10+ Fun Ways to Play in the Snow
My kids love playing in the snow from sledding to a snowball fight and making snowmen. All of the classic winter activities. But there are many other fun snow day activities they can do in the snow as well that are also fun for the whole family. Here are 10+ fun ways to play in the snow that will keep your child engaged, help them enjoy the fresh air, and most importantly burn off some of that never-ending energy this winter season.
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Bookmark these other fun guides to winter fun:
- Winter Gear for Kids
- Ice Skating in Des Moines
- Sledding in Des Moines
- Snowshoeing in Des Moines
- 50 Things to do in Iowa this Winter
In the summer my boys love to take their buckets and shovels and play in the sand. You can use your same beach toys for playing in the snow in your own backyard! Dig, rake, shovel, and scoop the snow on a cold day. You can use sand molds to make shapes or buy snow molds. Their aunt got us this Penguin Mold and our yard looks adorable adorned with tiny snow penguins.
Build a Construction Site
Grab your dump trucks, cement trucks, excavators, and all your other child’s favorite trucks and cars and demolish snow structures, carry snow to other parts of the yard for “construction,” or use them to help build mini snowmen. Kids of all ages will have fun using their imagination with this fun activity.
I know what you’re thinking. Shoveling snow is not at the top of your fun list. But for little helpers who love to have jobs and be involved, shoveling snow can feel like a big accomplishment. We bought a child-size shovel like the one here at Lowe’s and my 4-year-old loves to shovel the snow off our deck. He even helped shovel his grandparents’ walkway as well. He was so proud to help and felt like a “big kid” using his own special shovel. You can also sign the older kids up for this job too!
Blow Ice Bubbles
I bought my 1-year-old bubbles for Christmas when it was frigidly cold outside. I’m not sure what I was thinking because I realized we would have to wait until it was a bit warmer out but then I discovered frozen bubbles which is a great idea. When the weather is below freezing, and preferably in the single digits, you can blow bubbles from a homemade solution of corn syrup and dish soap or a pre-made bottle and watch the bubbles freeze on the snow. Pretty interesting to see!
Put food coloring mixed with water in a spray bottle to create colored water. You could also use an eye dropper or use washable liquid watercolors to paint pictures in the snow. Your child can also practice copying shapes, letters, or his/her name. Check out more ideas for snow painting from Jaimie, Iowa mom and creator of the arts and crafts blog Hands On as We Grow, featuring crafts for kids here.
Make Snow Pies
My kids love going to Howell’s during the summer to play in the Mud Kitchen and make mud pies. You can do the same outside in the snow! Give your kids some old pots and pans or bowls and spoons and pretend to cook. Use twigs, bark dust, or anything else you find outside to decorate their concoctions. You can also use cookie cutters or beach sand molds to make pretend cookies in the snow.
Make Snow Aliens/Ghosts
Move over snow people. There are many other fun creatures that kids can build! I stumbled upon this idea for snow aliens in one of my occupational therapy groups and couldn’t find the original source. Basically, kids build a big mound, then either insert glow sticks inside of the mound with the ends sticking out for eyes or form the glow sticks into circles and place them on the mound to make two eyes. They look like Pac-Man ghosts. My boys and I haven’t tried this yet, but I can definitely see them getting a kick out of it. My 1-year-old already likes to say “Spooky!” so he would enjoy this one.
You can never leave out making snow angels as a fun way to enjoy the snowy days!
Find the People
My boys love playing hide and seek and also enjoy when I hide their miniature wooden people toys around our house for them to find. I usually can’t make it too hard as I always seem to forget where I hid them. You can apply this outside in the snow as well. Bury toy people, animals, or other objects partway in the snow and have them find them. You could also map a small section and bury them in the snow for them to dig out like buried treasure or scavenger hunt.
Snow Sensory Bin
Sensory bins are always a hit with little kids. Take this outside for some outdoor play. Gather anything you have around the house such as toy cars, sand toys, nature items, use sticks, and anything else you may find. Then fill the bin with the white stuff for hours of fun. This is a great way to encourage fine motor skills!
Make Monster Tracks
If you live near a field or park you can look for animal tracks and try to guess which kind of animal made the track. Make your own tracks with a stick or by pointing your feet inward or outward (like Peter in the book The Snowy Day) if you are feeling crafty cut out wide cardboard monster feet to attach to the bottom of your feet.
Did you know you can create educational activities in the snow? Enter the Snow Volcano which is a great way to engage the kids outdoors. You will start by making a snow pile, then head to the kitchen to find a small shallow bowl to place at the top of the snow pile. Fill the bowl with white vinegar, a small amount of dish soap, and a few drops of food coloring. You will then take a large spoon of baking soda. Boom! Watch the volcano explode. Young children will love this and want to do it over and over again.
If the snow is wet enough and you can pack snow, building a snow fort always creates so much fun. The entire family can work together to build one or take it a step further and create a snow obstacle course everyone can participate in.
Eat the Snow!
I think this goes against my advice to my 1-year-old to stop eating the snow! However, if it’s lily white and not touching the soil or street it’s generally safe to eat according to this article. Gather snow or set out a bowl to collect falling snow. Try making Maple Syrup Snow Candy or Snow Ice Cream using snow, sweetened condensed milk, vanilla, and sprinkles or other toppings.