.  As the ice melts the colours mix together creating patterns, shapes and new colours.  My children love this activity as they get to create a mess whilst creating patterns and pictures.  They find it lots of fun.  Also a big bonus is that it is easy to clean up as you simply clean the tray afterwards!

11 Snowman milk bottles [31st]

Small glass/plastic bottles
Arla Big Milk
Felt pen

Take your pen and draw buttons down the side of the bottle.  Attach a ribbon round the neck of the bottle and then fill with Arla Big Milk.  Enjoy your Arla Big Milk in style with a straw!

12. Polar bear masks [1st]

Paper plate
Tissue paper [white]
Black pom pom
Pipe cleaner

Cut out two eyes and then stick tissue paper all over the paper plate.   Attach the black pom pom for the nose and a pipe cleaner for the mouth.  My girls have fun running round scaring people as a polar bear. 

13. Bird feeders [2nd]

Bird seed

Add bird seeds to melted lard and pour into moulds.  Leave to set in the fridge overnight and then hang out in the garden for the birds.

14. Milk bottle igloo [3rd]

Lots of empty Arla Big Milk bottles

We simply love the idea of building a Milk Bottle igloo and are currently saving up our Arla Big Milk bottles to build one of our own.  Some of our favourites are on  Thisdayilove's Pinterest board

Arla Big Milk would love to see some snaps of your little one’s first moments, upload them onto Twitter using #BigSteps and you can see everyone else’s cute snaps.

“I am a member of the Mumsnet Bloggers Network Research Panel, a group of parent bloggers who have volunteered to review products, services, events and brands for Mumsnet. I have not paid for the product or to attend an event. I have editorial control and retain full editorial integrity. I have received a voucher as a token of thanks for this post”.

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