The cold and snow don’t have to get you and your family down this season. Though summer may seem more conducive to running around outside and having fun, winter can be just as exciting for kids with the right activities. Here are some great indoor and outdoor activities for parents and children to do together.
1. Have a winter wander
Walking around your neighborhood while dressed warmly and maybe wearing a pair of snowshoes while that neighborhood is covered in snow can be a good way to exercise, and to get a new perspective on where you live, too. Take the whole family and form an arctic explorer team together. Go to the parks and local trails. Find the perfect site for snow sculptures. Meet your neighbors.
Snow time is time to connect with your surroundings at a time when a pristine blanket of snow can give you a whole new way to look at your neighborhood.
2. Mix snow with your imagination – and build!
After the snowstorm has settled, take your kids out for an afternoon of snow fun. This doesn’t just mean building a snowman and accessorizing him with old items from around your house, although it certainly includes that idea. Another way to approach this fun activity is a day of building an “anything but a snowman” sculpture. What ideas beyond the norm can you come up with as a family?
If you’re more daring (or have more kids) try building a snow fort or a snow maze. Create a snow version of your living room on your front lawn! Create a snow replica of your house, or a famous structure. Let your imagination run wild together.
3. Find local spots for skiing, tobogganing, and skating
Playing in the snow isn’t the only way to get a little family exercise in the cold months. Not everyone lives near the mountains. But, there are often local spots for tobogganing and cross-country skiing. Any large hill is good for a day of sledding, and once the sleds are out, consider having a sled-pulling race on the way back up the hill.
Ice skating is also a fun option in those regions when rivers freeze over safely and people gather to skate, or when municipalities create outdoor skating rinks in local parks.
4. Have a family fight – a snowball fight!
Establish the rules of play and always be mindful of safety. Once that’s done, have at ‘er. Some may say that snowball fights rely on a certain kind of snow – packing snow. But, any kind of snow will do, even powdery snow. Everyone loves a challenge, right?
5. Winter photo expedition
Take your personal devices and cameras of all kinds and go out there to capture the magic of a winter wonderland right outside your door. Get a list together of objects and scenes for each family member to collect; the best snowman, the highest snow drift, the most beautiful icicle hangs, and whatever strikes your fancy. Leave some room for surprises too. Then, create a family album for your collection to be enjoyed in the years to come.
6. Light a campfire
As long as it’s allowed in your city, make a fire pit in the back yard. When the sun goes down, put some hot chocolate in a thermos. Grab the ingredients for s’mores, bundle up, and spend an hour roasting marshmallows and looking at the stars. If you know any fun campfire songs, this is the time to break them out.
Winter belongs to you
Don’t let winter become a boring season for your kids, or for you. Engage in some of these activities to stave off that feeling of being cooped up in the house, and spend some quality family time together. Before you and your kids know it, the snow will have melted and it will be summer again, so take advantage of the unique adventures and opportunities winter provides.