With cold days and snow blanketing the ground, plan some fun activities for you and the family close to home! While some trails may be snow-covered and inaccessible and with temperatures falling, you may be hesitant to head out on a hike. If that’s the case, you can still enjoy some snow play from your own home or neighborhood. Here are ten ways you can still enjoy the snow this winter and get some fresh air and exercise with your children.
10 Snow Play Ideas for Winter
1. Winter Scavenger Hunt
Hide some objects in the snow for your children to find (picking brightly colored objects may help make finding the objects easier for young children). If you’re up for more of a challenge and want to leave your own yard, get this scavenger hunt printable and head around the neighborhood or to the park and use your senses to experience all the wonders winter has to offer. You could also make colored ice cubes inside and hide them outside for your little ones to find.
2. Build a Snowman
A classic winter activity, building snowmen is fun for the whole family. Get creative and make a snow family, complete with snowmen, snow women, and snow children! Bring out old hats and gloves to accessorize your new snow family. Kids may be excited to see if you can build a snowman taller than them! Let your creativity fly with this timeless activity. You can also play “pin the nose on the snowman” when kids are blindfolded and need to best place a carrot or piece of coal on the snowman while blindfolded.
3. Paint in the Snow
While the snow can be beautiful in and of itself, make it your canvas to further the beauty. This site recommends using tempera paint powders for an eco-friendly, non-toxic option. The beauty of painting the snow is that with each new snowfall you’re left with a blank canvas.
4. Build a Snow Fort
If your ambitions take you beyond building a snowman, try making a snow fort! Your young builders can start by designing their fort on paper and then making that design a reality outside. You can even use your beach toys that are normally filled with sand and fill them with snow instead to help create details on your fort!
5. Make a Target
If your kids like to throw snowballs, but a snowball fight is not something you want to start, practice pitching instead! Draw a target, complete with a bulls-eye, on some cardboard and place it somewhere outside. Throw the snowballs at the target to try and get a bulls-eye!
6. Play Tic-Tac-Toe
Head outside, grab a stick, and draw a Tic-Tac-Toe board! Use sticks to mark your Xs and Os. When the game is over, you can find a fresh patch of snow and play again!
7. Look for Animal Tracks
Take a walk around the neighborhood, down your driveway or maybe just in your backyard. Do you see any tracks? Maybe you’ll spot dog paw prints, deer tracks or footprints from birds!
8. Create a Construction Site
If you have vehicle-loving children, take them outside with one of their construction trucks. (Or if you happen to see older model construction toys for sale at a garage sale, buy some for outdoor use.) Kids love to push the snow around and make piles with their construction vehicles and even race trucks down the snow piles.
9. Blow Bubbles
Another part of summer fun doesn’t have to end just because the weather changes! If you’re in an area where the weather drops below 32 degrees, try blowing bubbles outside! Watch them freeze in the air or on the bubble wand.
10. Explore a Favorite Trail
If the roads and trails are passable, head to your favorite trail that you usually see with new tree buds or autumn colors and explore (if the trail is clear enough for hiking). Note the differences on trail in the winter. Maybe you’ll spot different animals, see tracks or discover creeks iced over. It’s fun to see the changes that take place on trail as the seasons change.
What kind of snow play activities do you with your kids? Let us know in the comments below.
- 10 Reasons why getting out in the cold is good for your soul
- 8 Unique Ways to Take Advantage of the Long Nights of Winter
- 7 Unique and Creative Winter Hikes Your Kids Will Love
Photos by Jessie Emslie and Jessica Human.