Happy Friday. We’re starting March snowy + white. With a one solid week of non-stop snow and the kids home from school, I get the question repeatedly: “How do you survive winters with kids?”
It’s easier than you think. In fact, I could quickly count 10 ideas for Winter Play that I always had my back pocket and required no equipment. In addition to the biggies: sledding, skating and skiing, use these simple ideas to get the kids outside to play and to use their imaginations.
Here are 10 ideas for Winter Play. No equipment necessary. Dress warm and bring your imaginations.
1. Build a snow man
– Build traditional or try something new! A centipede? A Unicorn? Make you?
– Who can roll the biggest snow ball to make the biggest snowman?
– How can make the smallest snowman?
(Once back inside, here are few more snowman)
2. Play, “Guess the temperature.”
This was a game that I played with the kids when they were little. Before leaving the house or as a ritual at the same time, every morning, I’d ask “Who can guess the temperature?”
This might seem elementary but, it’s a great way to get kids to read a thermometer, learn numbers, and as a way to understand temperatures and seasons. What do you wear when it’s XYZ degree? My kids always think it’s warmer than it really is. It made conversations about temperatures help them to understand weather.
– “If the temperature is freezing (-0 C /-32 F), this means it’s winter.”
– “If the temperature is freezing, even if you feel warm, this means that you need wear mittens and hats.”
3. Find and identify snow tracks.
4. Make a NATURE TREASURE HUNT to find twigs, seeds and pods.
5. Make Foliage Art
All three of these projects in one: 1. Identify Tracks in the Snow: whether it’s animals or identifying everyone in the family’s snowy footprint. (These tracks in this photo are from our local deer the night before which were then covered with new snow.) | 2. Go on a Nature Treasure Hunt to see what sticks, leafs, berries, etc can be found. | 3. Make faces with the foliage finds
7. Build a Snow Fort
– Or Build two and have a two team snow ball fight
– Build one and bring out kitchen pans to make “snow cakes”)
8. Make an Igloo (If you have packing snow, make blocks and start building up.)
9. Play Figure 8 Tag
Start this by stomping a large figure eight into the snow. Once you have this track, play tag. The object is to catch up and tag the others, just like traditional tag except the trick is that everything has to stay on the figure eight path or: Make a Snow Maze. Play this same game but using the maze.
10. Pack a Winter Picnic.
Of course, there were days when the kids didn’t want to go outside but packing a “Winter Picnic” worked every time. Once the kids were outside and having fun, more activity always followed.
– What worked for us? Grilled Cheese Sandwiches and a Thermos of Hot Chocolate.
– How: Make the lunch and pack it in an easy-for-kids-to-handle picnic basket and a thermal blanket. By keeping the lunch light, the kids felt like this was a really big adventure that they could do on their own; even when they were picnic-ing right outside my door (—- or if I picnicked with them) Dressed warm with a good lunch, creativity and action always followed and no one ever remembered that there had been resistance to heading outside to play.
Bonus: Blow bubbles! Watch them freeze in the air if it’s below 32 degrees Fahrenheit.
Winter ideas don’t stop there or with children. Here are twenty + ideas for the winter: