Winter Activities for Kids

Outdoor Fun

While kids may not always like going outside to play during the winter months, getting some fresh air and exercise is never a bad thing.  What can the kids do outside during the cold and snowy season?  Here is a list of ideas.

Build an Igloo

Children playing in the snow, building an igloo
Jocelyn Michel/Getty Images

Igloos can be fun to make, but they can also be time consuming. Making an igloo goes faster if the whole family gets involved. You'll want some kind of plastic molds for creating the blocks to build with. You can build with any kind of snow, but if you're looking for an activity for one day, wait for a snow that is a bit wet.  Powdery snow needs time to "set" in the mold.

You can also "cheat" by building the walls, with an opening for a door and then covering the top with a white sheet. It won't be a sturdy roof and should be taken in at the end of the day, but it will provide some "privacy" without the time and effort needed for a roof.


Snowdog. Courtesy Rach and Mic Sorrows

One of the creatures can certainly be the typical snowman with a carrot nose and all, but encourage the kids to be creative. Why stop at one snowman?  How about a snow family?  There might not be enough snow on the ground for several large snowmen (or the kids might get worn out before rolling a family of snowmen).  So why not a miniature family?

The kids can also branch out and make a snow teddy bear.  A bear is almost as easy as a snowman. They still require three snowballs, but they also need two ears and a snout.

And then there are snow dogs.  That takes a little more expertise.

If the kids want to get really creative, they can design their own creatures!


Have a Winter Picnic

Make the kids a nice warm lunch they can take outside to eat. Then give them a blanket to sit on, dress them warmly, and send them out to eat.  Here are some ideas for a warm lunch:

  • Toasted peanut butter sandwich
  • Grilled cheese sandwich
  • Hot cocoa in a thermos
  • Soup in a thermos
  • Cookies

If the kids have made an igloo, they can take their warm lunch inside the igloo. If they don't have an igloo, they can make a quick tent out of sheets (unless they have a tent they can put up). If you have an outdoor table, all you need to do is drape a sheet over it. If you want to get really creative, build a blanket fort (this requires some sticks, nylon rope, rocks, and time as well as a blanket).

Make Snow Angels

We all know how to make snow angels: you lie down in the snow and then open and close your legs and raise and lower your arms in the snow. If you're one of the few people who've never made a snow angel, watch a video from Howcast to see how it's done. Show your kids how to do it and then let them make some.

Once they have the snow angels made, let them add a bit of decorating. They can do some snow painting to color the angels. Be sure to take pictures of their creations!

Go on a Nature Walk

It might seem like there isn't much nature to observe during the winter months since there aren't many insects, the trees are bare, and there aren't any flowers growing. But there is always something to observe in nature. If there is snow on the ground, the kids can look for animal tracks and try to guess what kind of animal made the tracks. If the snow is melting, the kids can look for the ways it melts and where the water from the melted ice is running. They can observe where the ice melts first. In the sunny areas? In the shade? On the lawn? On the roof? What do branches on trees and bushes look like without the leaves? Encourage the kids to observe all they can. When they come indoors, they can drink some hot cocoa and write about it!

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