10 Snow Games for Kids Outside
The age old snowball fight is only the beginning of fantastic snow games for kids that will engage the whole family in cool winter sports. Besides helping everyone burn healthy calories in winter, these snow games are terribly fun and will push you outdoors in your boots to breathe some fresh air. Goodbye, cabin fever. Hello, snow fun for all ages!
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#1 Create a Snow Scavenger Hunt
If you are in a forested or mountain area or near a local park, this snow game will be ideal for the whole family. Create a scavenger hunt by making a list of items that kids can find outside in the snow. Items can include any of the following and more, depending on your area:
- pine cones
- birds (name a color – white birds, red birds, black birds…)
- trees (evergreen, deciduous, small, large, fruit-bearing…)
- snowmen or snow sculptures
#2 Build a Snowpy
Kids and fans of the Peanuts gang are going to get a kick out of this. A few reasons why Snowpy’s are better than snowmen:
- They are more tyrannical
- They have a wicked sense of humor
- They can tell really good stories
Snowpy’s are amazing! For Snoopy inspiration, you can check the Instagram feed of Japanese mom photographer and Snoopy fan @peikokko (she’s got a really nice Snowpy with her child in the picture) or check out below the very creative Snowpy on dog house by Lily Bosse, former mayor of Beverly Hills, California.
A photo posted by Lili Bosse (@lilibosse1) on
#3 Engineer a Winter Snow Fort with Internal Slide
You’ll need a lot of snow for this rather extreme snow game but chances are that after watching this video, your kids will be more than willing to pitch in and help you build the snow fort.
Say you have 25 feet ofCanadian quality snow piled high, snow shovels and good engineering instincts. Do you have a few hours to engineer a snow fort? For safety reasons, make sure there’s always two of you at each single time and check the solidity of construction regularly by sitting on it.
Subscribe to the Burke Bunch TV YouTube channel for more ice and snow fun. They live in Canada, you’re pretty much guaranteed new snow content every year.
#4 Make Perfect Snowballs like Buddy the Elf
In the best snowball fight ever filmed, Buddy the Elf literally bombards of group of bullies with a tower of snowballs that he builds, just as he learned in the North Pole with Santa Claus. How perfect are Buddy the Elf’s snowballs? They’re perfectly round, they hold together and make the best soft missiles on moving targets. Here are a few tips to make your best ever snow balls.
- Find the perfect snow. It’s got to be neither too dry (powdery snow) nor too wet (melting snow). You’ll want snow in slightly warmer places, such as next to streets or houses, for snow with good moisture content.
- Pack your snowballs with gloves, not mittens, or better yet, bare hands. If using bare hands, don’t do it too long lest you lose both hands and use hand warmers in gloves to warm up those fingers. When packing your snowball with gloves, you want a little heat to escape from your hands to shape the snowball into a perfect globe. Pack the snowball only tight enough to throw it without it falling apart as it leaves the hand.
- Smaller and harder snowballs are easier to make than bigger ones and you’ll be able to make more in less time.
- Wait until midday for a snowball fight. By then, the sun will have warmed the snow a bit.
- Use pre-packed snow if possible. This will make the core of the snowball easier to shape. Fill your cupped hands with snow and bring them together while rotating them to pack the now.
- Don’t use plastic snowball makers! It’s unethical.
Last but not least, build a stock if you have time and take cover behind a tree or rock before pelting your opponents with snowballs. Also, enlist the help of your pitcher friends for better aim. Nobody wants to fight a snowball against a guy or gall who spends serous time throwing real balls at high speed.
#5 Go for a Frosty Walk
Bring your dog, the kids’ neighbors, anybody who’s happy to go out and breathe fresh air while going out for a frosty walk. It could be just a walk around the block or a walk to the top of the hill. To make it more interesting for kids, have them guess how long it’s going to take to your final destination or play I Spy on the way.
If you’re feeling particularly ambitious and have a blank field of white snow available for the walking, create snow art by walking in patterns like snow artist Simon Beck. It’s best if you have a hill or rooftop nearby from which you’ll be able to admire the finished result. You could even send kids in the snow in groups and give them instructions over a phone/walkie talkie to achieve a pattern. Imagine the fun!
#6 Make Sugar Snow
Leave it to maple syrup farms to know how to make the ultimate sweet treat for kids on fresh snow. At home, we first heard about this delicacy in Laura Ingalls Wilder’s book, Little House in the Big Woods, as well as in the lovely picture book called Sugar Snow (Little House Picture Book) that I received as a review copy. My 11-year-old is a huge Little House on the Prairie fan and would love to make this some day. The good news is that this traditional spring-time favorite is still made at sugar houses and sugar camps in New England and Canada. Here is how you make sugar snow with maple syrup and snow.
- Heat maple syrup to about 234-240F. A higher heat will make a stiffer product.
- As soon as the syrup reaches the right temperature, pour or drizzle immediately, without stirring, over packed snow or shaved ice.
- It will form a thin glassy, chewy, taffy-like sheet over the snow. Twirl it up with a fork and or press a popstickle stick into syrup and roll into a candy pop. Enjoy!
- Traditionally it’s served with sour pickles to cut the sweetness, and saltines or plain doughnuts.
#7 Go Tobogganing
The old-fashioned art of tobogganing or sledding is still one of the best calorie-burners of all traditional snow games for kids, as you need to hike up the hill before sliding down it. If you don’t have a sled, you can use a variety of DIY sleds.
See #2 in this list of snow activities for kids for inspiration on DIY sleds.
#8 Play a Snow Game of Spoon Balls
This snow game is the winter equivalent of spoon egg races.
- Each person gets a spoon (or cup, for younger kids) and a snowball.
- Prepare an A to B course with lines in the snow or an obstacle course with snowmen, flags or any other marker.
- Have all racers start at the same time and complete the course without dropping their snowball.
- For a more active version, make it a relay and have the kids transfer their snowball to the next person in the relay team until everybody has had a run.
#9 Play Snow-Angel-Against-the-Clock
Anybody can make a snow angel, but how many can you make in one minute? In the simple snow game, kids will run around trying to make the most angels in a given time, racing against the clock while waving their arms and legs in the snow. For more fun, have parents do their own snow angel race too.
#10 Play Winter Hopscotch in the Snow
Do you have a large open area covered in snow? This snow game is great fun for kids as you’ll use food coloring to create the hopscotch board.
- Use a spray bottle filled with water and food coloring to outline a hopscotch board in the snow
- Have kids make a snowball and throw it to the first square in the board.
- Follow the traditional rules of hopscotch and have each participant jump on one foot to pick up their snowball and hop back to the beginning. Pass the snowball to the next player.
- Hop through the squares, skipping the one with the snowball on. Each square gets one foot unless there are two adjoining squares, in which case you can put down both feet at the same time one in each square.
- Repeat a square further until either all participants have completed the course!
More on Snow
- Snowflake Printable Math Activity from Playdough and Popsicles
- Exciting Children’s Reading List about Snow from Crafty Mama in ME
- Snowman Crafts for Kids from Look! We’re Learning!
- Board Books Celebrating Winter from The Jenny Evolution
- Snow Science from iGameMom
- Snowman Ornament from CraftCreateCalm
- Learning about Snowflake Bentley from Fath and Good Works
- Melting Ice Science Experiment from Tales of Education at Home
- Want to Build a Snowman? from Mrs. Karle’s Sight and Sound Reading
- Literacy Games for Kids: Outdoor Ice Scrabble from Schooling a Monkey
- Snow Games for Kids Outside from FrogMom