I will be the first to confess that winter is not my favorite season. I don’t love the cold. Because of this, I am privy to staying indoors.
But this year, I felt convicted to spend time outside with my kids daily, even if for a little bit. I have found the benefits to be amazing, and have actually learned to love being out in winter weather.
Perhaps you, too, are sensing that you and your kids need to get outside more. If so, here are forty ideas to get you going. Some are easy and require no effort. Others may take a little planning or snowy weather.
In any case, bundle up, and get outside!
1. Allow for unstructured play. The easiest and perhaps best thing you can do for your kids. Let them take the lead and do what interests them, whether it be playing make-believe or poking around with a stick. Gently supervise from afar or engage with them.
2. Go for a nature walk.
3. Go for a hike.
4. Play at a playground.
5. Kick or throw a ball around.
6. Jump on a trampoline.
7. Climb a tree.
8. Jump rope.
9. Do a winter scavenger hunt.
10. Construct and complete an outdoor obstacle course.
11. Play flashlight tag at night.
12. Bundle up and watch a sunset…
13. …or a sunrise.
14. Star-gaze. Take advantage of that amazingly clear sky.
15. Take a night-walk around the neighborhood.
16. Take cameras outside and take winter nature photos. Don’t forget to show each other your photos.
17. Observe winter birds.
18. Make a pinecone bird-feeder for the winter birds.
19. Visit a familiar body of water and observe its differences in winter.
20. Do an experiment. For example, observe how water freezes under different conditions.
21. Visit a local zoo or farm.
22. Visit a garden or bird sanctuary. Search for the understated beauty of winter.
23. Do an informal family photo-shoot outside. Don’t forget to let the kids take photos of you and each other, too.
24. Draw with sidewalk chalk.
25. Take art supplies outside and paint a winter scene.
26. Read and discuss winter poetry outside. Like: Frost’s “Stopping by Woods by a Snowy Evening.”
27. Slide or skate on ice.
28. Listen to the sound of falling snow.
29. Shovel a neighbor’s sidewalk.
30. Build a snowman.
31. Make snow-angels.
32. Have a snowball fight.
33. Construct a snow-fort.
34. Go sledding.
35. Have an outdoor tea-party. Keep it simple – warm drinks are the only essential.
36. Have a winter picnic in the back yard.
37. Pick up trash around the neighborhood.
38. Pick up fallen sticks.
39. Have an outdoor bonfire. Hot chocolate and s’mores welcome!
40. Search for signs of spring.
Enjoy being outside!
Looking for more accountability and inspiration? Look into the #150hoursoutside project from Your Natural Learner.
Read more about why we went outside every day this January here.
And when you’re finally ready to come in, cozy up with some hygge. Read about how it can help your family here.