Do you struggle to entertain the kids during the winter months? It can be difficult to think of activities for kids when it’s cold and raining outdoors. Fear not – we’ve got you covered! Here are 50 Fun Winter Activities for Kids You’ll Thank Us For – a mix of indoor and outdoor activities, guaranteed to cure any bout of cabin fever!
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When the weather is not so nice during winter months it can be hard sometimes to come up with ideas to amuse the kids. We’ve got a cool list of activities, some indoors and some outdoors, to help inspire you!
50 Winter Activities for Kids You’ll Thank Us For!
#1. Build a Fort
Simply using a sheet and some rope running under the middle of sheet and tied to opposite sides of your living room and ta da! You have a very simple but perfectly functional fort! Now time to camp out or play soldiers!
#2. Feed the Birds
Forget about angry birds and go outside and feed the hungry feathered real variety! You could also build your own bird house using lollipop sticks and paint it before hanging it from a tree. Or why not make your own bird feeder.
3. Tidy Up Outdoors
Go outside and sweep up some leaves. You might even get a chance to jump in them (long as you tidy them up again!).
Gather some fallen leaves for winter art projects indoors later.
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#4. Go on a Winter Scavenger Hunt
Print out pictures of all the things you want your children to find outdoors and hand them each a few. Then send them off on their hunt to discover various winter gems like berries, dead leaves, melting ice, etc. Check out our free Winter scavenger hunt list.
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#5. Picnic in the Park
Yes it may be cold outside but isn’t that what winter coats, hats and gloves are for? Head to the park with a packed lunch and be sure to include a flask of hot chocolate or some soup.
#6. Go Camping….Indoors!
Pitch up your tent in the living room or if you don’t have one make your own using bed sheets. Turn off the lights and switch on a torch. Tell some ghost stories…if you dare!
#7. Make your own Winter Wind Chime
It’s easy to make your own wind chime – we love this Snowman version from handsonaswegrow.com, which is made using tin cans.
#8. Play Mitten Mix Up
Play Wintery Mitten Mix Up!
- Ask all the kids to throw their mittens or gloves in a pile on the floor.
- Play some music and let the kids dance about.
- When the music stops, they have to grab their pair of mittens.
- Whoever manages to grab their matching pair wins.
#9. Go on a Winter Hike
Wrap up warm and go on a winter hike to the park or woods. Try spot some animal tracks on your walk. Collect items you find and glue them to cardboard to make a beautiful nature collage. Or, take some lovely winter photos for your collage. Check out our Scavenger Hunt list for a nature walk.
#10. Get your Skates On!
Head to your nearest indoor skating rink and strut your stuff on the ice. A great way to spend an afternoon with family and friends.
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#11. There’s Snow Fun Like Snowball Fun
If it snows, get suited and booted and head out for some fresh air! Divide into teams and hold a snowball fight.
Or pull out the sleigh from the shed, and head to your nearest hill for some sledding.
#12. Make a Snow Globe
- A glass jar with a tight-fitting lid
- A plastic figurine
- Waterproof glue
- Let your child pick out the figure, then glue it inside the lid and let the glue dry.
- Fill the jar with water, a squirt of glycerin (it helps the glitter swirl), and the glitter.
- Screw on the lid tightly, then flip!
#13. Teach Them To Knit
It is easy to learn the basic knitting steps. Once they have those mastered, why not encourage them to knit a scarf for themselves or to give as a gift to someone at Christmas time?
#14. Buried Treasure
If the weather is snowy fill a box or “treasure chest” full of treats and bury it in the snow. Make a treasure map to give to your kids to help them find their way to the hidden treasure. Begin the hunt by handing the players their first clue.
#15. Build A Snowman
It doesn’t have to be a winter wonderland outside to do this. You can make a snowman inside too!
- Assign teams of two – one is the builder, the other will become the snowman.
- Give them each rolls of tissue paper, some circles cut out of black crepe paper for the “stones” in the body and some sellotape to hold it all together.
- The teams race against each other to build their snowman first.
#16. Hot Chocolate
Heat up some milk in a saucepan or in the microwave. Dunk a few squares of your favourite chocolate in it and some marshmallows and stir until they are melted. Mmmmm…. enjoy!
Add some extra ingredients to turn it into Snowman Soup!
#17. Tag Time
Pop on your hats and gloves and run outside for a good old fashioned game of tag. You won’t be long warming up as you chase each other around the garden. Here are 20 Great Childhood Games for more ideas.
#18. Make Christmas Tree Bunting
This quick and quirky Christmas tree bunting is easy to make and would add some festive cheer to your homes this season.
Lots more Christmas Activities here
#19. Winter Bucket List
Making a winter bucket list of fun activities can focus the mind away from screens and enjoying other activities that make the most of this lovely season. Here’s a winter bucket list for toddlers to give you some ideas.
Check these out: 101 Activities that Don’t Involve Screen Time
#20. Make a Yummy Snowman
Using large marshmallows, stack 3 on top of each other to form the snowman’s head and body. Use sesame sticks for his arms, stick M&Ms or mini chocolate chunks on his face for his eyes, and use jellies for his hat.
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#21. Make an Advent/Christmas Countdown Calendar
It’s easy to make your own calendar, and the kids will enjoy it more if you have done it together.
- Get an A4 sheet of cardboard, draw 25 squares on it and draw a picture or stick a sticker in each square.
- Then get another sheet of cardboard and trace squares over it so it mirrors the first sheet. You will need to cut out three sides of these squares so that they form doors on this sheet.
- Then glue the sides of this sheet to the first sheet.
- Once glued, number the outside of the doors from 1-25.
- Starting on December 1st open door 1 and then a new door each following day on the countdown to Christmas.
#22. Twig Tower
Gather twigs outside and once you have gathered a bundle, bring them inside to a table. Form twig towers by building the twigs one on top of the other, being careful to keep them balanced and stable. The one who builds the highest twig tower wins.
#23. Hunt for Animal Tracks
Head out in the mud or snow and follow the first set of animal tracks to see where they lead to. Try to guess what animal it is as you follow the tracks. Here’s our pick of great Nature books for kids.
#24. Make Christmas Crafts
Brighten up your home with some home-made Christmas crafts made by the little hands in your family.
#24. Bake a Cake
Baking is a great thing to do with your child, and a simple cake is a good starting point. Let them help measure, sieve, mix and then enjoy!
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#25. Blow Bubbles
If it’s really cold outside then it’s the perfect time to go outdoors and blow bubbles.
All you need is bubble solution, a bubble wand, and really cold temperatures. The bubbles will freeze as they form but it helps if you blow the bubbles close to a cold surface, so they don’t freeze in the air and break upon landing. You can catch bubbles on mittens/gloves or on snow or ice. A frost pattern forms on the bubble surface, and looks very cool!
#26. Go on a Bike Ride
Don your helmets and head off on a cycle to the park or even to the shops.
#27. Disco Dance
Blast out the tunes and dance with your little ones as you bust some moves on your living room floor. Dance and laugh your heart out!
#28. Make Homemade Soup
Winter time is sure to bring its fair share of colds, and for those days when you’re feeling a bit under the weather, it’s great to have a hearty homemade soup on hand. Try this Chicken and Miso Noodle Soup, or this warming Carrot, Apple & Ginger Soup.
We’ve lots more ideas in 16 Splendid Soup Recipes Kids will Love
#29. Go Swimming
Burn off some energy by taking the kids swimming at your local swimming pool.
#30. Dance in the Rain
So we all know it doesn’t have to be winter time to have a rainy day in Ireland but instead of moaning about the raindrops, run outside and dance under them. Sure the neighbours might think you’re mad but your kids will lap up the fun!
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#31. Muddy Puddles
Don’t let a little rain spoil your fun. Put on your welly boots and head outside. Have a splashing time, jumping in all the muddy puddles the rain has left behind.
#32. Toilet Roll Snowmen
Toilet roll tubes can make great crafts. One my kids love to make is snowmen.
- Paint the cardboard tube white and using glue, stick balls of cotton wool all over it.
- Paint black dots to form eyes, orange for a nose and brown or grey to resemble the stones for his mouth.
- Cut up a straw to use as his arms.
#33. Snow Dough
Here’s simple instructions to make winter play dough.
You Will Need:
- 2 cups of corn flour
- 1/3 to 1/2 of a cup of vegetable oil
- 3-4 tablespoons of silver glitter.
What To Do:
- Mix the ingredients together with a spoon until combined.
- Use fingers to rub the oil right into the flour until its completely integrated. It should feel smooth, slightly damp and will take a form if moulded.
- Roll it into balls to make a snowman or use cookie cutters to make shapes.
#34. Balloon Ping Pong
Clear your kitchen table and stack some rolled up tea towels in a line along the centre to form a net. Blow up some balloons and using the palms of your hands as the bats, play some balloon ping pong.
#35. Indoor Hopscotch
When it’s too cold or wet to play outside and you really don’t want to turn on the TV/tablet/computer game, try some indoor hopscotch. Grab a roll of masking tape and use it to create a hopscotch course. Let the course run the length of your hallway or into various rooms to make it even more challenging.
#36. Bake Winter Treats
Bake some delicious cookies for yourselves such as these festive cranberry and white chocolate cookies.
Or we have lots of more ideas here. The hardest part will be trying to save some for the day after!
#37. Make Mulled Drinks
You may also like these 12 Christmas Non-alcoholic Drinks.
#38. Go Fishing…. in the Bathtub
Fill up the bath and throw some magnetic letters and numbers into the water. Attach a magnet to a long piece of string and tie the other end to a wooden spoon. Ask your child to fish out a particular letter or number or let them fish away to their heart’s content themselves.
#39. Make Paper Snowflakes
Deck your halls with these easy handmade paper snowflakes.
They looks great on windows, Christmas presents and on your Christmas tree.
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#40. Snowball Races
Hours of fun will be had with these simple items: balls of cotton wool, straws and masking tape.
- Tape a square to the floor.
- Take a few balls of cotton wool and a straw.
- Lying or kneeling a distance away from the masking tape square, you must blow the ball into the square using only the straw.
- You could create a few squares along the floor so that a few people could compete at a time to get their “ball” in the square first or else time each person as they have a go and the fastest person wins.
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#41. Make Gingerbread Men
Ginger Bread men are easy to bake, fun to decorate and oh so yummy to eat.
Here is a very easy Gingerbread Man Recipe that you will enjoy making with your kids!
#42. Get Colouring!
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#43. Go Star Spotting
Bundle up warm and head outside to see if you can spot the stars as the weather becomes colder and the skies are clearer and darkness falls earlier so you should get the ideal conditions on a clear night to see some of the constellations. Here are some tips on Fun Astronomy for Kids.
#44. Create Your Own Winter Story
Pick a topic to write about, such as a snowy day, or a day in the life of a snowman. Let the parent guide the story and start it off by introducing the topic in the first sentence. For example, the parent might say “When I woke up this morning, it was snowing outside. I rushed out after breakfast and…..”
Now the next person must finish that sentence and start the next one and then the next person until it comes back to the parent whose job is to keep the story on track and perhaps jot it down as well to read out after.
Be prepared for giggles and a crazy plot but the kids will love sparking their imagination.
#45. Watch a Winter Movie
Make some popcorn, cuddle up on the couch and watch a classic winter movie. My children love Frozen, Ice Age, Happy Feet and March of the Penguins but Home Alone is still my favourite!
To extend the fun why not get the kids to make their own home cinema, making tickets, ushering, providing snacks etc.
#46. Read a Good Book
Curl up with a good winter’s read. There are plenty of good books to choose from at your local library or bring the kids to the bookshop to choose from some of the books on special offer.
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#47. Look at old Photos
The thought of venturing outdoors on a bad winter’s day might make you shudder so stay indoors and root out old photos and photobooks. Your children will love leafing through them especially if you have ones of yourself when you were their age. Compare your baby photos to theirs and laugh at the fashion styles when you were young.
#48. Game Time
A winter’s afternoon is the perfect time for some indoor games. Here are the 10 Best Family Board Games, recommended by parents. Or you could teach the children a new card game – here are 15 Fun Card Games for Kids.
#49. Paint some Pine Cones
What you want to do is just paint the tips of the pine cones in various colours. They will look pretty as a garland along your fireplace, or placed in a vase, or tied together with string to adorn the walls.
We’ve also got lots of great ideas for Pine Cone Crafts that kids can treasure.
#50. Decorate Old Jam Jars
Upcycle old jam jars by decorating them and placing a candle or tea light inside. You can paint snowflakes on the outside or paint a winter’s scene. The light from the candle inside will shimmer through the paint and transform this simple jar.
Over to you! What Winter activities do you like to do with the kids? Let us know in the comments below.