Many winter activities for children involve snow, but not every place sees snow! No matter where you live here, there are 5 fun winter activities – with or without snow!
1. Freeze nature
Make room in your freezer for one of the easiest winter activities for toddlers. Gather pine cones, leaves, and berries, put them in a plastic container, and soak them in water before putting them in the freezer. Encourage the children to take a look at the freezing process to watch air bubbles form and ice slowly crust over what they find. Finally, let them hold and watch nature frozen in time!
2. Outdoor tic-tac-toe
You will likely have access to many dried twigs and branches that are lying on the ground. Turning these sticks (along with a handful of round stones for the O’s) into a quick tic-tac-toe game is one of the coolest outdoor activities for kids of all ages.
3. Fishing on ice
Fishing with kids is a classic outdoor activity, but ice fishing for Panfish with them this winter may not be possible. Try this simple science experiment instead! Pour cold water into a container and fill it with ice cubes. Invite your children to fish for ice with a piece of line in hand. You won’t get a bite, but for now sprinkle salt on the wet end of your string and try again. Salt lowers the ice temperature, but since the ice cube fish are still surrounded by freezing temperatures, it quickly freezes again and ice forms over the line so your young angler can “roll in” his cool catch!
4. Make tree faces
This fun DIY winter activity for toddlers uses leaves (all for bushy eyebrows, rolled up for handlebar mustaches), smooth round stones, and a dash of paint (eyes), pinecones (noses), and curvy sticks (mouths) to make tree faces. Using wood glue or a hammer and nails (with adult assistance), kids can turn the trees in their yard into an audience for their next winter football game!
Consider promoting your children’s philanthropy this winter by helping vulnerable members of your community. One of the easiest winter charitable activities for kids is to collect lightly worn jackets from family members, friends, and neighbors and then donate them to a local charity that is able to serve those in need.
When you’ve completed these five winter activities, enjoy yourself with even more outdoor activities for kids!
Jeff is a father to teenage daughters, avid travelers, photographers, and freelance writers. He has written stories for Fodor’s, Reader’s Digest, Parents’ Magazine, Good Housekeeping, PBS, and Esquire, among others, about family travel, outdoor recreation, the environment, parenting, and more. Find him on his blog, OWTK.com and on Instagram @OWTK. Jeff is also the editor of the quarterly literary zine Stanchion