By S. Standish
We are in a perpetual snow land right now here in Niagara! Have to come up with a bunch of good games to keep the kids occupied outside. Staying inside all day drives everyone crazy and brings down family energy. So bundle up and go outside to play some snow games instead!
- Snow Tug ‘o War – Grab a rope, make two teams and make a center line to use as a gauge to see who wins. The team that pulls the whole other team over that center line wins!!!!
Materials: a sturdy rope, strength:)
- Snow Tic Tac Toe – Have the kids make 5 x’s and squares from twigs or other nature items. Draw a grid in the snow and let them play.
Materials: Nature Items for the x’s and o’s.
- Snowman Hula Hoop Toss – Have your kids build a snowman that a hula-hoop can easily be thrown over. Put a line a decent distance away from the snowman where kids will toss their hula hoops and try to get it over the snowman. There may be different throwing lines for different aged kids. This game keeps them super busy. I have them keep score in the snow.
Materials: 3 Hula Hoops (or one and use it 3 times)
- Cool Snow Critters Sculpting Game – Have the kids make animals in the snow. Think of what they do in the summer in sand and have them make animals using good packing snow. I let them use nature items to ‘enhance’ their creations.
- Bullseye Snowball Throwing Contest – Use three spray bottles with different food dye coloured water to make a three ring bullseye in the snow. I try and draw the lines for the target for them and let them fill in the rings with the spray. Assign a point value to each ring, and set up a throwing line. Have each kid take turns to see how many points they can get in a certain number of throws.
Materials: 3 Spray bottles, food dye (3 colours)
- STEM Outdoor Avalanche Activity from HowStuffWorks.com – Learn how avalanches work by building this fun homemade avalanche project.
- SNOW Golf – take out golf equipment that no one minds get played with in the snow. Make holes to aim for. Kids can design the course. Make sure that you use coloured balls….white balls tend to get lost very easily.
- Snowball Rolling Contest – Start a snowball rolling contest to see who can roll the biggest snow ball in 4 minutes!
- Snake Slide – A First Nations Game played on a frozen surface. This game was originally played on a frozen lake. As that can be unsafe, we flatten an area of snow in the backyard and add some buckets of water to make a ‘frozen’ area. Each kid finds a stick about 6 inches long to be their “snake”Players take turns standing on a starting spot throwing their “snake” so that it slides as far as possible across the icy surface. Once all snakes have been thrown, the winner is the snake that is the farthest.
- Snowy Obstacle Course – Have the kids design an obstacle course outside. Example: Army crawl 10 feet, throw 5 snowballs in a basket, balance on stepping blocks, make a snow angel and run back. You can time it and declare a winner based on each players time.
Parent Participation Quick Activities:
* Create a maze. Lace up your winter boots and walk out a crazy path for your kids to follow.
* Plan a scavenger hunt. Hide plastic toys in mounds of snow. Give the kids silly directions to follow (hot vs. cold) as they search for the items.
* Play freeze tag. This is the perfect game for the cold weather. Once someone is tagged by the person who’s “It,” they have to stay frozen until another player goes through their legs.
* Pass the Snowman – Like Pass the Hot Potato…..create a small snowman out of snow and pass it around the circle (wear gloves), have a parent say stop, the kid holding the snowman is out.
* Frozen Bubbles – Blow bubbles outside! Watch them freeze in the air if it’s below 32 degrees Fahrenheit.
* Repurpose Beach Toys – Take out all the beach stuff and let the kids use it in the snow. They will have a blast!
Fun Resources We Found:
DIY Snow Paint (The SITS Girls)
10 Winter Family Games – Canadian Living
Note: For all outdoor activities that involve playing in the snow, ensure that the child wears appropriate winter clothing including jackets, gloves, and shoes to prevent frost bite.