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What is your winter weather like? We have beautiful seasons here in the Midwest, but one way we pay for that is having a definite winter. While I’d be perfectly happy spending these wintry days snuggled on the couch reading to my crew, I can’t do that all day. Because unless we get outside, there will be no peaceful reading.
There will be arguments about who gets to sit next to me, the snatching of books from a sibling’s hand, and loud disagreements about which book we’ll read next. Meanwhile, our baby will be cruising the couch, sobbing so loudly that we cannot hear the story.
They just have to get outside.
On those days when your kids need some fresh cold air, but insist they’d much rather stay in the house, they’ll do better if you have a plan. Frankly, playing games in the snow holds as much appeal to me as taking a cold bath. But when my husband is not on hand for some sledding fun, the job of outside entertainment falls to me.
10 Easy Snow Activities for Kids
1. Use your summer playground equipment. Swings are fun in the winter too. If it’s a melting snow day, you can scrape the ice off the playset ladder or stairs and head on up. The slide is super fast, and the kids will land on a cushion of snow.
2. Get out the sand toys. It’s also a great idea to invest in a child-sized snow shovel. This is our kids’ favorite winter toy.
3. Throw snowballs. Have a contest to see who can throw the farthest. (You will probably have to make the snowballs.)
4. Play the old outdoor standbys. Mother May I, Simon Says, and Red Light/Green Light all work in the snow. Have you ever played What Time Is It, Mr. Wolf? One child is the wolf, and the others form a line some distance away. The children ask Mr. Wolf what time it is. The wolf, with his back to the others, calls out a time. The children take that number of steps forward. Finally the wolf calls out “Lunch time!” and turns to chase the children back to their starting point.
5. Make snow critters. Create a small animal from snow and decorate with sticks, pine needles, and anything else you can find.
6. Write in the snow. Use sticks or icicles.
7. Create a snowy day obstacle course. This is a favorite with our four-year-old and especially our kindergartner. It’s my favorite because it gets the kids moving. You don’t need any special equipment. If you want, time the participants to see who’s fastest (be prepared to take a turn yourself!).
Sample obstacle course:
a) Run from the tree to the playhouse. Use the snow shovel to fill the sand bucket.
b) Stomp to the pine tree. Make a smile in the snow with a stick.
c) Do a wide walk to the patio. Touch your toes.
d) Run to the swing set. Make a snow angel.
e) Tag the starting tree, and you’re done!
8. Do story book burpies. Here’s a fun, original idea from the blog Family Adventures in the Canadian Rockies. All you need is a book about snow (or a story you make up yourself). This is another great one for burning off energy.
9. Find the fox. If you have newly fallen snow, choose one child to be the fox while the rest are hunters. While the fox runs to hide, the hunters cover their eyes and count. The hunters follow the tracks to find the fox.
10. Make a snow house. We’re not talking igloo here. Just use your hands or a shovel to make short walls to divide the rooms and create a home. The kids can “sleep” in their bedroom and make snow soup in the kitchen.
P.S. Looking for even more simple play ideas for kids? We recommend Hands On As We Grow’s activity plans. They’re perfect for toddlers and preschoolers!
Get more snow play ideas by following my Winter Pinterest board!
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