Winter can be both the worst and the best time of the year. It is (meant to be) cold, with often sub-zero temperatures which means you’re probably stuck indoors for long periods and just getting up for a midnight glass of water is an exercise in bravery. When you have little ones with oodles of energy trapped indoors, you can start going a little stir crazy! I’m planning for both freezing weather and a warm winter as because while the temperatures are mild right now I’m ever hopeful it’ll snow!
With the following activities you should be able to burn off enough of that energy to at least delay having to get the duct tape out. All the extra bits and bobs you might not have on hand, such as food coloring or colored paper should be easily accessible, and extra layers of winter wear can be found in such shops as Nordstrom, which offer multiple special deals and discounts on whatever you need at this time of the year.
Now some of these activities are purely snowy region activities but as much as possible I’ve tried to include games, crafts and ideas that can be adapted for both.
Make Flavored Hot Cocoa
There is nothing as comforting as hot cocoa on a cold day but with a little flavored extracts or spices (or you could cheat and buy ready mixed flavored cocoa from the store) that cup of cocoa becomes the food dreams are made of.
My flavor additive suggestions are cinnamon spice or extract, vanilla spice or extract, nutmeg, maple syrup, caramel sauce, coconut milk (dried coconut also works but needs to steep for a while) peppermint extract, a shot of espresso (or instant coffee), any nut extracts and pretty much anything else you can imagine tasting good with chocolate. Whatever you do, don’t forget the spray cream and marshmallows.
Make Homemade Christmas Decorations
There are so many ideas for DIY Christmas decorations (thank you Pinterest) that you could probably use this activity for every day. Just the different types of snowflakes you can make whether from paper, beads, wire, drink bottles, ice cream sticks and more could keep you busy all winter. Combine your crafts with recycling by using old newspapers, tin cans, toilet roll inners and anything else you can find that might be able to be turned into something else.
Don’t worry about making too many decorations. Teach your kids about the spirit of Christmas and donate all your extra creations to a local children’s shelter, animal shelter, retirement facility or anyone you and the kids think might need a little help creating their Christmas cheer.
This might seem like an exclusive snow activity but an old cardboard box and a smooth grassy hill have provided some of the best sledding I’ve ever had! If you’re not sledding on snow just remember that a tumble can be a lot more painful so be careful of rocks or hills that are too ‘bumpy’. If the grass is a little damp then something plastic (my kids hijacked the lids from my storage containers over the summer) will work quite well.
Or you could go all out and buy a summer sled – these look exactly like your usual snow sled so they have the curved edge to hang on and also smooth the way over small obstacles but they’ve been designed for summer time fun. Some varieties have wheels (these work best with gentle hills) and others are just smooth plastic.
Strap on Some Ice Skates
If you live anywhere with snow then there will be a lot of ice rinks to choose from. There are a number of indoor ice rinks so even if you don’t have snow, ice skating is something fun for the whole family. If you’re too far away from ice rinks then rollerblades or roller skates are an easy substitute. If you’re a Strictly fan perhaps you’ll find your hidden ice-dancing alter ego while you’re at it.
Play Snow Varieties of Team Sports
Any activity that would normally qualify as a ‘street’ sport becomes crazy fun when you add snow into the mix. You can play football, soccer, hockey, tag and even ‘snow’ athletics. You could play in the yard with just your immediate family and a few friends, or you could turn it into a ‘pick up’ game for the whole neighborhood!
Make Snow Angels
If you have snow then make snow angels. No matter how old you are it’s a simple pleasure and tons of fun. Mix a little food coloring with water in a spray bottle and you can ‘paint’ your snow angels in beautiful colors. The fine colored mist will only settle on the top layer of snow so tomorrow you can scrape it all way and start from scratch!
When it comes to winter time activities your imagination is the limit so get creative. Think of everything you loved to do during summer and put a winter spin on it. As long as the kids are bundled warmly and you’re not afraid of a little cold there are hundreds of things for you, the children and the whole family to do!