It’s another snowy day and the kids are going crazy. They have done all the regular activities such as skating, sledding, baking cookies and playing with friends. You look at the calendar, only four more months of winter to go. With our Calgary winters often being long and chilly, it is time to get creative.
Here are some unique indoor and outdoor activities for winter that will not only keep the kids occupied, but use a little imagination as well.
Outside: We’ve all enjoyed skiing, sledding, tobogganing and built a snowman. What else can we do out there?
1. A winter picnic. Pack sandwiches, cookies and a thermos of hot chocolate. Take a blanket and enjoy a picnic in our winter wonderland.
2. Ice castles. Fill a variety of ice cream and yogurt containers with water; let them freeze overnight. Once they are frozen, take them out of the containers and build your castle. For a splash of color, put food coloring into the water before freezing.
3. A scavenger hunt. Make a list of winter items, get the kids to help you with this beforehand, then go out and see how many you can find. A short list of 10 items is great, and learning about what there is in nature in winter.
4. Snow mini-golf. Set up a mini golf course in your backyard using a variety of items from the house. Tramp down the snow to smooth out uneven surfaces and make paths. Use things like hoola hoops, plastic rings and balls to set up a course. Grab a putter and you’re ready to go.
5. Look for animal tracks. Winter is one of the best times to find tracks, as the snow makes it easier to spot them. Go for a walk and bring a guide book to help the kids figure out what the track is. Bring your camera to take pictures of the tracks so you can look at them at home.
Inside: There are many indoor venues to go to in the winter to keep busy: a swimming pool, a library, and/or a local museum. At home, it can be a bit more challenging, and after baking the twelfth batch of cookies, you need a little variety.
1. Build a fort. Use couch cushions, blankets and cardboard boxes. Let the kids be creative as they build, let them knock it down a few times – and rebuild. Once completed, they can enjoy playing in it. (Ensure it is safe and watched under adult supervision.)
2. Create a play. Have the kids write their own play, assign parts and do a performance. Kids can create the stage, costumes, props and present to friends and family.
3. Make an indoor snowman. This works great with a big group of kids; split them into two teams, give each team a roll of toilet paper. One team member is the model and the others wrap the model with toilet paper to turn them into a snowman. Use construction paper to make the nose, eyes and other features.
4. Create a puppet show. If you have puppets, grab them; otherwise, the kids can make their own. They can also make their own puppet theatre and present to friends and family.
5. Play hide-and-seek. Who says this is just an outdoor game? Set clear guidelines and boundaries about where to hide and let the games begin.
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