Outdoor Play

28 ways to get outside with your family this winter

As much as even the most outdoorsy families hate to admit, it’s not always easy getting outside in the winter. For us, the hardest part is getting out the door!

As a member of the 1000 Hours Outside Challenge group, I strive to get my family outside for at least 3 hours a day, rain or shine. So I’m constantly looking for new ideas to keep us motivated and having fun! Here’s a list that I hope will help you enjoy the winter months more as well!

Bad weather always looks worse through a window.

Tom Lehrer
  1. Have a picnic. Warm soup in a thermos with fresh bread or sandwiches is a good choice.
  2. Make a snow family. Then decide what features to add. Think outside the carrot nose.
  3. Blow bubbles and watch them freeze.
  4. Make bird feeders. Find the perfect tree to hang them.
  5. Make a snow fort. If you’re really ambitious, you can carve out a snow table and snow chairs too.
  6. Take a lantern walk after dark. If you don’t have a lantern, use flashlights or headlamps. If it’s clear, don’t forget to turn off the light for a bit and do some stargazing.
  7. Bring a thermos of cocoa outside.
  8. Go ice skating.
  9. Make giant ice marbles with water balloons.
  10. Listen to the birds. Bring out an identification book if you have one. Or snap pictures to look up later.
  11. Bring out the construction vehicles. Excavate, bulldoze, fill and dump that snow!
  12. Make a snow slide.
  13. Bring out the beach toys. Shovels, buckets and sandcastle molds work just as well in the snow.
  14. Paint the snow with spray bottles.
  15. Go sledding.
  16. Have a snowball fight.
  17. Make snow angels. 
  18. Set up a snow kitchen. Build it from snow or use some old carts or storage totes. Bring out some pots, pans, dishes and cooking utensils.
  19. Make snow cream.
  20. Warm up with a campfire. Roast hot dogs or make s’mores.
  21. Try ice fishing.
  22. Rent skis or snowshoes.
  23. Make ice suncatchers.
  24. Learn and practice winter survival skills. Read up on building a snow shelter or melting snow for drinking water, and then try it yourself.
  25. Identify animal tracks.
  26. Bring out a few trays of colored ice cubes. 
  27. Gather items for nature art. 
  28. Make shoveling a family affair. Pick up a few small shovels so your kids can join in.

We didn’t know we were making memories. We only knew we were having fun.

A.A. Milne, Winnie the Pooh

I hope this list gives you some fresh ideas for snow and winter play. What would you add?

👧 Toddler mom. 🌈 Reggio and Waldorf Inspired Childcare🌲 Forest School 🏔 Dillingham, Alaska

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