Top 10 Winter Activities for Your Family
#10Sledding and Snow Tubing 1 of 11
Find a hill near your house or near your campsite and zip down the snow-covered slopes with a smile on your face. No sled? No problem. A large piece of sturdy cardboard or smooth flexible plastic will do the trick. You can also plop down on a large inner tube. The best part of these winter activities: no expensive equipment or lessons. Just watch out for rocks and trees.
#9Sled Pulling Contest 2 of 11
Your kids will get a thrill when you become the "sled dog" and pull them across an empty field at full speed. For a large group with several sleds, mark out a course and have races. The winning "dogs" will get a great night's sleep—guaranteed.
#8Snowshoeing 3 of 11
Set out with snowshoes and explore the sights and sounds of the snowy landscape. You don't have to stray far from home, and it's one winter activity that will both entertain and wear out the younger ones. If you don't have snowshoes and don't want to buy them, simply make your own. You can use cardboard cutouts or shoe boxes and strap them to your boots with twine, bungee cords or big rubber bands.
# 7Hit the Bulls Eye 4 of 11
Rather than clobbering each other with snowballs, stage a marksmanship contest instead. Get several shades of food coloring, some spray bottles, and sticks with small flags.
First, stomp a large circle flat in the snow. Next, draw two or three rings inside the circle with your spray bottles filled with food coloring and water to create a target. Indicate each ring's point value using a numbered flag on a stick. Appoint a keen-eyed official to keep track of the scores and play until someone reaches 100 points...or until a snowball war erupts.
TIP: Provide each contestant with a bucket for his or her pre-made snowballs. That way, everyone will have the same number of shots. Each player can apply a small splash of food coloring to their snowballs to keep track of where their snowballs land.
#6Find the Flag 5 of 11
This game is great for sharp-eyed players. Tie a white cloth to a short stick. Then, give each player a chance to hide the stick anywhere inside a predetermined area while the other players look away. A timekeeper will track how long it takes to find the flag each time. Whoever hid the flag that takes the longest to find is the winner.
#5Pyramid Knockdown 6 of 11
You'll need nine large plastic drinking cups or empty tin cans for this pitching contest.
Start by building three bases of snow about 2 feet high and 3 yards apart, and level them off. On each base make a pyramid of three cups or cans.
Next, mark a pitcher's mound about 20 feet away from the bases.
Players take turns trying to knock down the pyramids in order from first to third base by throwing snowballs from the pitcher's mound. The player who knocks down the pyramids with the fewest pitches wins.
TIP: For younger players, shorten the distance between the pitcher's mound and the bases.
#4Hats On 7 of 11
Build a nice fat snowman. Then take turns trying land a hat on his head from 10 feet away. Each time Frosty gets his hat, move the starting line back one foot and go again.
#3Mini Snowmen 8 of 11
Younger kids feel left out when they can't help build a standard life-sized snowman. With large spoons or gardening trowels and some sand castle molds, they can easily create an entire city of mini snow creatures. Older kids will enjoy it too, because they can spend more time on the details.
#2Ice or Snow Sculptures 9 of 11
This fun activity will take a bit of advance preparation. Before you go out, fill some ice trays, molds, muffin tins or other containers with water that's tinted with food coloring and put them in your freezer, unless it's really cold outside.
Place all the ice blocks on a table outdoors and then take turns creating free-form sculptures, monsters, animals and people. You can "glue" the shapes together by dribbling a little water on them.
#1Snow Painting 10 of 11
The best and most unique winter activity is snow painting. Fill several cups of water that are dyed with food coloring. Then, with an eyedropper or squirt bottle, splash little drops of color on a fresh canvas of snow. Use the spray bottle to cover a bigger area. You can also make ice people or sculptures and color them with the dyed water.