12 Winter Sensory Activities and Creative Play Ideas for Kids

Join the fun with 12 winter sensory activities for kids. Try snow & ice pop painting, frozen water beads, plus playdough, kinetic sand and lots of winter themed play ideas.

Sensory play is so much fun for kids AND an important part of brain development. We gathered together some amazing winter sensory activities that are great no matter what the weather is around you.

Most sensory play setups are simple to set up and typically keep kids engaged for a while (yay!) Many of the ideas below include items you might already have in your pantry or back yard (think–snow!).

But if not, don’t hesitate to make substitutions. Let these ideas serve as a starting point to inspire your own family’s creative play this winter.

Frozen Water Bead Play

Winter Sensory Activities for Kids

Penguins frozen in ice eggs for winter sensory play_redvioletstudio

1. Penguins in Frozen Eggs from Red Violet Studio

We love this combination of sensory play and science exploration for kids! Freeze penguins (or any wintry animal) in ice eggs and let your children use salt and water to try and free them.

Frozen water beads sensory play_coffeandspitup

2. Frozen Water Beads from Coffee and Spit Up

We love this sensory table set up! Frozen water beads are perfect for scooping, dumping, and creating little homes for arctic animals.

Ice Pop Painting with The Joyful Learner

3. Ice Pop Painting from The Joyful Learner

Make your own paints by freezing water mixed with food coloring or liquid watercolors. Your child can paint while observing what happens to ice when it melts.

4. Snowflakes at the Light Table from Scissor.Tales Play

Create a DIY Light table and view materials in a whole new way! Try this invitation to create snowflakes using glass beads, sea glass, popsicle sticks and toothpicks.

arctic animal sensory play_thematernalhobbyist

5. Arctic Animal Sensory Play from The Maternal Hobbyist

If you don’t have snow in your area, use kinetic sand in its place! We love this invitation to explore using arctic animals, glass gems, and wooden pieces.

Child painting snow with liquid watercolors and pipettes.

6. Snow Painting from Little Mainer Art Studio

Try this super simple color mixing activity using fresh snow, liquid watercolors & pipettes. Then pull out any little figurines for a fun art play invitation.

penguin sensory playdough_funincocoon

7. Penguin Playdough Invitation from Fun in Cocoon

We love the sparkly blue playdoh that’s part of this inviting set up. Your child can create their own penguin habitat using all the different parts.

winter snow construction bin_littlehandstherapy

8. Winter Construction Sensory Bin from Little Hands Therapy

This is the perfect sensory bin if your child loves to watch the plows go by on a snowy day. Let them get in on the action with their own diggers and see how much fun snow removal can be!

salt melting ice experiment

9. Salt Ice Melting Experiment from the Artful Parent

If you have a budding scientist at home, this is an absolute must-try! Freeze water into different shapes, add salt and liquid watercolors and watch what happens!

Penguin with snow and rice sensory bin_funincocoon

10. Penguin Sensory Bin with Rice and Snow from Fun In Cocoon

Your child can play pretend in Antarctica with this fun set up. Combine real snow with some colored rice, a few scoops and other wintry objects, and of course some penguins!

Crinkle paper winter sensory_thisgreenschoolhouse

11. Crinkle Paper Winter Sensory Bin from This Green Schoolhouse

Crinkly paper (the kind that comes as packing material) is the perfect stand in for snow! And bonus: your hands don’t get cold playing with it!

Coconut Snow sensory bin_moose_andfriends

12. Let It Snow Sensory Bin from Moose and Friends

Coconut flakes are also a perfect stand in for snow! Little scoops and bowls provide some great sensory play and fine motor development.

Aquafaba play foam for kids

More Sensory Ideas for Kids

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Winter Sensory Play Activities for Kids

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