The Magic of Snow: Top 10 Winter Wonderland Activities For Kids
In a child’s eyes, there’s nothing that beats the magic of majestic snowfall during the winter months. You see the pure joy in their faces when they peer out the window early in the morning to see that a fresh blanket of snow has covered the area. Even if they don’t receive the coveted gift of a “snow day,” there’s still plenty of time to enjoy outdoor activities after school or on the weekends.
Depending on where you live, the return of an El Niño weather pattern has a significant influence on the winter season and results in plenty of the white stuff falling this winter. So let’s take a look at these top ten wonderful, outdoor winter activities for boys and girls of all ages that involve a blanket of snow in some way.
#1 – Dress Them
One of the first things that often comes to mind after a significant snowfall is building a snowman. Why not roll up a whole family of snow people and dress them at the same time. Considering many of us, bigger kids receive new winter clothing at Christmastime, we should have plenty of older outfits to choose from.
#2 – Fair Fights
To help even the odds, consider setting up ground rules that will make a snowball fight a bit safer and fairer. For example, consider making toddlers and other smaller children off limits as potential targets. This way the curious little ones can participate without getting blasted with a cheap shot from an older sibling.
On a personal note, I once attended a family-friendly, charity-sponsored snowball fight as a child with the following rules:
- Boys can hit boys and girls can hit girls
- Girls can hit boys, but boys can’t hit girls
If caught breaking the rules the offender was a target for ten seconds. It was completely sexist and a little brutal by today’s standards, but it was also a very long time ago and all I remember were the official rules and having a blast.
#3 – Simple Sledding
All you need for this favorite family-fun activity is a gentle slope, plenty of snow and something to ride on (or in). Even if you don’t have an actual sled, you can always improvise. When we were kids, we used sheets of wood paneling, shiny side down, with a rope for the handle. You can always use something a little safer like an old laundry basket or ice chest packed with a pillow or blanket for safety and comfort.
#4 – Snow S’mores
Campfires aren’t just for summer, and sitting around a roaring fire is plenty of fun during winter months. Almost everything you do as a family around this fire ring can still happen in the snow. Roasting hot dogs on a stick, making s’mores, telling stories and sipping hot cocoa are just a few family favorites. Don’t forget plenty of blankets, and remember the same fireside safety rules apply regardless of the time of year.
#5 – A White Picnic
Consider having a picnic in the snow. Pack thermoses with hot soup and warm beverages, prepare sandwiches and salads, chili and casseroles, and whatever foods your family typically enjoys. Even though the name implies otherwise, an “ice chest” can also be used to keep hot foods warm inside these insulated containers. Consider two chests, one for cold beverages and foods that need to stay cool and the other for the opposite.
#6 – Snow Shoot
In today’s technological-driven society, we all have cameras in the palms of our hands practically around the clock. While we’re talking pictures of our outdoor activities, why not set aside a day or an afternoon when we’re on a mission to snag these shots. Depending upon the ages in your group, have a contest to see who can capture the best snowscape, get pictures of specific items or have a camera-based scavenger hunt. The possibilities are almost endless. At the end of the day, vote for the best picture taken overall, and post it on social media. Better yet, print it out, and frame it for your home or office.
#7 – Rent A Ride
If you live near a ski resort, there are often other modes of transportation available to rent. Everything from motorized snowmobiles to snowshoes and cross country skies are commonly available on a short-term basis near winter tourist areas. Check online for availability in your area.
#8 – Attend A Snow-Related Event
There are plenty of Winterfests happening all over the country, and you don’t have to venture to Alaska for a dogsled race. Check with City, County, State and other local resources to see what’s coming up in your area. You might find an annual event and create a new winter tradition for your family in the process.
#9 – Snow Artists
Add some artistry to the winter landscape with some all-natural food coloring. Add a few drops of each shade into an empty spray water bottle with some cold water, and watch your little Picassos go to town in the snow. See who can make the most colorful, imaginative sculpture, brightly covered wall or other piece of art to adorn your lawn, sidewalk, porch, or driveway.
#10 – Parents, Kids, Cats And Dogs
These four go together in the cold weather like ice cream, chocolate syrup, nuts and a cherry on top (and whipped cream). If you have any combination of these critters and people, take all them outdoors to enjoy the snow. Make trails with them, build an obstacle course, put up targets for snowball shooters and watch them fall … literally.
Always remember to bundle yourself and the kiddies up in plenty of high-quality inner, outer and underwear to ensure you stay nice and warm. Don’t forget hats, scarves and other accessories on your next snowy adventure.