20+ Fun Activities to Do in the Snow

20 great games to cure cabin fever.

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Hoop It Up

Kate Powers

Hoop It Up

Grab a few hula hoops, and have a contest to see who can last the longest. It's a lot harder when you're all bundled up!

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Shake It Up!

Kindra Clineff

Shake It Up!

Use strong glue to attach a plastic toy to the inside of a jar lid, then add baby oil and glitter for a homemade snow globe; it makes a fun souvenir of a great day.

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Cool Critters

Heather Weston

Cool Critters

Use bits of nature to embellish animals sculpted from snow.

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For the Birds

Heather Weston

For the Birds

Hollow out an orange and fill with seeds to feed your feathered friends.

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Ice Maker

Heather Weston

Ice Maker

When the temperature drops below 32 degrees, blow bubbles and watch them freeze on the wand.

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Snow Graffiti

Heather Weston

Snow Graffiti

Give kids spray bottles full of water that's tinted with food coloring to decorate the white canvas in your backyard.

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Tic-Tac-Snow

Kindra Clineff

Tic-Tac-Snow

Two players go for the championship in this classic game. Use crisscrossed sticks and pinecones as game pieces.

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For the Birds

Kindra Clineff

For the Birds

String cranberries, popcorn, and cereal onto fishing line for a garland to attract and nourish your feathered friends.

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Cold Molds

Kindra Clineff

Cold Molds

Borrow some pans from the kitchen. Use them to build crystal fairy castles or to create cakes for a cold-weather "buffet."

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A Sweet Chalet

Kindra Clineff

A Sweet Chalet

Decorate your playhouse with laminated paper snowflakes, pinwheels, and a wreath dotted with plastic ponytail holders.

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Ice and Easy

Kindra Clineff

Ice and Easy

Freeze colored water into ice cubes, then hide them around the yard for a wintertime scavenger hunt.

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Frosty Toss

Kindra Clineff

Frosty Toss

Have a snowball-throwing contest! Make a target by creating a bright circle in the snow with colored water in a squirt bottle.

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Sugar Daddy

Kindra Clineff

Sugar Daddy

Give your friendly snowman a candy-coated makeover with licorice, lollipops, and gummies.

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Build a Fort

Kate Powers

Build a Fort

Build a fort. Use sand buckets, loaf pans, and cut-up empty milk cartons to make a cool snow castle.

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Go Tubing

Kate Powers

Go Tubing

Beach toys aren't just for sand. Have your kids sit in inner tubes and then race to the finish line using just their feet.

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Swing Away

Kate Powers

Swing Away

Make a golf course by packing down a section of snow every few feet. Bury tin cans halfway down in the snow to create holes, and mark them with mini flagsticks.

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Pin the Smile on the Snowman

Kate Powers

Pin the Smile on the Snowman

Pass out chocolate cookies, then blindfold each child and let him try to get the mouth, eyes, and buttons in place.

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Practice Your Pitch

Kate Powers

Practice Your Pitch

Paint a bull's-eye target on a piece of cardboard, giving each colored ring a point value. Attach it to a tree, and keep score as the kids try to hit the target with snowballs.

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More Fun Ideas

Kate Powers

More Fun Ideas

* Have a snowball fight. Divide your family into teams, then start throwing. Save this one for last so you can go inside, dry off, and have some hot chocolate.
* Walk this way. Have your kids follow your lead as you move like different animals: Waddle like a penguin, stomp like a bear, and wiggle like a fish.
* Create a maze. Put on your hiking boots and stamp out a path for your kids to follow.
* Plan a scavenger hunt. Hide an apple in a mound of snow so that a little bit peeks out. Give the kids silly directions to follow as they search for it.
* Play freeze tag. Can you think of a more appropriate game for a chilly day? Once someone's tagged by the person who's "It," he has to stay frozen until another player tags him again.
* Make faces. Use handfuls of packed snow to create funny characters on a tree trunk.


Originally published in the January 2007, January 2008, and January 2010 issues of Parents magazine.

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