There is just something about fun snowball activities that make learning fun! These snowball games and snowball ideas can be used in winter occupational therapy activities or in hands-on learning with a snowball theme. Winter fun and play is here, so snowball games are the way to go for learning activities with movement. With winter in full swing, we’ve got snowball themed math, science, art, sight words, and more!
Snowball Activities for learning
Winter learning activities can incorporate snowballs for themed, hands-on play. Whether you use paper crumbled into paper snowballs or printable snowball activities, there are so many ways to work on letter formation, handwriting, sight words, math facts, vocabulary, and much more.
Then, with snowball themed activities, there is the opportunity to add in gross motor skills, core strength, balance, coordination, motor planning, and movement.
Gross Motor Snowball Activities
Snowball Throwing Games– Incorporate learning with snowball throwing activities. If you have actual snow in your area, use that snow to scoop and make real snowballs. It’s a great way to strengthen the arms, work on bilateral coordination, and gain proprioceptive input.
Crumble Paper Snowballs- In this Snowball Fight Math, we wrote numbers on the outside of the crumbled snowball, then threw them at targets and into bins or buckets to incorporate coordination and motor planning.
Snowball Shotput Game– Kids can work on coordination, balance, AND add in movement-based sensory input in the form of vestibular sensory experiences with this snowball shotput activity. Work on visual processing skills such as tracking and convergence, too.
Adding an obstacle course is another gross motor idea for indoor winter learning or play. This idea from Toddler Approved is fun.
Snowball Fine Motor Activities
Crumble snowballs– Try crumbling paper or foam sheets to create snowballs. Inside, students can write math facts or sight words.
Scoop snowballs- Cotton balls make a nice miniature snowball. Use tongs, tweezers, or scoops to work on fine motor skills. This idea from Still Playing School can get you started.
Paint snowballs- Use colored water and some spray bottles to paint snow and improve hand strength in this painted snow activity.
Snowball target practice– Snowball Alphabet Throw is another idea.
Snowball Math Activities– Try this Comparing shapes with snowballs activity from Hands On As We Grow.
Snowball Sensory Play
For children that need to work up to tactile tolerance, this mess-free sensory play encourages kids to touch messy materials and build up their tolerance. It’s got a snow and snowball theme, so this sensory activity would work well with this theme.
Sensory Dough– Explore sensory tolerance and tactile experiences with this frozen snow dough recipe. It’s a fun one for messy sensory play. Just add sight words, math facts, or winter cards from the Winter Fine Motor Kit…or make it all about pretend play with some arctic animal figures or Frozen characters.
Snowball Art Activities- Making crafts and art is an easy way to help children develop fine motor skills and incorporate tactile sensory experiences. This Indoor snowball painting from Fantastic Fun and Learning is a fun idea.
Shaving Cream Snow- Tactile experiences can involve more than just snow! Try this Shaving Cream Snowball Big Art from Coffee Cups and Crayons.
If taking the learning to multi-sensory experiences is interesting, try this snowball Science Experiments where we experimented with actual snow.
More Winter Learning Ideas
To take learning and motor skills further, add the Winter Fine Motor Kit to your toolbox.
Use the cards and sight words in the Winter Fine Motor Kit, to challenge kids in scissor skills, reading, sight words, sequencing, storytelling, and visual perceptual skills. The Winter Fine Motor Kit has simple and complex shapes with all kinds of Winter themed images including mittens, arctic animals, penguins, snowflakes, and more. These shapes and words can be hidden in the fake snow sensory bin for kids to hide, find, and hide again.
To up the fine motor work further, add tongs, scoops, small bowls and bins, and more.
For more ways to work on scissor skills, along with all of the fine motor skills needed for scissor use and handwriting, try the Winter Fine Motor Kit. It’s loaded with cutting activities, lacing cards, coloring, clip activities, fine motor art, and fun ways to help children develop pre-writing hand strength, dexterity, and motor skills.
Use the fine motor activities, lacing cards, toothpick art, and crafts in the Winter Fine Motor Kit. It’s a 100 page packet with all winter themes, and you’ll find winter fun there!
Colleen Beck, OTR/L has been an occupational therapist since 2000, working in school-based, hand therapy, outpatient peds, EI, and SNF. Colleen created The OT Toolbox to inspire therapists, teachers, and parents with easy and fun tools to help children thrive. Read her story about going from an OT making $3/hour (after paying for kids’ childcare) to a full-time OT resource creator for millions of readers. Want to collaborate? Send an email to email@example.com.