Have fun with your little ones on a candy cane hunt. This winter outdoor activity is a blast! Going on a candy cane hunt gave us a fun reason to get outside and play in the snow. I even incorporated the alphabet and numbers 1-9. Also, my toddler and I made the candy canes before I decked out our yard with them.
Pipe Cleaner Candy Canes
First thing first, we need candy canes for this winter outdoor activity. I decided to make candy canes out of red and white pipe cleaners. There is the option of using real candy canes, but making them was an activity in itself.
To make pipe cleaner candy canes twist a white and red pipe cleaner together and fold over the top. If you want to add some eye hand coordination and counting practice to this activity get some large beads to thread on the candy canes. I placed numbers in a bowl 1-9 and my toddler picked a number. After we identified the number he counted out that many beads and threaded them on the candy canes.
Once my toddler got going making the candy canes I started making tags. The tags had each letter of the alphabet and numbers 1-9. I used some laminating paper from the dollar store to laminate the labels. If it is dry out where you live you can skip this step. We have fresh snow outside so I laminated my labels to make them waterproof. I attached the labels by punching a hole in the corner and threading it on the bottom of my pipe cleaner candy cane.
Finally, I made a master list with the letters and numbers. During nap time I placed the candy canes all over our yard. I put them low enough that my toddler could reach them. Think easter egg hunt for toddlers.
Candy Cane Hunt
After nap we got ready & grabbed a bucket to put our candy canes in. As my toddler found each candy cane we identified what was on each tag. My toddler said if it was a number or letter and what number or letter it was. Then we found the matching letter or number on the list and crossed it off with a straight line.
This candy cane hunt was a great activity that took up a nice part of the day. In the morning we made the candy canes out of the pipe cleaners. After nap we went on the candy cane hunt. We were able to incorporate eye hand coordination, counting, letters and number recognition into our candy cane hunt. With 26 letters and 9 numbers we had plenty of candy canes to find.