Chill and Thrill: 35 Winter Activities for Kids

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As winter sets in and the snow begins to fall, it’s tough to keep kids occupied when the weather is cold and nasty. It’s time to explore practical and engaging outdoor winter activities for kids.

I love using the Waldorf winter activities centered on nature-inspired, seasonal play. All the winter activities below emphasize both nature and education. I’ve got indoor winter activities, outdoor activities, and a few winter safety tips in this guide.

5 kids in winter gear playing outside in the snow

Best Winter Activities for Families

Families have a unique opportunity to come together and create lasting memories in the winter. Some of the best winter activities are classic and simple.

Embrace the chill with classic outdoor activities like building a snowman or engaging in a friendly snowball fight in your backyard. Organize a family scavenger hunt in the snow to encourage teamwork and exploration.

The kids’ favorite winter activities are the ones that we can do all together as a family. Sometimes it’s hard for parents to get away from work and chores but try your best to make these family memories this winter.

If you’re having trouble coming up with winter activities, print out this winter activity list and cross them all off as you complete each idea!

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Indoor Activities for Kids in Winter

When the weather outside is frosty, keep kids entertained and engaged with a play spaces inside. I like to create different areas for a variety of activities at home. This way each kid can do something they enjoy.

girl sitting in cozy blanket fort with lantern

Create a Cozy Corner

One of my kids’ favorite indoor activities is to create a cozy corner for quieter activities. They put up some fairy lights and fill the corner with cozy blankets and pillows. Once they’ve created the space, they use it for a reading nook, board games, or watching a movie.

girl sitting on couch unfolding paper snowflakes
dried orange garland on a string with greenery
  • Do exercise challenges such as pushups and planks. I used to have my kids do bench presses with cans of beans!
  • Use natural materials such as greenery, dried flowers, and oranges to make seasonal garlands.
  • Learn how to do a cartwheel or somersault.

Balance screen time with hands-on activities that encourage creativity and problem-solving. Even if they are stuck indoors, kids and adults alike need to get the wiggles out and have opportunities to have fun. With a bit of planning, indoor winter activities can turn cold days into warm family moments.

kids with winter coats, sunglasses, and hats throwing snow and sledding

Winter Outdoor Activities for Kids

  • Blow bubbles outside and watch as they crystallize before your eyes!
  • Track wildlife prints left in the snow.
  • Paint in the snow using spray or squirt bottles filled with water and food coloring.
  • Create a snow people village!
  • Make icicle art using colored ice cubes.
  • Shovel snow. No really – my kids love making trails in the snow and seeing how big their piles can get.
  • Do a winter scavenger hunt.
  • Make a snow fort or snow castle!
  • Play tic-tac- snow
teen girl in black coat and red gloves sledding on red inner tube
  • Play Pin the Carrot on the Snowman.
  • Learn about the winter solstice.
  • Go sledding.
  • Pack a thermos of hot cocoa and some snacks for a winter picnic in the snow.
  • Set up a simple obstacle course in the snow for physical activity.
  • Create a winter-themed volcano experiment using snow, baking soda, and vinegar.
  • Make your own ski resort from snow.

These outdoor activities for kids are lots of fun and get your kids out in the fresh air. Turn the wintry weather into a playground. Be sure to layer up and only stay outside for as long as the weather permits.

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kids laying on ice in winter coats, hats, and scarves with rosy cheeks

Winter Safety

Winter weather can change abruptly. When your kids are playing outside, it’s important to keep their safety in mind. Small hands and noses can get frostbitten in a matter of minutes.

Frostbite occurs when skin freezes due to exposure to extremely cold temperatures. Small lose heat more rapidly than adults. The wind chill factor can lead to dangerous temperatures even if the thermostat says otherwise. Frostbite can occur in under 30 minutes depending on the conditions.

Use Winter Gear and Layers

Dressing children in layers, including waterproof and insulated outerwear, to keep them warm and protected from the cold. Hats, gloves, and boots safeguard against frostbite and maintain body heat. At a minimum make sure your kids have these winter items:

  1. Insulated Winter Jacket: A high-quality insulated jacket with waterproof and windproof features helps keep kids warm and dry during cold and snowy weather.
  2. Warm Winter Boots: Insulated, waterproof snow boots with good traction are essential for keeping little feet warm and preventing slips on icy surfaces.
  3. Thermal Underwear: Thermal layers provide an extra layer of warmth, helping to regulate body temperature in cold conditions.
  4. Fleece-Lined Hats: A warm, fleece-lined hat that covers the ears helps prevent heat loss and protects against frostbite in extremely cold temperatures.
  5. Insulated Gloves or Mittens: Insulated, waterproof gloves or mittens keep little hands warm and dry during outdoor play in the snow.
  6. Snow Pants or Overalls: Insulated and waterproof snow pants or overalls are essential for keeping the lower body warm and dry, especially during activities like sledding or building snowmen.
  7. Winter Socks: Thick, thermal socks made from materials like wool or synthetic blends keep feet warm and wick away moisture.

Remember to consider the specific weather conditions in your area and adjust the clothing layers accordingly. Make sure winter gear fits well to provide better protection against the cold.

brother and sister drinking hot cocoa and eating a sandwich for a snack
Take regular breaks from the cold with hot cocoa and sandwiches

Take Breaks from the Cold

Sometimes my kids are having so much fun outside they don’t want to come in, even when their cheeks and noses are rosy. Make sure they take regular breaks indoors to prevent frostbite and overexertion.

Make them a cup of hot chocolate when they come in for a break. Drinking water in the winter months is also important to protect from dehydration.

Stay in Supervised Areas

Choose well-maintained areas and always supervise your kids when outdoors. Teach children about the dangers of frozen bodies of water and set clear boundaries for being on trails or near water.

Factors such as wet clothing, inadequate insulation, and prolonged exposure can increase the likelihood of frostbite even at slightly higher temperatures. It’s crucial to monitor weather conditions, dress children in layers, and limit outdoor exposure in extremely cold weather to minimize the risk of frostbite.

More Kids Activities You’ll Love

Follow these safety tips and try these fun winter activities for kids. Remember to keep it simple and make memories to warm your hearts all winter. What is your family’s favorite winter activity?

About Marci Yoseph

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