20+ Fun Activities to Do in the Snow
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!
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.
Use bits of nature to embellish animals sculpted from snow.
For the Birds
Hollow out an orange and fill with seeds to feed your feathered friends.
When the temperature drops below 32 degrees, blow bubbles and watch them freeze on the wand.
Give kids spray bottles full of water that's tinted with food coloring to decorate the white canvas in your backyard.
Two players go for the championship in this classic game. Use crisscrossed sticks and pinecones as game pieces.
For the Birds
String cranberries, popcorn, and cereal onto fishing line for a garland to attract and nourish your feathered friends.
Borrow some pans from the kitchen. Use them to build crystal fairy castles or to create cakes for a cold-weather "buffet."
A Sweet Chalet
Decorate your playhouse with laminated paper snowflakes, pinwheels, and a wreath dotted with plastic ponytail holders.
Ice and Easy
Freeze colored water into ice cubes, then hide them around the yard for a wintertime scavenger hunt.
Have a snowball-throwing contest! Make a target by creating a bright circle in the snow with colored water in a squirt bottle.
Give your friendly snowman a candy-coated makeover with licorice, lollipops, and gummies.
Build a Fort
Build a fort. Use sand buckets, loaf pans, and cut-up empty milk cartons to make a cool snow castle.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.