10 Fun Family Winter Activities
Don’t let your kids use cold and snowy weather as an excuse to sit on the couch watch TV. Winter offers too many opportunities for parents and kids to get up and moving, while smiling all the time. As a bonus, going activities outside should tire out your young ones for a good night’s sleep.
Play snow trail tag
This is a fun way to get exercise. Have the kids shuffle their feet through the snow to make intersecting paths all around the yard, then have the person who is “It” chase everyone else. The number one rule is that each participant must stay inside a snow trail.
Build a snowman
Before rolling and stacking (or piling and sculpting) a snowman, take your kids to a thrift store. Give each a few dollars and let them pick out some fashionable attire. Your children will probably love dressing their snowman as much as building it.
Get into a snowball fight
Have kids compile an arsenal of snowballs and let the war begin. Fill a spray bottle of water and food coloring so each team can make its own signature weapons.
Blow frozen bubbles
When the air temperature is cold enough, soap bubble mix will stay liquid in bottles held in kids’ hands, but bubbles will freeze as they float through the air after being blown. Encourage your young ones to compete to see who can blow the biggest frozen bubble.
Start by taking your kids to a bulk food store and letting them pick out a variety of candy for decorating the house. When you get home, let them help you make the gingerbread from scratch by mixing and rolling out dough. Putting the actual house together from slabs of gingerbread is more of an adult’s job, but invite your kids to go crazy with the licorice door frames and gumdrop roof shingles. If doing all that sounds like too much trouble, you can buy and build gingerbread house kits. Either way, this activity is sure to fill an afternoon with delicious fun.
Take your kids on a short hike to collect pinecones. At home, slather peanut butter over the cones and roll them in bird seed. Tie a piece of string around the base or to the stem of each pinecone and have the children tie the birdfeeders they made to trees in your yard. Kids will enjoy watching the hungry birds their creations attract.
Cut out sassy snowflakes
Break out the glitter and crayons, then hand your kids sheets of white paper. Let the children decorate the paper however they like and teach them how to cut out snowflake shapes by folding the paper and moving scissors in a set pattern as you snip.
Stage a shoveling competition
This can be a great way to get kids active while ensuring an important chore gets done. Set a time limit, give each child an appropriately sized snow shovel and get them started on clearing the porch, sidewalk or driveway. Offer small prizes for whoever completes his or her section the fastest or makes the bigger pile. Kids will enjoy competing and the feeling that they’re helping out.
Create a snow maze
Snow forts are fun, but they have roofs that can collapse and pose dangers for young children. Try building a snow maze instead. Have kids form the walls of the maze and then race to see who can get through it fastest. This activity can take a few days to complete.
This classic way of enjoying winter weather remains among the best. If their sleds are made of wood, let your kids wax the bottoms before hitting the hillsides.