January Activities for Kids – Seasonal Ideas

January 8, 2021
January Activities for kids with a picture of all the activities in this post

Welcome to January activities for kids and what I hope will become a helpful monthly seasonal resource. I really want to share some activities that will hopefully engage your children and spark their creativity.

I love it when our kids become immersed in an activity, even for just 20 minutes, as it gives me a sense that I have achieved something with them that day to help eliminate dreaded mum guilt!

We love our crafts and activities to be simple, seasonal, and relatively fuss free. I like to try and use items you can find around the home and outdoors. I’m also mindful of the environment where I can be.

We have 4 children ranging from teens to preschool. A lot of our activities are early years and primary aged focused but that said some of these crafts and activities are enjoyed by my tween. She can also be handy as she enjoys helping the younger ones set up their play or offers ideas to extend the activity for them. I’m always amazed how children’s creativity and curiosity find ways to play with things that we present them with that we would never have thought of ourselves.

January Activities

Now to get on with sharing our seasonal arts, craft and activity ideas.

Apple Birdfeeders

apple bird feeders hanging from a tree

We love making different bird feeders- see our previous 5 different bird feeders blog post . This one is a really simple way to teach children the importance of feeding garden birds in Winter.

All you need is
apple with a cookie cutter

Take your apple and press a small cookie cutter into it. Leaving the cookie cutter in, simply scoop some apple out to leave a hole.

apple with a heart

(Grown up ) Pierce an apple with a skewer and feed some string through and loop and tie.

Mix some birdseed with a teaspoon of peanut butter or lard and fill the apple hole with the mixture.

Hang the apple up for the birds to enjoy.

Ice Painting

January activities with a picture with a blue ice cube

We have done easy ice painting before for early years ice play suitable for toddlers. This ice painting engaged them even more than the last one and even better it’s a toddler safe recipe. We decided to make snowflake pictures with the ice paints and then one to freestyle.

All you need is

Empty yoghurt pots or a deep ice cube tray

Food colouring

Lolly sticks

Fill a yoghurt pot with water and add a drop of food colouring. We found blue to be really effective, red and purple but experiment that’s what’s fun about this activity.

coloured ice cubes set in yoghurt pots with lolly sticks

Stick a lolly stick into the water. Then I found it easier to place another yoghurt pot (with a slit in the top of the pot) over the filled pot to keep the lolly stick straight. Alternatively you could place a small duplo block over the top for little hands to grip hold of.

Place in freezer. Prepare the paper if wanting to do a snowflake picture. We did this by placing paper tape on paper for our youngest to paint over. Once the coloured water is frozen run under warm water briefly and slide the ice cube out. Use the now empty yoghurt pot as a place to rest in during the activity.

Frozen Lanterns

ice lantern with foliage inside lit up by a tea light

Another ice activity. Ours found this STEAM activity great fun. If possible do this on a freezing cold night or alternatively make use of your freezer.

All you need is

Bowls

Tape

Foliage and berries. You could also use dried orange slices leftover from Christmas time.

Water

Tealight

We placed some leaves and berries on the bottom of the bowl and then put one smaller Ikea plastic bowl into a ceramic bowl and taped it in to keep secure. We then poked foliage around the sides and filled with water.

2 bowls taped together

Once frozen overnight outside or in the freezer you can run the bowl under lukewarm water and pop the ice bowl out carefully. Let your littles examine it and then pop it in the freezer and take out in the and pop a tea light inside and see it glow outdoors in the evening.

2 ice bowls with foliage frozen inside on a sheepskin

Tips

Frozen Iced Biscuits

iced biscuits with blue icing and snowflake sprinkles

A simple food activity for young children.

All you need is

Rich tea biscuits

Icing sugar

Blue Food colouring

Water

Sprinkles

Mix icing sugar with water and food colouring and decorate your biscuit. If you can get hold of some Christmas sprinkles or have leftover ones then use them. Alternatively use any kind of sprinkles!

Natural Playdough

natural play dough with foliage and wooden tools

I like January for its simplicity after the indulgent month of December. I like to use up things in the home and keep things frugal and simple. this play dough activity is just that. Make up a batch of plain flour play dough with no food colouring necessary. Pop in simple resources in a tray for play. I wanted to use items from my Christmas wreath and our wooden tools for play.

Resources you could use

Dried orange slices

Cinnamon sticks /Star Anise / cloves /dried chickpeas

Foliage, sticks and pinecones

Rolling pin, scoops and spoons

Playdough recipe

Winter Tree Painting

a tree painted with bubble wrap and paint

This is an effective way to paint a snowy tree scene using plastic bubble wrap that you have kicking around from leftover Christmas delivery packages.

a child smiling with a painting of a snowy tree

Draw a bare tree and then let your child loose with some bubble wrap dipped in white paint.

Snowman Kebab

a snowman kebab made from bananas and fruit

This is one that I stole from my daughters preschool ideas board. We tweaked it to ingredients we had at home.

All you need is

Banana

Hat – Strawberry / Raspberries / Grapes / Blueberries

Eyes and buttons – Currants

Nose – Carrot

Kebab stick

Let your little one slice up the banana. With supervision help them thread the banana onto the kebab stick and add the fruit to make a bobble hat. Gently press currants into the banana for eyes and buttons. Then take a small piece of carrot and place as his nose. You could always serve with some squirty cream for snow!

Winter Outdoor Ideas

a young boy holding up ice and smiling

We love being outdoors, even in the depths of Winter we dress them in waterproofs and many layers, take a flask of hot squash or hot chocolate and head outdoors. There is still so much to spot and discover in Winter. Just playing out in the frost, ice and snow amuses our children greatly. Bringing back nature treasures to use with paint or play dough trays or freeze them for ice exploration. I have a useful post with 5 activities to get motivated outdoors in Winter which includes a free printable scavenger hunt.

I hope that these January activities have provided you with a few simple ideas for the month. I will be back every month of 2021 with seasonal arts, crafts, activities and outdoor inspiration. We would love to hear if you try any of these activities and do share them with us. You can follow me over on instagram for more ideas, tips and day to day family life.

Love Charlotte

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