7 Backyard Winter Play Activities
Winter is here and the kids are home from school for winter break. It’s important for your youngsters to get some fresh air and exercise daily. It makes them fend off colds, keep their immune systems strong, gives them those glowing rosy cheeks and they can come in for hot chocolate or warm cider for a treat. It’s a good idea to plan ahead and get together with a couple of neighbors if your kids are small and come up with some good ideas for some backyard winter fun. Here are seven ideas for some backyard winter fun.
This can be the same idea as tag. The rules are still the same and the only difference is the kids can only go where they see bootprints. The child must gently step in the boot prints and move. This is an idea that helps challenges kids to use their critical thinking skills. There will be much laughter and yelling in fun with this game.
The Color White
This is a game of visual perception and the rules for the game are easy. Kids of all ages can play this game. You give each child three white objects that they are supposed to hold outside. You can use household items like cotton, kleenex, napkins, q-tips etc. Have one child count to three and when they hear the number 3, have all the kids throw their items up into the air. On the count of three again, have everyone run around to collect all the white items they find. The child that gathers the most objects win. This is a good way to help the kids to learn about visual perception and this game gets the kids running. It’s a fun game because there is a bit of challenge entailed and older kids enjoy the game as well.
A toboggan run is fun and easy to organize and kids will enjoy many hours of fun. If you don’t have a good hill in your neighborhood, then make your own hill. All you have to do is plow all the snow to one side of your property or driveway. Shovels work well, but it’s nice if you can find someone with a small plow to help and it’s always great to get the kids outside to help with the project. Once you have mastered creating a huge pile, make a flat spot on the top for a starting point. Create some steps up to the starting pad and you can even use some boards if you have some to create your snow steps.
The key is to make the slope steep enough so that the toboggan can go really fast. Don’t make the slope too steep though because you don’t want anyone to tumble over the top. You can start this project early in the winter if you have enough snow and just keep maintaining your hill. Your children will appreciate it and this kind of hard work creates lasting memories.
Snowshoes/ Cross Country Skiing
These are wonderful and fun activities and easy to do in your backyard if your yard is open enough. Many places rent the equipment but this is a great investment if you decide this is something your whole family enjoys. The gear for kids and adults is convertible so you have some growing space for your kids for a while. These two activities are both good ways to keep your blood warm. In addition, if you have open property, can look at all the beautiful scenery and winter animals you all will see. This is a good idea for rural kids, city kids might have to try a park for these activities.
Snow forts are the most fun backyard activities for all because you can get so creative. There are forts that you can make with a maze and build a hill on the top so your kids can slide down on their saucers. Kids are pretty creative at a young age and can easily figure out some good snow fort building techniques by the time they are 5. All they need are good kid shovels and a good amount of snow and cold. This way their forts won’t melt and will last most of the winter. Some families work together and make forts look like castles, while others can make a fort look like an igloo. Remember, it’s always good to take some pictures of your kid’s creations.
Building a snowman is a traditional winter activity for all kids. Most parents love to come outside and help or watch their kids build snowmen. Even if you have a toddler, it’s still fun to have them help build a snowman as well. Snowmen are for people of all ages. You can decorate your snowman with an old hat, jacket, items you find around the house. You and your kids can create a family of snowmen and snowwomen and snow children and these can be your winter family outdoors as long as the weather stays cold enough. This is another great family memory that you will want to take a picture of!
Scavenger hunts can be done all year long but this is still a fun game to do outdoors in your backyard in the winter. This is another good way for everyone to get fresh air and play together in a group activity. The objects you choose will be different depending on your geographical location and your own backyard. The idea is the same as all scavenger hunts. You hide the objects you chose and devise a list for everyone to find the items on the list. If your children are young, it might be easier to make one list and do the hunt together. If your kids are older, have at it and give them each a list and make a game out of it. Everyone gets their heart rate up by running around and you all enjoy some great family fun with friends.
Outdoor tips for Winter Weather
Dress warm and make sure your kid’s gloves are waterproofed. People make huge mistakes in winter weather by being dressed too warm or not warm enough. Kids become upset and cranky so dress everyone in layers and if someone gets too warm, it’s easier to remove a layer than a huge snowsuit.
Go in when kids are getting cold!
It’s not fun when kids get cold and it’s dangerous too. They can get frostbite. The best thing to do is take some timeouts and go inside for some warm drinks and to warm up. The kids and neighbor kids can always return outside and continue what they were doing after they warm up.
Keep trying different activities if the kids seem bored. Make sure you let the kids take charge of the events outdoors and if they want to slide down that hill without a saucer, it’s ok to let them try it. That’s the fun of outdoor winter backyard activities.