While I love certain things about every season, Winter is one of my favorites. Growing up, playing in the snow was always something I loved to do outside! With Winter approaching, I thought it would be nice to compile a list of our favorite Winter outdoor activities for kids.
Many of these outdoor Winter activities include snow, but there are still some great activity ideas for you if you live in a warmer climate. Not to mention, these Winter activities are all budget-friendly, needing only things you likely already have at your home!
Another thing I love about these Winter outdoor activities is that they are great for kids of all ages. Whether your children are toddlers or in elementary school, they will love these ideas!
And, because there are over thirty low-to-no prep activities ideas on this list, there’s a new activity to try every day of the month.
Let’s get started!
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1. Go Sledding
Once you get that first good snowfall of the season, grab some sleds and find a hill! Going sledding was always one of my favorite things to do as a kid, and now that my son is old enough to enjoy small hills, he loves it too.
One thing you can’t forget to bring with you when you go sledding is a thermos of hot cocoa. There is nothing like a hot cocoa break when sledding to warm you up and recharge you for more fun!
2. Build a Snowman
Building a snowman is another one of our favorite Winter outdoor activities for kids. The minute we get some of that heavy snow that’s perfect for making snowmen, we are creating one!
When making a snowman, you can use anything around your house to decorate it. You can grab an old scarf and hat and collect some things from around the yard to create its face. But another fun option is using a snowman kit like this one.
What I love about this snowman kit is that it has everything you need to make a traditional snowman. You don’t have to leave your own hat and scarf outside, and it comes with arms and face decorations that are easy to stick on and will only fall off once the snowman melts.
3. Make Snow Angels
The great thing about making snow angels is that you can do so in minimal snow. Even if there is a little powdery snow covering, you can still make some wonderful snow angels.
4. Make a Snow Maze
If you have a day where you get heavy snowfall and the yard or driveway hasn’t been touched, encourage your children to make a snow maze!
To make a snow maze, you or your child will start by shuffling your feet or using a shovel to make a winding or blocky path from one point in your yard or driveway to another. Then, you can walk back through the main course and make new paths that branch off, creating the maze.
Once you have a good amount of paths branching from the main one and the maze isn’t so straightforward looking, your child can try the maze again to see if they remember the way out. Or, you can have your other kids or neighborhood kids try it out.
5. Catch Snowflakes on Your Tongue
If you’re able, jump outside with your kids when it starts snowing and see how many snowflakes you can each catch on your tongue. This is a great activity for toddlers and preschoolers to help them practice counting in a fun way!
6. Go On a Scavenger Hunt
Scavenger hunts are always a fun activity to get your kids outside. And the incredible thing about scavenger hunts is that they can be as easy or complex as you want them to be!
To start a scavenger hunt, you’ll need a list of items to search for. You can find many free ones on Pinterest or cute printable ones on Etsy. To make it even easier, you can make your own by writing the items you know your kids can find on paper.
Then, once your kids have the scavenger hunt list, you can all head outside and start searching for the items. You can either make it a group activity where you all participate or have each child find the items individually to see who can finish the list first. Either way, it will be a lot of fun!
7. Have a Snowball Fight
Snowball fights can be a lot of fun if you have older children that can understand safety rules.
For example, if you want to have a snowball fight, make sure your kids know not to throw them at anyone’s face and ensure there are no rocks or ice chunks in them.
When preparing for a snowball fight, it can be even more fun to build considerable barriers to hide behind, like building a snow fortress.
Creating a barrier can encourage your kids’ imagination and creativity, and it gets them thinking of how to build so they won’t get hit.
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8. Go On a Snowy Walk
Taking a snowy walk around your neighborhood is a fun way to look for the changes that happen in the Winter. All you have to do is bundle up and ensure you’re not wearing slippery shoes, and you’re good to go!
Talk with your kids about what they see (or don’t see) when going on the snowy walk. For example, what animals do they see? How have the trees changed since the last season? Any questions that get them talking about what they notice are great.
9. Paint the Snow
When you have plenty of snow, your kids can use it as a giant canvas and paint it! What I love about this snow paint is that it’s easy to put together, cheap, and you likely already have everything you need!
All you’ll need for snow paint is just water and food coloring. To make the paint, you’ll fill up a spray bottle or cup with water and add however many drops of food coloring you need to get the desired tint to the water.
Our favorite way of using snow paint is with spray bottles because they are great for working your child’s hand muscles. Plus, spray bottles can make a mist or a stream, so your kids have plenty of painting options!
But if you don’t have spray bottles and want to use cups, you can use water droppers to paint the snow. Both ways will be a lot of fun, and you’ll have the most colorful yard on the block!
10. Start a Nature Journal
Starting a nature journal is an excellent activity to start around the beginning of the year. Then, as the year goes on and your kids add more to their journals, they can look back at everything they have observed throughout the year!
You’ll need a notebook and a pencil to start a nature journal. If your kids want to go an extra step, they can take pictures of the things they see and print them out to glue in their journals.
Once your kids have their journals, they’ll take them outside and write about their observations. They can journal about anything they see and enjoy or focus on things like trees, animals, or insects.
11. Study Animal Footprints
Studying animal footprints in the snow can be an exciting way for your children to learn about common animals that live near them. And studying tracks can double as a fun investigation game!
To study animal footprints, you’ll want to have a ruler, notebook, and camera if you want to document the tracks. Then, you’ll head outside in your yard, the neighborhood, or on local hiking trails.
When you find a track, you’ll want to measure the length and width carefully. Then, you’ll want to count how many toes are on the print; make a note of the shape of the toes. After your kids have noted all of the identifying factors of the print, have them draw it or take a picture.
Once you have all the footprints recorded, you and your kids can guess what the prints came from and then check online to see if you’re correct. This website is an excellent resource for animal prints!
12. Investigate With a Magnifying Glass
One outdoor activity kids love no matter the time of year is bringing a magnifying glass outside to explore seasonal changes.
Ask your child to brainstorm what changes outside during Winter, and then see those things up close with the magnifying glass. This activity is entertaining to do at the beginning of each season. Then, document them with pictures or in their journal.
13. Make Designs on the Driveway
Before shoveling the driveway after a fresh snowfall, have your kids make fun designs! They can make the designs with their feet by shuffling through the snow, or they can grab some shovels and make designs that way.
14. Make Ice Marbles
If you’ve never made ice marbles, add this to your Winter outdoor activities list! Making ice marbles is a fun activity that lets your kids create giant marbles with which you can later decorate the yard. It’s a perfect activity for around Christmastime!
To start, drop a few drops of food coloring into a balloon. Then, fill the balloon with water until it’s round, being careful not to overfill the balloon.
Remember: The bigger the water balloon, the longer it will take to freeze!
Once the balloon is filled with water and tied, you’ll want to place it outside to freeze. I recommend assembling the water balloons, setting them outside in the early afternoon, and then checking on them in the morning.
Depending on how large your water balloon is, it could take 12-24 hours to freeze fully. Once they are frozen, you cut the balloon away from the ice marble with scissors, and you’re ready to decorate the yard!
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15. Visit a Snowy Park
We all know how crowded local parks become in the warmer months. But once it becomes cold outside, parks can become pretty abandoned!
While you’ll need to take extra safety precautions, like staying off of metal playground equipment to prevent slipping, there are still plenty of fun things to do at the park in the Winter.
For example, if you don’t have a large yard and don’t get much snow to play in, parks typically have a vast amount of untouched snow for your kids to run around in.
Or, if you don’t have snow where you live so playground equipment doesn’t become hazardous, your kids might have the playground all to themselves.
16. Make Colored Ice Building Blocks
Making ice building blocks is one of the most budget-friendly Winter outdoor activities for kids. Not to mention, this activity can keep kids entertained for a couple of months!
To make colored ice building blocks, you’ll need food coloring, water, molds for the ice (like ice cube trays, muffin tins, or even cups), freezing temperatures, or a freezer.
You’ll start by filling your block molds with water and mixing different food coloring colors into each container. Once the molds are filled and colored, you can set them outside (or in the freezer) until they freeze.
Once frozen, you can have your kids pop the blocks out of the molds, and they are ready to play!
17. Create a Sled Hill From the Driveway
In the last couple of years, one of my family’s favorite Winter outdoor activities for kids is making a mini sledding hill from the snow we clear off the driveway.
To make a sledding hill, you’ll try to clear the snow off your driveway into roughly the same spot each time it snows. Then, as the slope increases after each snowfall, you can bring out the sleds and see how far you can get down the mini-hill!
After a few days of sledding on the mini hill with no new snowfall, it can get pretty slick, and you can go surprisingly far! Plus, since it’s a small hill, it’s a fun activity to do with toddlers and preschoolers.
18. Try a Winter Sport
Trying out a new Winter sport can be a fun family activity if you live where it snows. And the winter sport doesn’t necessarily have to be skiing or snowboarding. A more straightforward activity like snowshoeing can be fun to learn, too!
19. Build a Snow Fort
Another one of the fun snowy Winter outdoor activities for kids is building a snow fort. Building a snow fort allows kids to problem-solve and express their creativity.
Growing up, I could never quite get my snow fort to have a stable roof, but it was still fun to try! Even just seeing how tall you can make the fort walls is a fun activity that will keep kids entertained for a long time!
20. Blow Frozen Bubbles
One of the most incredible Winter outdoor activities for kids is blowing frozen bubbles. For this activity, you’ll want to grab some little containers of bubbles you likely have leftover from the Summer and head outside.
First, you’ll want to ensure the outside temperatures are suitable. You’re good to go when you have a day when the temperatures are at 32 degrees or below! Just keep in mind that the colder, the better for this activity.
Once you get outside, have your kids blow some bubbles. If it’s really cold, they will freeze in the air! But if it’s not quite cold enough to freeze them in the air, have your kids try to catch a bubble on the bubble wand, and they can watch it freeze!
21. Make Frozen Bird Feeders
Having bird feeders in the yard is a great way to attract birds so your little ones can watch them. One fun thing to do in the Winter is make frozen bird feeders!
To start, add the birdseed to each muffin tin section, filling it about ¼ inch high. Next, add a single layer of berries and fill the tin with water.
Then, cut two 6″ or longer strips of twine and tie one end in a knot. Place the knot at the bottom of the muffin tin and repeat until each muffin tin section has twine.
Once the bird feeders are finished, and each has twine, you can place the pan in the freezer or outside if it’s cold enough. Once the feeders are frozen, you can pop them out of the tin and tie them onto tree branches!
22. Try Birdwatching
As I mentioned above, having bird feeders in your yard is an excellent way to attract birds for birdwatching. But the great news is that you don’t have to have bird feeders; you can take a walk around your neighborhood, local park, or hiking trails to find some birds!
One thing to remember is that venturing outside your yard or neighborhood will likely bring a different variety of birds to see.
23. Eat a Warm Snack With Cocoa
Having a picnic in the warmer months is a fun thing to do with your kids, and you don’t have to stop just because it’s cold outside!
While you might not want to stay outside with your snacks as long as you would in the Summer or Fall, you can still heat up a muffin, grab some hot cocoa, and enjoy them out on the porch steps or a water-resistant blanket.
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24. Grab the Beach Toys
One thing that parents often overlook is that beach toys for sand are also wonderful to use in the snow! Like sand, heavier, wet snow is easy to pack into sand toys, so your kids can build snow castles!
If you don’t have sand toys and don’t want to buy any new ones, using plain buckets and large spoons or scoops can be just as fun!
25. Bring the Snow Inside on Bad Days
This next activity isn’t necessarily an outdoor activity, but it can help your kids feel like they are outside on those stormy days or days when it’s just too cold out.
I started bringing some snow inside for my son when he was around two years old. When he was around two, I used the largest Tupperware container we have because sometimes two-year-olds can lose interest fast.
But, if you have a large storage container that doesn’t have a use currently, load it up with some snow and bring it in! I always do this activity on the kitchen floor, so if the snow gets on the floor and melts, it’s easy to clean up.
To make playing with snow even more fun, you can grab some sensory tools like these ones to scoop and transfer snow. Also, you can use colored water in cups to squirt onto the snow for even more excitement!
26. Check Out the Stars
It’s a great time to do some star gazing in the Winter because the sun starts setting earlier in the evening. On a night with clear skies, head outside and have your kids check out the night sky.
If you aren’t familiar with constellations, you can look them up on your phone, and your family can try to see which ones they can see. This activity isn’t only fun, but it can be educational, too!
27. Go Ice Skating
One of the great things about ice skating is that most places have indoor rinks you can rent skates at. Going to an indoor rink means you won’t be as cold as you would be at an outdoor rink.
I have loved going ice skating since I was little, and I love that you don’t have to be too skilled to have fun. Just getting the courage to get out on the ice and learning how to get from one end to the other is exciting.
28. Make Snow Sculptures
Similar to making snowmen, making snow sculptures is great fun that can keep kids happily outside for a long time. When making snow sculptures, your kids can create anything they like!
Your kids can make a snow sculpture of their favorite animal or cartoon character. And the best part is that it doesn’t have to be perfect! As long as they enjoy the activity, that’s all that matters.
29. Make Snow Faces on Tree Trunks
Have you ever noticed that if you throw a snowball at wood, it sticks pretty well? While it can be fun to throw snowballs at a wood fence and watch them stick, it’s even more fun to make snow faces.
To make snow faces, you’ll pack snow onto a wooden fence or a tree trunk. You can make simple smiley faces or take it a step further and try to do something similar to sculpting a face out of snow.
30. Shovel a Neighbors Driveway
If your family wants to do a good deed for someone in the neighborhood, offer to help shovel some driveways! Helping your neighbors clear their driveways can be a tremendous help for some, especially elderly neighbors who might not be able to shovel independently.
31. Write in the Snow With a Stick
When you have fresh, undisturbed snow, have your kids find sticks and write in the snow! They can write silly things, simple things, or even just the ABCs.
If your children aren’t quite at the writing stage, have them draw in the snow instead!
32. Build an Obstacle Course
My toddler loves to build an obstacle course, no matter the season. But in the Winter, you can have even more opportunities for obstacles if you use the snow!
When making an obstacle course in the Winter, your kids can build tracks and obstacles out of snow, in addition to using things you might already have in the year, like chairs, for example.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this list of Winter outdoor activities for kids! Spending time outdoors with your kids is worthwhile for many reasons, even when it’s cold out! I hope these activities help make getting outside effortless for your family.
Before you go, check out these related articles:
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What was one of your favorite Winter outdoor activities for kids? I would love to know in the comments below!