It’s winter here in the northern hemisphere which means it’s time for sledding, ice skating, building snowmen, hot chocolate, and, perhaps, more indoor activities than usual.*
Here’s 31 ideas for winter activities for kids to keep busy all month long––and that includes both outdoor ideas and indoor ideas. It’s a mix of snow play, art activities, crafts, construction, and, of course, a winter book list for kids. These are great ways to keep occupied during the winter months!
*We realize that not everyone has the stereotypical winter with snow and cold weather. If you live somewhere that is 70 degrees year-round or a place where it is finally cool enough to play outside, this list might not be as applicable to you. Perhaps pick a couple of the ideas (colored ice sculptures, crystal snowflakes, playdough snowmen) and then head over to the Kids Arts and Crafts Directory to create your own activities list for the month.
What Makes for a Fun Winter Activity?
Before we jump into our list, let’s talk about winter activities. Although winter is quite a polarizing season among adults, it’s typically the opposite for kids! Kids love the snow, as it makes for an outdoor playground! So, what makes for the best winter activity?
One of the best criteria for a winter activity is that it is active to keep everyone warm! If you have enough snow where you live, kids will love building a snow fort, making a snowman or going on a winter scavenger hunt.. Older kids might enjoy pulling siblings in sleds or hand out kids size shovels and let kids get to work clearing the snow!
This one seems obvious, but don’t forget to properly bundle up and dress for the elements. This means a thick jacket, mittens or gloves, hat, boots, and snow pants. This will help stretch out kids play time outside and ensure it’s fun as well!
And finally, any outdoor winter activity worth mentioning utilizes snow and ice! Take advantage of the uniqueness of the season by planning activities that harness the elements. Sled rides, ice skating, skiing and don’t forget hot chocolate when it’s all said and done.
31 Days of Winter Activities for Kids
For a printable version of the list, scroll down to the bottom of this post to get a handy PDF version!
5 Outdoor Snow Play Ideas
First up is outdoor play! These are probably going to be any kids’ favorite winter activities because they truly capture the special nature of this season. It’s a winter wonderland out there, so go enjoy it!
2) Send the kids on a winter scavenger hunt with colored ice sculptures
4) Host a backyard winter Olympics (on Rain or Shine Mama)
5) Go on a winter nature walk (on How Wee Learn)
5 Winter Art Activities
Now for some indoor activities. But just because you are warm inside doesn’t mean you can’t draw inspiration from the season. Here’s a bunch of fun art projects that your kids will enjoy:
7 Art Activities with Snow and Ice
Or combine the art & play outdoors. Take art projects outside for some truly unique activities that you couldn’t make any other time of year!
12) Paint snow with spray bottles (on The Resourceful Mama)
13) Or paint the snow with paint brushes (on CBC Parents)
15) Make glowing snow paint (on Growing a Jeweled Rose)
16) Try this snowy day tissue paper art (on Fireflies and Mudpies)
17) Paint with ice (on Easy Peasy and Fun)
5 Winter Crafts for Kids
And here are 5 fun and unique winter art projects that are suitable for all skill levels.
20) Make and paint ice lanterns (on Willowday)
22) Sew paper plate snowflake yarn art (on I Heart Crafty Things)
5 Indoor Winter Play Ideas
And for times when everyone prefers to stay warm here are some ideas for winter play indoors.
23) Try small world pretend play with fake snow (or real snow)
24) Build snowmen out of playdough and decorate with beads or buttons
5 Construction Ideas
Kids love to build things, and winter provides its own fair share of building materials right on the ground! You can build indoors or outdoors, and we’ve provided both options below:
29) Make an igloo out of sugar cubes (on The Crafty Classroom)
30) Build with toothpicks and cranberries, marshmallows, or gumdrops
31) Build the Perfect Snowman (from Momtastic)
32) Build the Perfect Snow Fort (from Cottage Life)
Read Winter Books for Kids
33) Head to the library and check out some books about winter.
Need some suggestions? Ask your children’s librarian or try some of these:
- The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
- Over and Under the Snow by Kate Messner and Christopher Silas Neal
- The Mitten by Jan Brett
- Owl Moon by Jane Yolen
- Winter Waits by Lynn Plourde and Greg Couch
- The Tomten by Astrid Lindgren
- Red Sled by Lita Judge
- Walking in a Winter Wonderland by Richard B. Smith, Felix Bernard, and Tim Hopgood
Would you like a printable version of 31 Winter Activities for Kids to hang on your fridge?
If so, you’re in luck!
Just click on the link above and get a PDF delivered straight to your inbox!
Make the Most of Winter!
Winter is a unique opportunity to slow down our activity. It can be a great time to brainstorm new ideas, plan out a garden for the warmer months ahead––or just rest and cozy up with a good book and tea. We especially love the Danish idea of hygge and these suggestions to create a warm and cozy atmosphere indoors during the winter months.
We hope our winter activities provide your family with inspiration and ideas for embracing creativity with your family through the winter months.
How about you? What are your favorite winter activities for kids? We’d love to hear about it below in the comments!
Pin It for Later