We’re always dealing with snow here in Manitoba! Here are some fun ways to play in the snow and keep the little ones outdoors during those not too cold winter days. The best part? They don’t take too much prep-work or involvement from you.
As someone who lives in Canada, winter is just a part of life. Especially where I live when temperatures are often -30 Celsius or colder for weeks at time. When it’s cold like that you can’t exactly make a snow fort – the snow is actually too firm/powdery to work.
With that in mind, here’s some ways we play in the snow all winter long. Some are great if you have lots of snow that can be packed down, others will work in frigid temperatures or in places where you don’t get a lot of snow.
Grab some plastic spray bottles and fill with water. Add a few drops of food colouring to each one. Any colour will work but make one of each red, yellow, and blue for some colour mixing fun.
This is a great activity if you only have a bit of snow on the ground or you’re playing with young kids who will get cold easily.
My kids love to shovel. Have them see how high they can build a tower or dig a hole, or grab some bucks of various sizes for them to fill and dump. Use kid sized snow shovels or your beach toys!
Trick them into shovelling off the deck or driveway. Or you can even pay them; whatever keeps them busy and gets the kids outside!
Have the kids make all kinds of shapes in the snow – snow angels, tracks, circles, elephants – whatever. Another easy way to make snow shapes is by pulling out the and toys and pressing the snow out that way.
If the snow is workable, use different containers to see what shapes you can form using them. For cold or powdery snow, grab a stick and draw different shapes for a fun idea.
Stomp out a maze or path for the kids to follow through the snow. You can have them make their own creations to show you, too. If you have a deck or can see your yard from a high window try and get a top down photo of the tracks.
Depending on how winter is, you can work on building up a mega snow maze in the backyard that kids can work on all season.
Sledding or Tobogganing
Kids have fun pulling the sled around the yard and filling it with whatever they find. Or they can make a makeshift toboggan hill if you’ve been shoveling all year.
We’re also training our Alaskan Malamute puppy to pull a sled which is going to be super fun for the kids in the winter! Many large breed dogs can pull the weight of a small child so if you have a dog and are interested in sledding this might be something fun to try.
Make a Snow Fort
Kids of any ages will have fun building up snow walls and making a little snow fort or house. They can either make it entirely from scratch, or dig out a fort from a larger snow pile. This is a super fun activity that kids can do with their friends, too.
There are also toys you can get that make perfect snow bricks, just make sure you have plenty for all the kids who want to play.
Get kids looking snowflakes to see all the different shapes they have. This would tie in great with homeschooling lesson or just for fun. If you have a magnifying glass that could be fun outside too.
Maybe you can recreate some of your snowflakes on paper when you come inside.
See what you can unearth under the snow. There’s probably a few forgotten toys under there. Who knows what they can find? If you don’t mind a little prep work, go hide some treasure for kids to find. You could even make a treasure map!
If you hide stuff outside make sure you keep track of where it is so you don’t have to go hunting for a lost item later.
Or just have kids unearth the car after a snowstorm for a fun (and useful) activity idea.
Look For Tracks
Seek out animal tracks in your yard. Try and guess what made them. Once you’re done that, kids can try making their own tracks. Compare your different shoes and shoe sizes. Or let them use their fingers (or sticks) to replicate animal tracks.
This is a great fun and educational way to play in the snow!
Build a Snowman
It wouldn’t be winter without building a snowman! Make sure you have all the accessories on hand so that you can finish your new snow pal off properly. Hopefully the kids will have fun playing with him before he melts away.
Playing out in the snow can be a whole lot of fun! Instead of fighting winter, embrace it by planning fun ways to play in the snow this winter.