It’s that time of year many of us dread. The days are shorter, colder and that first icy breath on the morning school run will have many of us racing back indoors to warmer temperatures. Kids don’t seem to be any wiser to the change in weather and still love to venture outside. So we’ve put together a list of our favorite outdoor winter activities for kids that will keep them entertained throughout this period. If you really can’t brave the outdoors during the arctic conditions, we’ve also compiled a list of indoor winter activities that would be great too!
The Best Outdoor Winter Activities for Kids
1. Scavenger Hunt
You might be thinking that doing a scavenger hunt in the midst of winter is a bit pointless as a lot of nature is dead. However, each season you’ll find a different range of things. Now is the perfect time to be on the lookout for berries, acorns, seedpods, evergreens and dead flower stalks. You can even get your little one to be on the hunt for bug hideaways. This can make your daily walk a lot more interesting and you can even take along a mesh bag or plastic container to collect your findings and compare with others at the end.
2. Make a Frozen Suncatcher
This outdoor winter activity can be done in your own garden and can even be done using the items you collected on your scavenger hunt! All you’ll need is a shallow dish/container, water, twine and foliage to emerge into the water.
Begin by arranging your outdoor treasures into the shallow container. This can be filled with berries, vibrant coloured leaves and other interesting twigs. We recommend using colorful items that will make your frozen suncatcher stand out and be seen from the back window of your house!
Once you’ve arranged your foliage in the dish, fill it up with water. Rumor has it that if you fill your container with boiling water then your disc will come out crystal clear! Once your disc is frozen, pry it out of its container carefully. If you’re having trouble try leaving in the sun for a bit or using a hairdryer to melt away the edges. Get a responsible adult to drill a hole into the disc and bear in mind that the further you go toward the center of the disc, the longer it will take for the string to melt through the edge.
Tie your piece of twine and hang! It’s as simple as that. Watch as the sun shines through your frozen disc and casts colorful hues across your garden.
3. Visit a Botanical Garden
Generally open all year round, botanical gardens often offer both indoor and outdoor experiences. A lot of them also have children’s play areas and cafes, making it a fun and easy day out with something for everyone! Not sure where to go? A quick Google search will help you find ones local to your area. Most botanical gardens also contain galleries, and other unique
4. Visit an Outdoor Activity Park
If you’re looking to tire your child out or are interested in a fun, family bonding experience, try your hand at Go Ape. Located all over the US, these outdoor tree top rope experiences will push you to your limits. Children from 4 years and up can participate in these fun outdoor challenges that will see them crossing amongst the trees, climbing rope ladders and if they’re brave enough, zip lining through the treetops.
5. Make a Bird Feeder
If you and your children are lovers of nature, then making a birdfeeder will continue to provide joy long after it’s been made. A bird feeder can be created in various different ways and offers you and your child a chance at some fun DIY and to be outside decorating your tree with the feeders.
Apple Slice Bird Feeder-
This can be made with an apple, peanut butter, bird feed, twine and a large nail. Simply cut the apple in half and using a spoon dig out the core to create a hollow space. Stick a nail through the top to create a hole and then feed the twine through and tie it in a loop ready for hanging. Once this is done, mix together some peanut butter and bird feed and have your children spoon the mixture into the center of the apple until they are all filled. Once you’re done they’re ready to hang outside!
Pine Cone Bird Feeder-
This can be made with a pine cone, peanut butter, bird feed and twine. You’ll want to tie the twine around the pine cone at the start of this activity and make a loop as this can be a little messy once the peanut butter is on. Next spread your peanut butter onto the pine cone with a knife or spoon and don’t be afraid to be generous. Once this is done, have your children roll the peanut butter covered pine cones in a bowl of birdseed, making sure it’s completely covered. Then you’re ready to hang!
Sit back with a cup of tea and enjoy watching the birds feast on their winter treat.
The Best Indoor Winter Activities for Kids
1. Indoor Skiing
A number of dry ski slopes/ snow domes are dotted around the US and most offer lessons for little ones and older kids, making this the perfect indoor winter activity for the whole family. Many also offer tobogganing and sledding if you don’t fancy trying your hand at skiing. Whilst this is technically indoors you’ll still want to wrap up warm and make sure you take gloves. Prices generally include the use of boots, skis and helmets but make sure you check each site for specifics.
2. Create an Indoor Cinema
Get cozy this winter and create your very own indoor cinema. Before the big viewing you can create tickets with your children with the viewing details, before cutting them out and giving everyone their own unique cinema pass. Decorate the room with big throws and some fairy lights to create a super cozy environment and even designate an area for snacks. Stock up on popcorn and all their favorite cinema treats before sitting down together and enjoying the movie. Not sure what to watch? Head over to our post on the best netflix movies for kids for inspiration.
3. At Home Baking
There are many different recipes online you can choose from for this one, but might we suggest a deliciously warming and easy apple pie recipe for kids? At home baking is a great indoor winter activity for kids and even better if you can use produce that is currently in season. A perfect mix of education, getting their hands messy and then enjoying the fruits of their labor once done.
2. Air Dry Clay Craft
A fantastic indoor winter activity for kids, air dry clay is a great product because all you need is your hands and a touch of water. There are many different tutorials online to create everything from coasters to pinch pots dependent on your child’s age and skill level. Once your object has dried out you can spend time painting them which is another fun task in itself.
5. Create a Reading Nook
If your child isn’t a natural bookworm, sometimes it can take a little encouragement. Why not spend an afternoon creating her own cozy and comfortable reading nook? The idea is that you create a space that becomes enjoyable to spend time in, your child will naturally gravitate towards it. Try setting up a cozy corner of the house, perhaps by a window or convert an entire wardrobe into her very own mini library. Fill the nook with cozy blankets, a comfortable space to sit and a cute light for those dark winter afternoons. The area can be separated from other spaces by using curtains and decorated with fun posters or art to make the nook feel more like hers. Take a look at our blog for the best books for teenage girls and stock up the shelves with a couple of new books to get her excited.
We hope that these ideas will keep your kids entertained this winter and will even be enjoyed by you too!