3 Games to Stay Active This Winter

3 Games to Stay Active This Winter

Here are three family friendly games to play so you can stay moving this winter.


By: Christa Melnyk Hines

Are your kids bouncing off the walls on snowy days? Don’t let the snow stop the fun. Bundle up your crew and head out into the winter wonderland for some active family fun.

These snowy-day games are sure to get your heart pumping, brighten an otherwise boring day and help you and your kids burn off some energy!

Before heading outside, dress in layers, hats, gloves, boots and sunglasses. Remember to apply sunscreen on exposed skin. Snow can reflect the sun’s rays and cause sunburns. (And don’t forget your camera, of course!)

1. Winter Wonderland Scavenger Search
Coordinate a winter-themed scavenger hunt. Organize your friends and family into teams and compete to be the first team to hunt down everything on your list.

Don’t want to make the search competitive? Turn an ordinary winter walk into an educational nature scavenger hunt. Search for pinecones, animal tracks, tire tracks, an icicle, a snow shovel, winter berries, a snow plow and a footprint. Take pictures as you and your family find items on the list.

2. Snow Fort Contest
If your kids love building sand castles, bring the activity to the snow! Challenge your crew to build a creative snow fort. If there are enough people, divide the family into teams (parents versus kids usually makes things interesting) or work on your kids’ respective ideas together.

Grab your beach pails and shovels, and then gather sticks to make all kinds of different designs in your fort. Decorate your fort with berries, pinecones or colored water spray art (mix food coloring with water in a spray bottle).

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Afterward, warm up at home and have your crew help make some hot chocolate.

3. Snow-lympics
Get your kids into the spirit and design a snowy obstacle course according to age-appropriate abilities. Here are a few ideas:

  • Bring a few items out of the playroom like hula hoops to jump across.
  • Make piles of snowballs to jump over.
  • Organize a sled-pulling race: Mom and dad can race each other while pulling sleds with kids on board, or the kids can pull each other depending on their ages.
  • Create a target practice area: Set up three cans on a mound of snow, and then take turns throwing snowballs at the cans.
  • Build a snowman: Include a hat toss on the obstacle course with different hats. Land a hat on the snowman before moving on to the next part of the course.

Time participants to see how long it takes your kids to make it through the obstacle course, and then challenge them to beat their personal records when they try the obstacle course again.

If you really want to embrace your Snow-lympics, freeze ice medals (one for each participant) for the closing ceremony before heading out. Pour clear or colored water into discs (like round, shallow plastic containers) or a silicone muffin mold. Have your kids help by dropping winter berries, pine needles, a small stick or a leaf into the middle of the mold.

Place a piece of twine into the “medal” and freeze it. Keep frozen until you are ready to present your medallions.

Before heading in to warm up, end the day’s events by congratulating each participant for completing the course and presenting them with your custom-made ice medallions. Hang the medallions on an outdoor tree to add a colorful sparkle to your yard.

Nothing brings family together like playing games! Top off your memorable snow day by treating your rosy-cheeked gang to warm cookies and hot chocolate.



Christa is a freelance writer for numerous parenting publications around the U.S. and Canada. She resides in the heartland and is centered in her busy family, which includes her husband, two freewheeling sons and one exceptionally playful yellow dog. She is the author of “Confidently Connected: A Mom’s Guide to a Satisfying Social Life” and a staff writer at Parenting Squad.

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