7 Simple and Fun Toddler Activities for January
The holidays and excitement of the New Year have worn off and we are officially in the middle of January. How did that happen?! Mama, if you find yourself at home with a toddler and not sure what to do with them all.day.long, I have you covered! I have gathered some of my favorite toddler activities for January right here to help!
The after holiday letdown is a REAL thing and I am here to help make the transition back to a normal routine with your toddler easier and more enjoyable with these simple activities.
If you are looking for simple and fun toddler activities for January that will take you less than 5 minutes to prep, I have got you covered! I have collected 7 engaging and hands-on activities that you can do with your toddler this January and beyond. These toddler activities will help bring some fun into your day, provide more structure, and help work on important skills that our toddlers and preschoolers need to be successful in school.
Grab your cup of coffee and let’s get to do it!
1. WATERCOLOR SNOWFLAKES
This easy art activity is perfect for your toddlers and preschoolers to do at home to celebrate the beginning of winter! Materials are simple and so is the set up, which in my eyes is the best kind of activity! My daughter really enjoyed creating these snowflakes and I have a feeling we will be making more soon.
- blue construction paper
- white paper doilies
- watercolor palette
- glitter glue (optional)
- white crayon
To create these watercolor snowflakes, simply have your little one paint the white paper doilies with the watercolor paint of their choice. Once dry, glue the doily to a piece of blue construction paper. Decorate with glitter glue and white crayon snowflakes to complete the picture.
2. SNOWY SMALL WORLD PLAY
This was an instant hit for our toddler and so easy to put together. We are not in an area where snow in the winter will happen for us so we had to get creative and make our own! My daughter has had quite the fascination with snow lately so I knew this activity would be a hit! I created this 2 ingredient snow so quickly and then paired it with our favorite Arctic Animals from Safari Ltd. for a snowy sensory bin.
- 1/2 cup of white conditioner
- 3 cups of baking soda
- plastic bin
- Safari Ltd. Arctic Animals TOOB (affiliate link)
- scoops, bowls, and spoons
- blue and white gems
First, create your 2 ingredient snow and add it to your plastic bin. To create the snowy small world play, add in the Arctic animals, blue gems to look like water, and some scoops and bowls to keep the play going for your toddler. This snowy sensory bin is sure to be a hit with your toddlers all winter long!
3. MELTED SNOWMAN SENSORY BIN
Like I said earlier, as Floridians we have to get pretty creative with our winter play. So, I thought a melted snowman sensory bin was pretty appropriate for us! This set up is super simple and will keep your toddler engaged and playing inside for a long time! Not to mention, this would be a great activity to discuss some weather vocabulary too!
- large shallow plastic bin
- glitter (optional)
- Melted snowman pieces:
- black foam pieces cut out to make hats
- googly eyes
- twigs for arms
- different colored buttons
- white pom poms
I paired our melted snowman bin with a cardboard cut out of a snowman to have my daughter put it back together and we loved doing that together. This melted snowman sensory bin is sure to keep your little one engaged!
4. HOT CHOCOLATE CLOUD DOUGH
This was such a hit for my daughter and even though we tried it in December, it absolutely is still a great January activity or really all winter long! Cloud dough, if you’ve never tried it before, is a simple 3 ingredient sensory base that is great for your littlest littles since it’s taste safe! It’s one of the easiest sensory bases I have ever made and a well-loved filler that gets tons of play.
- 3 1/2 cups of flour
- 1 cup of oil
- 1/2 cup of cocoa
- plastic bin
- play tea set (optional)
- spoons and cups
- cookie cutters (optional)
The consistency of cloud dough is similar to play dough when you mold it but crumbles easily. The best part of this sensory recipe is that it’s taste-safe so it’s great for sibling play. A little tip while playing with this since it is messy, I made the hot cocoa cloud dough in a smaller plastic bin and then set it up in a larger shallow plastic bin to try and contain the mess.
5. MITTEN COUNTING MATS
These mitten counting mats are the perfect addition to an arctic animals sensory bin. These counting mats are great exposure to number recognition with a wintry twist. These mitten mats can be used with play dough, mini erasers, and cotton balls to imitate snow balls! I love having these activities from my January Learn and Play activity packet that I can easily print and play with my daughter!
- arctic animal mini-erasers from Target
- cotton balls
- play dough
- Mitten counting mats from January Learn and Play Toddler Activities packet
Pair these mitten counting mats with your manipulatives to help your little one practice counting and number recognition!
6. PENGUIN ICE RESCUE
This is hands down one of my all-time favorite activities that my daughter and I have done together. Your little one’s job when doing this activity is to use their fine motor tools with water and salt to rescue the penguins from the frozen block. This kept us busy and playing for almost 30 minutes. I have NEVER had such an extended amount of time for an activity ever! After we did this, I adopted the saying, “Freeze all the things!” This is such a super simple set up and will yield so much engagement!
- a baking pan
- blue food coloring
- Penguins from Safari Ltd. TOOB
- fine motor tools like a squirt bottle, spoon, or droppers
To set up this activity, simply fill a baking pan with water and one drop of blue food coloring. Sprinkle the penguins inside and freeze the pan over night. Run the pan under cool water for a few minutes before emptying it into a larger plastic bin and have your little one rescue the penguins by squirting warm water and salt onto the ice block!
7. FROZEN PLAY DOUGH TRAY
Any other little Frozen fans in your house?! Mine too! This Frozen themed play dough tray can be set up at any time of year but is definitely fun during the winter months! You can use homemade play dough or store bought to set this up, it’s all your choice. Play dough trays are some of our absolute favorites but I find it helpful to have another activity tray nearby for my daughter to build on.
- an appetizer tray from the Dollar Tree
- Frozen figurines (We love the figurines from this busy book #affiliatelink)
- blue and clear gems
- play dough
- bottle brush trees
Set up your Frozen play dough tray and let your little one explore! I also have added popsicle sticks to this tray to help create little shelters for the characters.
I hope you enjoy these favorite January activities that you can easily set up for your toddler to do at home! Make sure to tag us on Instagram @teachtalkinspire if you try one!
If you’re still looking for easy printable activities to do with your little ones, make sure to check out my Learn and Play Activity packets to learn and play at home with your children!