Many people are not a fan of winter because they hate the feeling of being confined indoors. They also don’t do much to remedy this situation because they are also not a fan of the cold weather. Kids are different! They love the outdoors during the winter.
We’re sure that parents, teachers, nannies and babysitters alike will agree that there is only so much you can do with the kids inside before they start to become restless. Even though winter is here, it doesn’t mean that you have to stay cooped up inside. There are plenty of fun outdoor winter activities you can plan for you and the kids.
We’ve put together a list of some great activities that will help keep the kids occupied (and hopefully wear them out) this winter. But, before we do this, it’s important to address one of the biggest factors to staying safe and having fun outside during the winter – dressing for the weather.
Dress for the Weather Before Heading Outside
This is less of an issue for kids than for adults. Kids have no problem putting on their snowsuit, boots, mittens, and hat if it means they get to go outside and play in the snow. However, many adults tend to overlook the importance of dressing for winter, a reason why they tend to gripe about winter activities and being cold.
“If you want to enjoy yourself, then make sure you won’t freeze outside. Don’t just head out in sneakers, jeans and a sweater under your coat. Think layers. Wear thermal leggings and several layers under your sweater. Wear a hat and gloves. If you’re not cold and uncomfortable, you’re more likely to have fun and not run back inside after 5 minutes,” says Heather Levin on Money Crashers.
The 10 Greatest Most Awesome Outdoor Winter Activities We Could Think Of
If you and the kids have cabin fever and are itching to get outside, here are some great activities worth trying:
1. Ice skating
Head down to the local outdoor rink and do some laps on the ice. You may even be able to play a game of pickup hockey. Don’t forget the hot chocolate afterward! As an alternative, if it’s too cold or you don’t have an outdoor rink in your area, you can always go skating at the local arena.
2. Road hockey
Have your kids call up their friends and plan a neighborhood road hockey game. Get the parents involved and make a day out of it. You’ll have hours of fun, plus it’s great exercise. As an alternative, you could also play snow soccer or football.
3. Take the dog for a walk
The dog needs some exercise and is probably just as eager to get outside and stretch their legs as the kids. Get the kids ready and go for a walk as a family. If you want to knock off two activities at once, go for a walk on the streets that have homes with elaborate holiday displays. There are some precautions you should consider when walking the dog on cold snowy winter days consider checking out these winter dog walking tips
A classic winter activity! Grab your sled and head over to a local hill. The kids will go up and down for hours. As an alternative, you could also head to the nearest ski hill and go tubing.
5. Build a snow fort
After a large snowfall, there is nothing more fun than building a snow fort in the yard. If you build it sturdily enough, it could be the kids’ outdoor playhouse for the winter. Tip – use recycle bins and garbage cans to build a strong and compact base. Don’t forget to build a snowman to watch over the fort at night!
Snow Fort Safety Tip: never build forts or tunnels close to the end of the yard near the road. They may get collapsed or be pushed down by snow plows. Children could be seriously injured if playing inside the fort at the time.
6. Set up an outdoor scavenger hunt
Hide a number of items around the house and in the backyard, and give the kids clues for how to find them. Get the kids to follow the list to find a hidden treasure at the end!
7. Feed the animals at the park
Even though it’s winter, you will still see your fair share of birds, squirrels, and other animals. Take a walk to the park and feed them.
8. Decorate the house
Who says mom or dad has to decorate the house all by themselves? Bring the kids outside with you. They can be great helpers and give you some tips on where to hang the lights!
9. Head to the park
Who said the park was only a summer activity? The kids can still have lots of fun playing in the snow at the local park.
10. Create your own “Winter Olympics”
Come up with a series of winter-related activities and feats for the kids to accomplish – snowman building, snowball throwing, snow angel making, building the biggest snowball, etc.
BONUS: More Winter Outdoor Activities
Here are some other, more traditional outdoor winter activities:
- Ice fishing
- Attend the Santa Claus parade
- Make a snow angel
- Skiing/ snowboarding
- Shoveling the driveway (just kidding, but kudos to you if you can convince the kids it’s fun and get them to help out!)
The winter weather doesn’t mean you have to stay inside with the kids. There are plenty of great outdoor activities for the entire family. Whether you are into playing in the snow and building a fort, going skating at the local outdoor rink, or even taking a walk to look at the Christmas lights, there are many great ways to get out and be active with the kids this winter.