Let it snow! Kids' winter and snow activities

Kids outside in wintertime

What’s not to love about the magic of winter? There’s nothing quite like white snow covering everything with a blissful silence…it’s just not fair that the warmer months get all the credit! Winter can be just as much fun. There are tons of fun activities to do outside in the snow with your kiddo. Boredom doesn’t stand a chance!

If you ever feel stumped on winter playtime activities that go beyond the usual snow angel and tobogganing staples, this blog is just for you. We gathered a few cool (pun intended) winter and snow activities that you and your little one will love trying out during the winter months. So grab yourself a mug of hot chocolate, settle in, and let us help you beat the wintertime grumpies with some activities that celebrate the season!

Outdoor Winter Activities for Toddlers

Brrr…it’s chilly out there! Bundle up and head outside for some fresh air with these outdoor winter activities for kids. These may not exactly be the coziest activities, but it’s nothing a nice mug of hot chocolate can’t fix. So gear up with your kiddo, because family winter activities provide endless fun!

Paint the snow

Breathe in the crisp winter air and put on your gloves because it’s time to paint al fresco! What’s a better canvas than snow? It’s practically endless, and it’s free! For this activity, grab some food coloring, cups, and paintbrushes. (And your kid, of course. Every blank canvas needs an artist.) Designate an area in your yard and outline a shape in the snow to create your own canvas for their artwork. Fill the cups with water and food coloring to create some paints for your little one to use. Make sure that your kiddo is bundled up in lots of layers and winter gear because they’ll be sitting in the snow! Once you have all of your materials, it’s time for your kiddo to start painting. In addition to their snow painting, you can bring out some small toys for your kiddo to add to their masterpiece. If it’s too cold outside, you can even bring the fun inside. Fill a container with snow, and press it into a tray, bin, or cookie sheet for your little one to paint inside. Freeze and repeat!

Decorate the yard

One of the best things about snow is that it’s essentially a clean slate just waiting for a creative kiddo to work their magic. Your little one can decorate your snow-covered yard with fun winter decorations and fairy lights to make it even more magical than it already is. Or, your kiddo can make decorations with snow!

If it’s the coveted “packing snow” that’s covering your yard, you’re in luck. It’s known for sticking to things and being easy to sculpt and build with. Have you ever noticed how when you throw a snowball onto a fence or wall, some of the snow sticks to the surface? Why not make some art with it? Unleash your kiddo’s creativity, and encourage them to make a snow mural on your backyard fence or an exterior wall! They can “paint” some giant snowflakes, letters, or they can even create a portrait of their pet. Or, your kiddo can create some abstract art by throwing some snowballs at the wall and see what happens. What’s better than art created by snowballs?

Build a snow lantern

In northern parts of Europe like Sweden, Finland, and Norway, there’s a tradition where people build lanterns out of snow. They’re a blast to make, and look beautiful at night when they’re all lit up. Not only that, they’re pretty easy to make! So give that snowpal you built with your kiddo something pretty to look at in the yard at night. You’ll have the most magical yard in the neighborhood!

This works best when snow isn’t powdery, so make sure you have some good packing snow before your get started. First, ask your kid to make a bunch of snowballs. Once you have your snowballs, assemble them in a circle and build them up into a cone shape. It can be as big or as small as you’d like! Then, put some inexpensive outdoor lights or tea light candles inside before you close up the top. Voila! You now have your own snölykta in your yard! These pretty snow lanterns are a perfect way to give your snowy yard a magical glow.

Kids sledding outside in the snow

Winter games for kids

Sometimes winter can mean long hours staying inside out of the cold, which can make kids a little antsy. Giving kiddos some games to try outside in the snow can help bring some active play that will keep them entertained for hours!

Backyard Winter Olympics

Faster, higher, stronger…it’s time for some fun! Get your kiddo running, jumping, and playing in the snow with some friendly competition. There are endless possibilities to create your own Winter Olympics with your kiddo with things you already have lying around, or by getting creative with the snow. One of the ”sports” you can do is some snowball target practice. Decide on a target and have your kid try to hit the target with snowballs. Join your little one and go for the gold! Another activity is the 100-meter dash, which is about as simple as it gets…but it’s always tons of fun. Measure out a track with a start and a finish line, and you’re off to the races! The extra challenge of running through deep snow makes this race extra fun for kiddos. Activities can be a nod to the Olympics, such as bobsled races with crazy carpets or sleds, or you can make up your own events. Making snow angels, building snow pals, or even snowy dance competitions can all become Olympic sports in your own backyard event!

Snow day scavenger hunt

Scavenger hunts are always a big hit with kids. With the added bonus of the snow covering everything outside, it can add an extra challenge to your kiddo’s treasure hunt! Make a list of things for your kiddo to find, and then let the search begin! Get creative with what you add to the list based on your kiddo’s interests, what you have around your yard, or in your favorite park. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Snowpals
  • Snow fort
  • Icicles
  • Animal tracks
  • Pine cones
  • Twigs
  • Bird house
  • Chimney smoke
  • Birds
  • Berries on branches

Build a fort

This one is something that your kid will remember and talk about all year long. Your kiddo will love spending hours building their snow fort, and it’s perfect for blending physical activity, creativity, and imagination. It’s also a great project to get other neighborhood kids involved in, so it can become a mega-fort that everyone can enjoy!

If you have a specific design in mind, you can draw the perimeter of the fort out in the snow with a stick. Then, time to get some walls up! Find a plastic bin or box to use as a mold for your snow bricks, and stack them as high as you’d like. You can fill in the gaps with snow to make the walls stronger, and ensure they’ll hold up against those dreaded snowball attacks. Looking to make your fort practically indestructible? Smooth the outside layer of your fort and pour cold water over the walls to create a layer of ice. Now you’ve got yourself a fort that will withstand just about anything…but maybe not temperatures above freezing!

Your little one’s new fort has tons of opportunities for pretend play, too. Maybe it’s a castle instead of a fort. It could be a bakery where your kiddo serves snow cakes and cookies. It could be a cozy house in the mountains, a secret superhero lair, or a doghouse. Giving your little one a prompt to spark their imagination results in endless possibilities for pretend play.

Family pajama day

Winter is the perfect time to wear cozy pajamas and fluffy onesies all day, every day. If it’s too cold to play outside, plan a family pajama day and spend some quality time together inside! Going about your daily routines in pajamas and fuzzy slippers somehow makes the most mundane tasks seem even more fun. Plus, it’s the perfect attire to bundle up and explore Winter City in Sago Mini World, or learn about snow in Sago Mini School. It’s a great way to spend a snow day together!

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