Winter has its own charm with snowy landscapes and chilly air, but it also means more time spent indoors with little ones. Don’t let the cold keep your child from exploring nature, however. Inspired by the Montessori philosophy, we’ve gathered a few delightful ways to bring the great outdoors inside during the winter season. These activities will not only captivate your child’s imagination but also nurture their connection to the natural world, right from the comfort of your home.

Snow Play Indoors

There’s an old Scandinavian saying you may be familiar with that goes, “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing.”  While true to some degree, everyone has their limits. Sub-freezing temperatures are severe, and you may not be keen on taking your infant or young child in such frigid weather.

The answer?  Bring a little bit of the white stuff inside for them to explore.  This idea is as simple as it gets but can provide your baby or toddler with an interesting and enriching experience.  Grab a tray, a sturdy bowl, or even a heavy baking dish, and put just a few handfuls of snow inside.  Set it on a floor surface that you don’t mind getting a little wet and invite your child to explore.  A large bath towel underneath can make the whole experience a little more comfortable for them and make cleanup even easier for you. It’s a simple yet enriching sensory experience that promotes tactile exploration and keeps your little one warm and cozy.

Things You Need:

  • Tray or shallow container
  • Snow (collected on a snowy day)
  • Large bath towel
  • Child-safe winter-themed toys

(In the meantime, if you have older kids you can send them outside to try out some of these cool snow experiments!)

Plant a Few Seeds

It may not be prime gardening season but the warmth inside should be enough for this fun activity.  Keep in mind the point is just to grow something; don’t worry about producing edible vegetables or gorgeous blooms. Gather materials and involve your child in planting, watering, and observing the growth process. It’s not about the result but the joy of nurturing something.

Find a warm, sunny spot in your home and have your child help you plant, water, and observe the seed.  You can read books together about plants, research the specific plant you’re growing, or even tie in some math with measurement and data collection.

Feeling inspired?  This is a great time of year to begin planning your spring garden!  Children will love helping to draw out plans and look through seed catalogs.

Things You Need:

  • Small pot or container, preferably with adequate drainage, but anything similar will do.
  • Some potting soil which you can pick up at Home Depot or Lowes if the ground outside your house is frozen.
  • Seeds! These can really be anything. Perhaps you have some leftover bean seeds from last year’s garden.  Maybe you have some dried lentils in your pantry.  You could even save a few seeds from that pepper you cut up for dinner.
  • A warm sunny spot in your home!

Create Nature-Inspired Tablescapes

Everyone appreciates a beautiful centerpiece.  Why spend money on flowers wrapped in plastic when you can find beauty in your own backyard?  On milder days, take a nature walk with your child to collect beautiful pieces for your tablescape. Keep an eye out for:

  • Interesting branches (birch and dogwood have unexpected color, but regular brown colored branches are just as pretty!).
  • Evergreen foliage—pine, holly, and other types of shrubs and bushes can give your home a beautiful green look.
  • Dried berries and flowers.

Back home, arrange these findings in your chosen vase or container (even a mason jar or glass milk bottle should do) and proudly display what you find. Add candles, ribbons, or other decorative items you have lying around. Ask your kids to come up with ideas, too!

Things You Need:

  • Vase, mason jar, or glass milk bottle
  • Found natural objects from your walk.

Make Treats for Feathered Friends

Ice, snow, and frigid temperatures can make finding food difficult for wild animals.  Have fun making treats for them while also cultivating a sense of generosity with your children.  Remember covering pinecones with peanut butter and birdseed when you were a child? Birds still love them. Find whatever string or yarn you have and hang them from nearby bushes and trees.

Another fun project: pop up a big batch of popcorn, and using a needle and thread, make a long string to hang.  This activity is great for older children, and as a bonus they can snack while they create.

Things You Need:

  • Pinecones
  • Peanut butter
  • Birdseed
  • String or yarn

Looking for more ideas?  Check out this site.

Wondering whether it’s a good idea to feed the birds?  Here’s what the Audubon Society has to say about it.

Create a Bird Watching Station

All those bird treats you made together?  Put them on double duty: set them up in a spot where your children can see the birds out the window and you can create hours of entertainment. If you happen to have a window that looks out toward trees or bushes, it may just be the perfect spot to try and attract local birds.

Set up some bird feeders or homemade bird treats and wait for them to come.  Meanwhile, set the scene inside as well.  A comfortable chair or pillow on the floor will encourage children to sit and watch.  Visit your local library and borrow a few bird-specific field guides to help with identification.  Other fun items to leave nearby: a pair of binoculars, a sketch pad and colored pencils, or a journal.

Things You Need:

  • Bird feeders or homemade bird treats
  • Comfortable chair or cushion
  • Binoculars
  • Bird field guides
  • Sketch pad and colored pencils
  • Journal


Winter doesn’t have to mean the end of outdoor adventures. With these Montessori-inspired indoor activities, your child can continue to explore and connect with the natural world, even when the snow falls and temperatures drop. Embrace the beauty of winter from the comfort of your home, fostering creativity, curiosity, and a lifelong appreciation for nature in your child.

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