Author: Amber Brubaker
When winter hits, encourage your kids to play outside as much as possible. They might whine and complain that they’ve already built a snowman, so there isn’t anything more to do outside. However, these 20 creative ideas for playing in the snow just might remind them how much fun they can have outside in the winter, especially if you’re willing to go out and do these activities with them!
- Critter Sculptures
Your kids have built a snowman, but there are more things to create. Encourage them to build different animals out of snow. For example, they could roll up a series of snowballs lined in a curved row to make a caterpillar.
- Winter Bird Feeders
It’s not true that all birds head south for the winter. Many stay at home and would love a little extra food. Work with your kids to make a winter bird feeder filled with nuts and berries for the birds to eat when food is scarce. Prompt kids to check it and refill it daily.
- Snow Art
Some food coloring and water in a spray bottle can make a boring day suddenly vibrant. Fill various spray bottles with different colors of dyed water and let your kids make art on your snow-covered lawn. They’ll love it, and the best part is, it’s safe for the environment and they can start all over again every time it snows.
- Tree Decorations
Make decorations for the trees outside using nature. Design ornaments using twigs and pine boughs, or roll up snow balls and balance them on the branches like they are glass ornaments. For a fun, interactive decoration, make a popcorn and dried fruit garland and watch as the birds eat it.
- Freeze Tag
Is there a more appropriate game than freeze tag in the snow?
- Unique Snowman
Even if your kids have already built one snowman, encourage them to build another with a twist. Have them use candy to make the face or make a snow woman instead of a man.
- Winter Scavenger Hunt
Make a list of fun things your kids can find in nature around your yard. Or, freeze colored water in ice cube trays and bury them around your yard for the kids to find.
- Snow Fort
Challenge your kids to a competition to see who can build the best snow fort. Find out who made the best by having a snowball fight when you’re done.
- Sledding or Tubing
Find a nearby hill or make your own and take your kids sledding. Make sure you take the proper safety precautions before sending them down the hill. For a tutorial on how to make your own sledding hill, see this article.
Pull out your bread pans and use them as a mold to make bricks for an igloo. Or, simply fashion the dome by packing the snow into walls. If you’re having trouble getting the walls to stick and stay strong, use a little water in a spray bottle.
- Search for Animal Tracks
If you have a nature trail nearby or live in a place where wildlife frequently wanders through, take your kids for a walk to spot animal footprints. They’ll love guessing which animals made each set of tracks.
- Colored Snow Angels
Have every member of the family make a snow angel, and then color each with a food coloring and water mixture to make them stand out against the white background.
- Ice Skating
If you have a pond or public rink nearby, take your kids there. If you don’t want to pay to go somewhere or would love the convenience of having one in your own backyard, check out this tutorial on how to make an ice skating rink.
- Footprint Tag
With this fun twist on the traditional game, the tagger can only step in existing footprints in the snow when chasing the others.
- Catch Snowflakes
Spread out a black sheet or piece of paper and catch the snowflakes as they fall. Use magnifying glasses to examine them and point out the differences in each snowflake.
- Roast Marshmallows
If you have a firepit in your backyard, build a fire and roast marshmallows. If you think it’s fun in the summer, you’ll love this cozy winter activity. Sing Christmas carols rather than campfire songs as you eat your s’mores and sip hot chocolate.
- Snow Molds
Use molds from your kitchen to make different shapes out of the snow. Line them up on a table or rock and play restaurant or store.
- Frozen Bubbles
Some bubbles will freeze instantly or very quickly when exposed to cold weather. Try this activity with your family.
- Mini Maze
Create small walls and tunnels throughout your yard and then pioneer the maze. But with this maze, you have to crawl instead of walk.
- Winter Croquet
Set up the wickets and grab your mallets for a good game of croquet. It becomes more challenging when your ball sinks into the snow every time it lands. Your kids will love this old fashioned game with a twist!