12 winter activities to get your kids outside (The cold never bothers them anyway!)

Every parent and grandparent knows that getting kids all bundled up to go outside in the winter can sometimes feel like a great feat. But with so much snow on the ground right now, there is no shortage of activities that make it worth it!

If your child is too young for sledding and snowball fights or you just want to try something new, here are 12 creative activities that will keep kids busy for hours of winter fresh air.

  1. Paint on a Snow Canvas — Add some food colouring to a spray bottle or squeeze bottle and let your kids colour your yard with harmless food dye. For extra fun, use the coloured water to paint a maze in the snow or even a Tic-Tac-Toe board!
  2. Add a Twist to the Traditional Snowman  — Helping your kids create their very own Frosty can be a blast, and there are ways to keep the fun going. Try Pin the Smile on the Snowman using a stick for the smile, or if your toddler is too small to lift the snowballs on top of each other, help them create a different kind of snow-critter, like a caterpillar or a snowman that’s lying down.
  3. Bring Trees to Life — Pack snow onto trees to create faces until Frosty has a ton of tree friends!
  4. Create a Scavenger Hunt — Write up and/or draw a list of items to be found in the backyard, like a stick, pinecone, rock, etc. Have your kids try to find everything on the list and report back to you for inspection. This is a great activity to encourage reading and cooperation (and if you didn’t quite get around to tidying the yard before the snow came, this can also be a sneaky way to get the job done before spring…). You can also try freezing coloured water and hiding the cubes around the backyard — consider it early training for the Easter egg hunt.
  5. Bring Back the Beach Toys — Just because it’s –20°C outside, it doesn’t mean you cannot have some beach fun! Dig up your shovels and pails from the summer and start scooping and packing. Or try out inner tube races: your kids lay flat and make the tubes slide using only their feet.
  6. Fort Fun — Keep those beach toys out a while longer. Depending on snow conditions, your kids can use the pales and shovels to build a snow fort extraordinaire. For an even bigger castle, make snow blocks use recycling bins.
  7. Get Building — Bring out their construction trucks and have the kids turn your yard into a snow construction site. Maybe the construction workers will want to help build a fort too!
  8. Frozen Bubbles — Have you ever tried blowing bubbles in winter? If it’s cold enough, they freeze right before your eyes and float differently in the air. This is fun way to spark interest in the science of how cold temperatures affect liquids. 
  9. Create Your Own Snow Globe — Use real snow, a clear plastic bag and your kids’ favourite toy to create a snow globe in a bag! Just remember to dump the snow before heading back inside!
  10. Chefs in the Cold Kitchen — Use kitchen pots and pans and let your kids dish up some frosty meals.
  11. Frosty Toss — Make a target circle in the snow and have your kids toss snowballs into the circle. See who can get closest to the target!
  12. Feed Your Feathered Friends — Hollow out an orange and fill with seeds to feed the winter birds. You can also string cranberries, popcorn and cereal onto a string or fishing line. Place either of these in a tree and let the birds (and possibly squirrels) enjoy.

Don’t miss out on all the possibilities for fun and exploration that winter provides! Be sure to leave a comment on our Facebook page and let us know how they go, or what favourite outdoor activity you’ve discovered.