31 Days of Best Winter Activities for Kids
When the temperature drops outside, many parents begin looking for fun activities to do as a family. But thinking of enough interesting and exciting winter activities for kids to fill a whole season can be tough! That’s why we’ve gathered a list of some of the best games, crafts, events, and activities for some winter fun.
- What’s So Great About Winter?
- 31 Best Winter Activities
What’s So Great About Winter?
Winter can be a very peaceful and beautiful time of year. Kids are out of school for winter break, spring allergies are a distant memory, the animals are hibernating, and if you’re lucky – blankets of snow carpet the ground. Whether you travel for the holidays or friends and family come to visit you, these magical days bring many simple joys to everyone. Best of all, many of the best things to do in winter are free!
31 Best Winter Activities
Although outdoor activities may not be as plentiful as in the summer, there are still tons of things to do outdoors – whether or not you have snow. And there’s also something to be said for curling up indoors with a good book and a fire.
Whichever you prefer, there’s no shortage of fun things to do during winter. We’ll go over some of the most popular winter activities to enjoy as a family that will keep your kids entertained even when the sun sets at 5 pm!
Do not forget about winter safety for kids! Read the article General rules of winter safety: some bullet points for parents and children to be prepared for any unexpected situation.
Best Outdoor Winter Activities in the Snow
Even if your area doesn’t see much snow, oftentimes a visit to a nearby snowy mountain peak is just a short drive away. Here are some ideas for a full day of snow play. We’ve included the old classics and some new favorites with a twist.
Make a Snowman
One of the best ways to enjoy the snow as a family is to get together and build a snowman. You can even pull out some of your old winter accessories to decorate Mr. Frosty with hats, scarves, and gloves. Even better? Make it a family competition. Whoever builds the best snowman gets to pick that evening’s next activity.
Make a Snow Castle
Did you know you can play with sand toys and other specially made snow toys just like at the beach? Snow molds are a very popular way to have some fun in the snow without getting wet or bored.
You can use shovels, trowels, buckets, and scoops just like with sand to build forts, castles, and other creations out of snow. For even more fun, try adding some colored food dye!
Have a Snowball Fight
Today’s snowball fights can be enhanced with the purchase of a set of snowball maker toys that eliminate the need to play with wet gloves! You can team up as boys vs. girls or kids vs. parents for a little bit of friendly competition.
Games could include who can make the most snowballs in 30 seconds or who can get the most direct hits to the players on the other side. There’s a reason snowball fights have been a beloved winter game for centuries!
Build a Snow Fort
As part of that epic neighborhood snowball fight, consider building a life-sized snow fort large enough to hide behind. If you get enough inches of snowfall in your area, this can be a really fun way to spend the day.
Caves, igloos, forts, and more can be made out of the packed snow and offer all sorts of hiding spots for snowball wars. Depending on temperatures in your area, your fort may even last a week or 2! Finish up your masterpiece with flags, ladders, curtains, and other accessories to get even more enjoyment out of this activity. We’ve even seen some forts that include a built-in slide!
Play Capture the Flag
Another way to get even more use out of that snow fort is to set up 2 forts on opposing sides of your yard or snow play area and kick off a game of capture the flag. To play, each team must be the first to get the other side’s flag back to their own base in order to win.
What kid doesn’t love a nice run down a snowy slope or hill? If you don’t have your own sled, you can get creative and make one out of objects around your house like a trash can lid or a cardboard box. Build tracks into the snow or have your family race one another to make the fun last even longer.
Paint the Snow
Creative kiddos will LOVE this one! This is the winter alternative to the fun of summer sidewalk chalk. You can use food dyes and other non-toxic paints to paint your own colorful creations in the snow.
Best Outdoor Winter Activities for Kids (that don’t involve snow)
Ok so you don’t have snow – but that’s not all there is to do outdoors in the winter! Check out these ideas below for some fun outside even in warmer climates.
Does your child walk alone? Install the Find My Kids app and make sure that everything is fine with them – pinpoint the kid’s location, listen to the sound around, and get in touch quickly if necessary.
Go for a Winter Hike
Whether you go for a walk in your neighborhood, a short hike at a local park, or simply explore your own backyard – mother nature has plenty of surprises for kids in the winter.
Your favorite places look awfully different in the wintertime – and taking a hike is a great way to sneak in some educational opportunities too. Try an app like Seek to discover new plants and bird species while collecting photos of your favorite ones. Your kids won’t even realize they’re learning!
Winter Scavenger Hunt
Even without snow, there are plenty of things to spot outdoors in the winter. Get kids active outside with a fun winter scavenger hunt that includes such sightings as pinecones, a red cardinal bird, berries, twigs, a bird’s nest, or animal tracks. If you do live in an area with snow you can add other winter favorites like a snowman, frozen puddle, ice skating pond, or icicles.
Collect Winter Items for Crafts
Pinecones, pine needles, rocks, feathers, and twigs can all be repurposed for fun winter crafts like these pinecone bird feeders. Ah, the gift that keeps on giving!
Go Ice Skating
Believe it or not, you don’t need snow for this one! Even cities with warm climates like Houston host ice rinks in the park during the winter months. Indoor ice skating rinks are another popular option also. Now kids everywhere can experience the joys of falling on the cold ice!
Winter Photography Challenge
Ever had your 2-year-old reach for your iPhone to take pictures? Kids of all ages love capturing what they see in the world around them through photography. Send them out into the woods or the backyard with the assignment of capturing the best photo. Winner gets theirs displayed on the fridge!
Best Indoor Winter Activities for Kids
Snowed in? Or prefer to avoid that winter chill in the air altogether? Whatever the weather outside, there’s still plenty of fun to be had inside.
Make Paper Snowflakes
Are your kids bummed out by the warm temperatures where you live and want to see snow? Have them get out their paper and scissors and make their own with this fun winter craft!
To make paper snowflakes, you simply need to fold a piece of paper and cut along the edges in different designs and patterns. Even your toddlers can get in on this one! Just like real snowflakes, each one is unique – which makes it even more fun.
Make a Fort
Give your kids permission to take over the living room for one day and create a fort with all the blankets and pillows their little hearts desire. Hearing their little giggles as they play, read and snuggle in their cozy fort will make the mess worth it.
Make a Snow Globe
There are many craft tutorials online for a DIY snow globe like this one by PBS Kids. Your kids will get a kick out of including whatever figurines they want and shaking up the jar with fun add-ons like sequins and glitter.
Enjoy Some Hot Chocolate
Sip your hot chocolate out of winter mugs and add delicious toppings like marshmallows or chocolate kisses. Hot chocolate bombs are all the rage this year, so your family can even try making your own!
Decorate A Gingerbread House
This winter classic is sure to delight kids of all ages – whether they enjoy eating the pieces of the house or actually making them. Buy several and make it a competition! (This also eliminates fights over who gets to put the frosting on the roof and who gets to eat the last gumdrop.)
Or Make A Giant Gingerbread House
Kids more interested in playing in their own gingerbread house? Make your own out of cardboard! This can be as elaborate or as simple as you want it to be. All you need is a large box and some decorations.
Make Your Own Holiday Cards
Here’s another great indoor activity even your toddlers can participate in with glee. Pull out that old bin of arts and crafts supplies and let your kids create whatever their imagination can come up with.
Make Play-Doh Snowmen
No snow? Never fear! You can have your kids craft their own out of Play-Doh. It’s far less hassle than making the real thing – and they’ll last a lot longer too! Creative kids can also make other winter shapes like Christmas trees, reindeer, and penguins.
Make Cotton Ball Crafts
Making snowmen out of paper and cotton balls is another great indoor winter craft activity, especially for those preschoolers. You could also use paper plates for another fun take or decide to make a penguin instead. Bonus? You’ll get a beautiful handmade keepsake to pull out every winter.
Read Some Winter Books
Take a trip to the library and get some of the librarian’s favorite winter selections like “The Snowy Day” or “What Spot?”. Sit in front of the fire or by candlelight and take turns reading to each other. As simple as this activity is, it’s sure to become one of your best winter memories.
Download Some Winter Apps
Screen time doesn’t have to be all bad! Help your kids find and download some fun winter games and apps for their devices like this Frozen game. Some other great options include this challenging Snowboarding game, this retro Skiing game, a Snow Globe app, a fun winter Puzzle app, and the thought-provoking Icy Ropes game.
Winter Activities for the Whole Family
All of the games and activities on this list are a blast for kids. But what about mom and dad? When you want to get in on the fun, make some family memories, and come up with ideas that include ALL the siblings from ages toddler to teenager – check out some of the ideas below.
Christmas Lights Scavenger Hunt
Every year you probably load up the family in the van and go for a drive to look at all the beautiful Christmas lights. Whether or not you celebrate Christmas, there’s no denying the beauty of those twinkling colorful lights. To change things up a bit this year, print out a family BINGO card or scavenger hunt list like this one and see who can cross off the most sights first!
Attend A Winter Parade
Many towns and villages put on some sort of holiday parade during the colder months, whether for Thanksgiving or for Christmas. Bundle up the kids and get a front-row spot for a fun and magical time.
Host Your Own “Winter Olympics”
Choose your family’s favorite Olympic games that can be played in the snow such as sledding, ice hockey, the long jump, and racing. Then form teams and create fun prizes for the winners. No snow? Play indoors with games like “paper plate skating”, broom hockey, and sledding (safely) down the stairs.
Take A Day Trip
Go on a search for winter events in neighboring towns near you. Just the simple act of going for a drive somewhere outside of your normal daily routine can make a family outing even more exciting. Holiday markets, snow parties, and winter carnivals are just some of the many fun events you can find.
Do A Winter Puzzle
One of the best things to do when you are stuck in the house for an extended period of time is a large family-sized puzzle. Choose one with a holiday or wintery scene and set it up at a permanent spot in a family area. It may take you a week or 2 to finish, but you and your kids will both experience a great sense of satisfaction once you do!
Every kid loves baking cookies – and they’re delicious for mom and dad too! Whether you make them from scratch or use pre-made dough, just put on some fun holiday music, gather up the cookie cutters and the sprinkles, and get to decorating.
Have a Movie Marathon
Pop some popcorn and cuddle up for a holiday movie marathon! Now, mom and dad have an excuse to re-watch all those holiday classics like “Home Alone” and “A Christmas Story”. Kids will also love animated winter favorites like ”Ice Age” and “Frozen”.
Volunteer in Your Community
Family volunteering events are both popular and plentiful at this time of year. Whether you choose to donate food to the local food bank, serve lunch at the soup kitchen on Thanksgiving Day, shop for Christmas presents for a family in need, or sing carols at the local nursing home – giving back to others will warm your heart AND keep your kids busy!
We hope these fun winter activity ideas help you drag your kids off the couch, outside, and off of their devices for a little while. But whether your child will be off playing with neighborhood kids in the woods or you just want to track their screen time during the winter break, take a look at our app for a helpful parenting tool – any time of the year!
Available on both AppleStore and Google Play, The Find My Kids app can track your child’s geo-location, notify you when your child returns home, allow you to listen in when your child does not answer, and allows kids to send an SOS signal if needed. The Find My Kids app is just one of the ways you can help keep your kids safe while having fun this winter!
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