So here it is: the winter counterpart to “25 Ways to Play Outside With Your Kids” (if you live somewhere sunny and warm, those might still be useful.)
I’ve noticed I don’t do well cooped up inside all day. Even on a snowy, blustery day, I have to get out or I get cranky and start to feel like one of those kids in the Ray Bradbury story who only got to see the sun once every seven years. So here are a few things we do:
1.) Go for a hike. Look for animals. It helps to do a little checking online or at the visitor’s center ahead of time. Which animals are still out? Where might they live? What do they eat in winter? Also, invest in a good, insulated Thermos and end your hike with a cup of hot chocolate back at the car.
2.) Go sledding.
3.) Make a snowman. When you’re done, warm up inside while reading this book.
4.) Make a snow fort.
5.) Go on a nature hunt. Look for trees and plants that stay green through the winter. If you’re allowed, collect pine cones and greenery to decorate at home.
6.) Go ice skating.
7.) Go snowshoeing. I love these kid snowshoes that make monster-tracks rather than normal snowshoe tracks.
8.) Go birdwatching.
9.) Decorate an outdoor tree for the birds. Make these bird feeders from Alpha Mom. String popcorn and cranberry garlands to drape. You can even just tie string around day-old bagels or bread, hang them, and watch the party.
10.) Go to the zoo. A lot of animals from colder climates change colors as the weather goes from warm to cold (our favorite: the Arctic fox, who goes from brown to white). It’s fun to watch the cold-weather animals perk up and run around outside, and also fun to visit the warm-weather animals in their winter enclosures.
How do you and your kids play in the snow?