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
- Have a picnic. Warm soup in a thermos with fresh bread or sandwiches is a good choice.
- Make a snow family. Then decide what features to add. Think outside the carrot nose.
- Blow bubbles and watch them freeze.
- Make bird feeders. Find the perfect tree to hang them.
- Make a snow fort. If you’re really ambitious, you can carve out a snow table and snow chairs too.
- 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.
- Bring a thermos of cocoa outside.
- Go ice skating.
- Make giant ice marbles with water balloons.
- Listen to the birds. Bring out an identification book if you have one. Or snap pictures to look up later.
- Bring out the construction vehicles. Excavate, bulldoze, fill and dump that snow!
- Make a snow slide.
- Bring out the beach toys. Shovels, buckets and sandcastle molds work just as well in the snow.
- Paint the snow with spray bottles.
- Go sledding.
- Have a snowball fight.
- Make snow angels.
- 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.
- Make snow cream.
- Warm up with a campfire. Roast hot dogs or make s’mores.
- Try ice fishing.
- Rent skis or snowshoes.
- Make ice suncatchers.
- Learn and practice winter survival skills. Read up on building a snow shelter or melting snow for drinking water, and then try it yourself.
- Identify animal tracks.
- Bring out a few trays of colored ice cubes.
- Gather items for nature art.
- 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?