Montessori principles aren’t only for the classroom - they can be a component of your child’s play wherever they are. When cold weather strikes, it can be a great time to go outdoors, get active and enjoy the crisp winter air (and snow, if possible)!
These Montessori-aligned toys are great for taking advantage of milder cold weather days, as well as staying cozy for indoor play. Whether you opt for play or practical life skills like baking, these are some of our favorites for Montessori aligned cold weather play.
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We love looking for Montessori-aligned games for our family, and this one is perfect for winter time fun. Don’t Break The Ice helps your child develop fine motor skills and predictive reasoning in a way few other children’s games can.
This terrarium is a great way to explore how things can grow all year long when given the right environment! Setting one up is a tremendous amount of fun and provides ample opportunity to examine and observe as it develops.
For lower elementary kids, consider pairing the terrarium with a journal that allows them to draw and write about the changes they see each day.
With winter comes the best time for baking together! While we have many ideas on how to encourage Montessori kids in the kitchen, one of our favorite kitchen must-haves is this Guidecraft Kitchen Step-Up so your little ones can better stand by your side to bake up some yummy treats.
Puzzles are always fun on days when going outside isn’t an option, and I especially love these dinosaur-themed ones for your budding paleontologist.
Speaking of puzzles, we had to include this solar system puzzle that makes for a great accompaniment to our solar system unit study.
And if you’re ready for even more science fun, definitely check out this Volcano Making kit from 4M. Learning cause and effect along with chemistry and a showy volcanic eruption - what’s not to love?
For hours of indoor fun during the winter months, be sure to check out this Wooden Marble Run that provides endless opportunities for experimenting, spatial thinking, and multisensory learning.
Just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean your little ones should spend the majority of their time indoors! In fact, there are lots of opportunities for learning as the weather changes and cool temperatures arrive (especially when it snows!) Learning to appreciate the winter time and all the magic it can bring is also a great way to incorporate multisensory learning.
While technically a sand and water table, there’s no reason this set-up can’t also be used for snow play!
Along those same lines, any “beach” toys also make for great snow molds.
Take the snow play one step further by incorporating an opportunity for color play! Pick up some spray bottles and fill each with a different color, using food coloring.
Washable paints also work great for painting snow! It can be great fun creating snow sculptures, painting them, and then watching the colors change or mix as the art melts away:
What sort of animals do we see in winter? Are they different from the ones we see in summer? Use these binoculars to have fun spotting the differences in seasons and exploring the outdoors.
Along those same lines, I really love this outdoor exploration kit. Your child will have so much fun exploring that you’ll probably be ready to head inside before they are.
Cold weather fun indoors and out
The colder months bring a new set of experiences, from changes in the day’s length and temperature to snow and ice. Each of these differences are a sensory learning experience, and provide kinesthetic benefits as well (it’s harder to walk in snow, for instance, and kids with special needs who need heavy work will thrive in this environment!).
These toys allow you to take advantage of the outdoor fun that cold weather can bring while having some backup plans for when it’s just too yucky to go outside. Doing a floor puzzle or learning to bake with mom and dad is a day well spent, and another opportunity for Montessori-aligned learning.