Don’t let cold weather keep your kids hunkered down in the house when they could be outside enjoying a brisk winter day. Snow can make you feel chilly, but it is also a wonderful and versatile thing. An afternoon of childhood fun in the snow can inspire creative and imaginative play, get kids exercising, and spark memories that can be cherished for a lifetime.
Here are 10 fun activities that will have kids wanting to play outside on a snowy day:
1. Make Snow Angels: The trick to making impressive snow angels is creating them just after a fresh snow fall. The snow needs to be deep enough so that your motions, don’t expose the ground underneath you. It should also be of powdery consistency to create a nice impression. Set your bottom on the ground, lay flat on your back, and spread your arms straight out. Without bending your arms, swing them up to your head and down to your side a couple of times. Have a family competition to see who can create the most heavenly image!
2. Blow Bubbles: If it’s below 32 degrees Fahrenheit outside, blow bubbles and watch them freeze as they float in the air. Uncle Bubble provides a variety of toys that allows kids to create ‘unbelievabubble’ creations in a variety of shapes and sizes. During the winter you can do something unimaginable during the summer: hold a bubble in your hand without it popping! Even if it is too warm for them to freeze, seeing bubbles against a snowy backdrop is a sight to be seen.
3. Create Snow Forts: Encourage kids to utilize their creativity and construction skills to build the snow fort of their dreams. Once the snow fort is built, the imaginative play opportunities are limitless. Children can pretend to defend a fort from marauding yetis or act like Queen Elsa living in an ice castle. Build multiple structures to encourage backyard games of capture the flag or snowball fights against real life opponents.
4. Foam Dart Battles: Use snowy weather conditions to add a new dimension of excitement and challenge to foam dart battles. Battle to be king of the snow hill! Dart Zone Blasters have a variety of projectile launchers, ranging from its rapid fire 40-dart Enforcer Belt Blaster to the Tri-Fire 3-Pack Triple Shot Blasters. This ensures there are plenty toys for a group of kids to play with together on a wintry backyard battlefield. If kids are battling it out with foam darts, be safe rather than sorry and have them wear eye protection if they are shooting at one another.
5. Snow Ball Competition: A good old fashioned snow ball fight is always fun and free to do, since all you have to do is scoop up your ammo off the ground and toss it. If your kids don’t feel like pelting one another, take a different approach having a competition: see who has the best aim! Have them draw and color in a bulls-eye on poster board. Set up the target outside and give out a prize to the child who demonstrates having the best aim. Another option is to draw circles in the snow and see who can throw the closest to the targets from the other end of the yard.
6. Turn Clothing Into Toys: Check out Udoo Planet’s FlippMitz FUNctional mittens. They keep kids’ fingers warm in the winter, but can be flipped around to double as hand puppet characters. Children can use them to act out stories they imagine. Deocrative hats and jackets from various brands can also be used as costumes.
Creative cold-weather accessories encourage kids to pretend to be a favorite cartoon, comic book, or movie character. Alternatively, it’s another great way to use clothing as toys and get kids outside engaging in imaginative play. My son loves to wear a coat with a hood that zips up over his face making him look like a Star Wars stormtrooper.
7. Create an Artistic Masterpiece: Use the snow as a blank canvass drawing on it with your family’s Crayola markers. Interestingly, the moisture from the snow draws out the ink from the marker. Even markers you may have thought were dried out may work well. Providing a larger surface to work with than a typical piece of paper, children can create large masterpieces of artwork. Just remember to take a picture before the snow melts or your child brushes away the snow to create something else.
8. Go Sledding: Sliding down a snow covered hill is always a thrill. If you don’t have a store-bought sled handy it is always possible to improvise. A circular plastic garbage can lid or large flat panel of a cardboard box will do if the snow is compact or you have an icy surface to slide down. Have a contest building and decorating personalized sleds from cardboard boxes and race them to see whose is the best!
No one wants to dampen a good time with a visit to an emergency room. Make sure to make safety a priority when on the sledding hill. While flying down a hill head first may be exciting, that is the No. 1 no-no pediatricians have when they warn about dangers associated with sledding. Sled with feet forward so if a collision occurs, a head injury is less likely. Don’t forget a helmet!
Also conduct a walkthrough of the landing area before kids start sledding into it to make sure there aren’t any hidden hazards. Check for fallen tree branches, trash, fences or any other obstacle that could be hidden under the snow and cause a collision.
9. Cold Icicle: A winter take on the game “hot potato,” gather a group of kids in a circle. Pass an icicle around the group as a referee plays a song on a mobile device for everyone to hear. When the referee randomly stops the song, whoever is holding the icicle is “left out in the cold” and his or her participation ends. The game comes to conclusion when only one person is left. Then everyone gets to throw a snowball at the last person standing so that the winner feels like a cold icicle!
10. Do You Want To Build A Snowman?: No list of winter time activities would be complete without including building a snowman. The best conditions for building a traditionally shaped snowman is to roll up three large balls when the snow is thick and wet. If the consistency of the snow isn’t ideal for that type of snowman, it is always possible to just pile up snow and be creative in shaping it into an image of your own design, too.
Make your snowman extra special by decorating it with your own sense of style. Throw an old hat and scarf on it to make your snowman stand out. Use buttons to make its eyes and mouth. Adding a carrot for a nose is always a nice way to add personality to a snowman. Another option is decorating the face using food coloring. Use it to draw in its eyes, nose and smile. It’ll brighten up your snowman’s appearance by providing it with a colorful, personalized hand-drawn touch.
Winter doesn’t have to be a time to dread if you make an effort to create enjoyable experiences during it. Also, check out this post from fellow Parent Panelist Charlene DeLoach on how to make snow cream! Another fun snow day activity!
What are your family’s favorite outdoor activity to do on a snowy day?