Oh, the snow! It is the sand of winter. You can roll around in it or use it to build lots of things… But we prefer it outdoors.
Children love to play in the fresh snow. And make a snowman, of course! There are, however, plenty of other activities to have fun and keep active during the winter.
Dress your children warmly and let them have a lot of fun taking a breath of fresh air. Who knows, they might even end up preferring snow to sand!
1. Buried treasure hunt (in the snow)
Awaken the pirate soul of your children by asking them to find buried treasure. Hide items in the snow (mark off the area according to their age) and give them the exact number of items to find (12 toy cars, 15 plastic dinosaurs, etc.). They will have a blast!
2. Snow cookies
Spread hard snow on a cookie sheet and cut out shapes with cookie cutters. Place your “cookies” on a second baking sheet and pretend to bake them for as long as your child wants. Yum! Decorate the cookies with bits of twigs, berries or other toppings found nearby.
3. Snow Maze
Use shovels, snowshoes or just your feet to dig a maze in your garden or in the park. Kids will love navigating the maze to find the exit.
4. Winter Scavenger Hunt
Everyone on the treasure hunt! Try to find icicles, snowmen, Christmas lights, an animal with a winter coat, footprints in the snow, a squirrel, a pinecone, a red toque, a dead leaf, etc. Kids love finding the items and crossing them off the list. Plan a longer list for the older ones!
5. Throw Buttons
Build a snowman and take turns throwing rocks to “button up his coat.” » Build a snowman and “button his coat” by throwing rocks at him. Make sure no one is in the path of the “buttons”!
6. Frosty bubbles
On a very, very cold day, use classic bubble liquid to blow beautiful ice bubbles. Children will grow oh! and ah! seeing these beautiful spheres float and land without losing their shape. Challenge them to catch the bubbles before they burst. Use different types of chopsticks to vary the fun!
7. Shooting targets
Channel your children’s energy into targets to avoid snowball fights. Draw squares on a wall with chalk or have children throw balls as high as possible on a tree trunk. You can also use hoops, rocks or colored water to create targets in the snow.
Create a toy car race track with shovels and your hands (wear mittens!). Feel free to add turns and ramps.
9. Golf on snow
Bury an empty bowl or can with the opening low to the ground. Tamp the snow with a shovel or the lid of a storage bin to create a smooth “green” where children can practice their short game.
10. Snow Volcano
Hard to beat an outdoor science activity (believe me, I was as excited as my four-year-old!). Make a mountain of snow as high as your chin and place a small bowl or empty plastic bottle on top. Pack the snow around the container and make sure the opening is not clogged. Fill it with vinegar and a few drops of food coloring. Ask your child to add a heaping tablespoon of baking soda and stand aside to admire the “lava” flows. Add baking soda when the bubbling slows down to get the eruption going again.
11. Obstacle course
With this activity, the possibilities are limitless! Create several courses: an easy one (for the youngest) and a difficult one (for the older ones). Kids will have to jump over snow obstacles or run around them, do three jump jumps, shape five snowballs and throw them into a bucket, spin a hoop around them and crawl to the line of arrival.
Kids love having their own lair, especially if they build it themselves (or with a little help from parents). Fill bins or planters with snow to make bricks. Need bigger bricks? Use recycling bins! Sprinkle the walls with water and let them freeze overnight to create rock-solid ramparts. To decorate the fort, use a spray bottle filled with colored water or create flags with branches and leaves.
13. GIANT Snowball
Tell the children to make a giant ball out of all the snow from the garden or the park. Watch it roll and get bigger, bigger, bigger…
14. Hoop Roll
Hoops aren’t just summer games! How far can you roll a hoop on snow? And on a slope?
15. Snow Creature
Instead of a “man”, make a dog, a rabbit, a turtle or a snow caterpillar. Halloween lovers (we really mix all the seasons!) can also fashion a monster straight out of their worst nightmares.
16. Snow Sandcastle
Get out the shovels and buckets and tell your kids to build the castles of their dreams. Fill the buckets with snow instead of sand and flip them over for perfect (or not) tricks. Decorate your castle with natural elements: plant a leaf to make a flag, build a path of twigs, etc.
17. Nest Hunt
Now that the leaves have fallen, animal nests and dens (birds, squirrels, raccoons) are much easier to spot. We also sometimes come across abandoned wasp nests after summer and autumn.
18. Game of skill
Make a snowball tower and give balls or bags of peas to your children. How many throws does it take to knock him down? (And for the parents: how high can you get before it collapses?)
19. Balance beam
Make a balance beam out of the snow you shoveled from your sidewalk or driveway. Can your child cross it without falling? Make sure the ground around the beam is covered with soft snow to cushion falls. Once your kids have mastered the balance beam, challenge them to walk with an object on their head (eg, a snowball) without knocking it over. Are they also able to walk backwards?
20. Animal Tracks
Look for animal tracks in your garden, park, schoolyard or on hiking trails. Can you tell if they are raccoons, squirrels, cats, dogs, deer, skunks, foxes, otters or birds? Were they bouncing, running or walking? For even more fun, have your kids bring a notebook and draw the tracks.
21. Flash Shovel
Ask the children to fill large buckets or tubs (one per child) with snow with their hands in a limited amount of time (five minutes is plenty). Whoever has accumulated the most snow wins the game. If the snow is sticky, then use it to make snow castles or a snow fort.
22. Follow the leader!
Give one of the children the role of leader and ask the others to line up behind him and follow in his footsteps. The leader can take giant or mouse steps, walk in a zigzag and stop to make a movement (jump, crazy dance, jump with a gap). The others must imitate him before they can continue. Be careful to walk in the tracks!
23. Upside Down Snowman
Reinvent the traditional snowman! The hardest part is getting the big balls to fit on the small one, but it’s so much fun!
Leave your sleds outside. They can get very slippery if you cover them with snow. Kids can just land in the snow or make mounds to cross them.
25. Snow Painting
Fill spray bottles with water and food coloring. Make room for imagination! The possibilities are limitless.
Ask the younger ones to sit on the floor. The biggest ones where you can then throw snow in the air to simulate a snowfall. Kids love trying to catch the snow before it hits the ground.
27. Rolls down a hill
Although parents (like me) sometimes feel dizzy just thinking about it, kids will be thrilled. Laughter guaranteed! Have them cross their arms around their bodies and go!
28. Construction site
Break out the construction toys (dump trucks, excavators, forklifts, bulldozers) and watch your child dig, push and dump the snow. Kids love to use their construction toys to move things around and snow is great for that.
29. Long jump
Draw a starting line in the snow with a stick or use a jump rope and see how far your child can jump. Snow guarantees a soft landing! Is your child capable of beating his record?
Playing in the snow is the best reason to go out in winter! Dress warmly, have fun and drink some hot chocolate on the way home (don’t forget the marshmallows!) to end this beautiful active day in style. What if your children exhaust this list? I’m sure you’ll find a car or sidewalk to plow to keep them busy!