8 Ways to Play Outside in Cold Weather (That Your Kids Will Love)

March 4, 2013 at 17:17 | Posted in Outside Play | Leave a comment

winter play, sleddingIf you’re like me, you want your kids to stay active and get fresh air even in the winter.

But, if your kids are like mine, sometimes they resist.

So, we must persuade them with fun activities.

Here are eight winter play ideas to try.

I think your kids will love them as much as mine.

Treasure Hunt

Bury small toys in the snowy yard like you would hide Easter eggs or surprises for a treasure hunt. Make it as easy or challenging depending on the age of your child. Let the kids race to find the treasures or  make a game of it and provide clues for them to solve.

Snap Photos

Take a walk with digital cameras. Search for specific things to shoot. Maybe winter things, animals, the color blue, things like that. Ask the kids for ideas on what to look for, make a game out of it, and the first one to find it gets to take the picture. Afterward,  print the photos and make a photo book for the kids to write captions and descriptions.

winter playSnow Kitchen

Bring your kitchen outside. Measuring cups, muffin tins, spoons, mixing bowls, and other non-glass kitchen supplies can join your children in a snowy cooking pretend play experience. Kids love molding, dumping, scooping, and stirring. Even with snow.

Obstacle Course

Make your own outside obstacle course. Use whatever you have outside: chairs, hula hoops, jump ropes, buckets, and so on. Have each person take a turn designing a course. Race against a stopwatch to get the best time.

Blow Bubbles
If the temperature is below 32 degrees, your bubbles can freeze. Blow the bubble. Catch it on your wand. Wait a few minutes. Watch as the bubble freezes.

Sled with a Friend (Real or Stuffed)
We love sledding but don’t always want to trek to a hill. So, the kids pull each other around on the sled in the backyard. If one child doesn’t want to sled, see if they’ll pull around a doll or stuffed animal instead – or nothing at all. Sleds are just fun.

Bird Watch

Feed area birds so they’ll hang out in your trees. Try a pinecone with peanut butter or birdseed  in a container. Then, wait and watch. Find a good bird book to learn which species visit your backyard.

Frozen Shapes

Fill up balloons, plastic eggs, or ice cube trays with water. (Add food coloring if you’re up for a colorful mess.) Freeze. Take your frozen shapes outside and play. See which one melts first.

Invite your kids to think of other ideas. Make a big list. Finally, always celebrate your outdoor adventure with a cup of hot cocoa. Yum!

What are your favorite ways to play outside in cold weather?

Today’s guest blogger is Melissa Taylor, a mom to two girls, teacher with an M.A. in Education, freelance education blogger / writer, passionate advocate for literacy and high-quality education, and recent author of Book Love: Help Your Child Grow from Reluctant to Enthusiastic Reader.

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