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Great Winter Activities for Kids

Updated on March 23, 2012

After all the fun and excitement of the Christmas holidays are over, the cold, gloomy days of January and February set in, and kids get bored. Winter activities for kids seem hard to come by, and you might be frustrated by complaining children. They’re often stuck inside for several days in a row, plastered in front of the TV or video game.

Outdoor activities for kids

Of course, if you live where it snows, and if it’s not too cold outside, your family can enjoy outdoor activities for kids. These include sledding, snowball fights, and ice skating, along with making snowmen and snow forts. If you don’t have snow, or if the weather is just too nasty for outdoor activities for kids, consider engaging in some of the winter activities for kids suggested below. Some of these can function as either indoor activities for kids, or as outdoor activities for kids.

Scavenger hunt

If you have more than one kid to entertain, try a scavenger hunt. If the weather is sunny, you can do these as outdoor activities for kids. Make a list of items for each child to find: pinecones, leaves, feathers, old birds’ nests. Give each kid a copy of the list, and provide a small prize for the one who finds all the items first. As an incentive, you might want to offer a group prize if everyone completes the list.

If the weather is bad, you can have an indoor scavenger hunt at the mall or at the public library, making them indoor activities for kids. Of course, for safety reasons, you’d need more than one adult to supervise the children.

The lists can be tweaked to address different ages. For young kids, make the items easy to find. Older kids should be provided with a challenge.

Indoor activites for kids - Movie day

Turn you family room or living room into a cinema for an afternoon or evening winter activity. Let your kids invite their friends over to see a favorite movie. Your kitchen could become the “snack bar.” Serve popcorn in cute little popcorn bags or boxes, which you can find at dollar stores. Juice boxes, candy, nachos, pizza slices, and/or hot dogs could also be served. If you prefer to use healthier items, serve raw veggies and dip, air-popped popcorn, and grapes, strawberries, and orange slices.

Make sure there’s plenty of seating for everyone, and turn out the lights!

Skating rink

If you have a carport, garage, or paved drive, turn it into a skating rink. Clear everything out so the kids will have enough room for roller skating, and supply some music to skate by. Roller skates are inexpensive, so you won’t have to invest a lot of money in buying skates. This type of winter activities for kids is a great way to provide some healthy exercise and get them away from the television.

Indoor activities for kids - Crafts

Simple crafts are a great way to spend a few hours, and it will allow the kids to use their imagination and creativity. A very simple activity is to have the kids add some “bling” to t-shirts, handbags, plain white canvas sneakers, backpacks, or jeans.

All you’ll need are some E-6000 glue, along with some acrylic rhinestones, fabric paint, beads, and/or some decorative patches. Yes, boys can do this, too! Patches with themes like army, cowboy, hunting, and fishing are readily available at craft stores.

Interactive stories and educational activites for kids

Interactive stories aren’t only fun – they’re also educational activities for kids. Kids have to use their imagination, along with skills like sequencing and cause-and-effect. This can work for almost any age, as long as you keep the story line age-appropriate.

Just gather the kids around and begin a story. Each child adds to the story in turn. The story should have a definite beginning, middle, and end.

Other educational activities for kids include watching videos about other countries and cultures, working with chemistry sets, and building models of historical planes, trains, and ships.

Indoor activities for kids - Plays

When my three daughters were young, they used to love performing plays. Choose a favorite story book with dialogue, and you can serve as the director and the narrator. Assign parts and let the kids dress in simple costumes. If you don’t have enough kids, invite friends or relatives over.

Once the kids have their lines down, video tape the performance and let the kids watch it.

Field trips

Short field trips around your community is another great way to pass a winter day and can be excellent educational activites for kids. Think aquariums, museums, galleries, and public playgrounds. Many public libraries also provide educational activities for kids, especially on the weekends, so you might want to check there.

Think “outside the box,” too. It might be interesting for your kids to see how candy is made, for example. Many candy kitchens allow patrons to watch the candy-making process and sample their creations.

If you have a group of children, your local fire station or police precinct might be willing to give the kids a quick tour, along with information about how to be safe.

Volunteering

There are few better ways to pass a couple of hours than doing volunteer work with your kids. They’ll learn important aspects like sharing, compassion, and responsibility. Call ahead and arrange a visit to a nursing home, or help out in a soup kitchen. Another way to help the community is to have your child choose one of his toys that he no longer plays with and take it to a local Goodwill Store or Salvation Army Store and let him donate it himself.

If your kids are into animals, most shelters are always looking for volunteers. They need people to help feed, water, and clean cages, which might not be your kids’ idea of fun. But many animal shelters also need people to exercise and play with the animals, which will help the potential pets learn socialization that will make them more adoptable. In most cases, these would be wonderful winter activities for kids.

Outdoor activites for kids like sledding and snowplay provide fresh air and exercise.
Outdoor activites for kids like sledding and snowplay provide fresh air and exercise.
Visiting aquariums and museums are great indoor activities for kids.
Visiting aquariums and museums are great indoor activities for kids.

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    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 6 years ago from Georgia

      Screation, my grands LOVE sledding! They've only done it a couple of times - snow here is rare.

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 6 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks a bunch, Writer!

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 6 years ago from Georgia

      Shane, thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment!

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 6 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks, Pam. Some days I don't feel very clever! lol

    • screation profile image

      screation 6 years ago

      Sledding: If you live someplace with snow, one great outdoor activity in the winter is to find the nearest hill and sled. You can use garbage bags, trash can lids, or real sleds. It is a great way to pass the time, and your kids will spend hours doing it as long as they are bundled up warm, and have some hot chocolate in a thermos.

    • writer83 profile image

      writer83 6 years ago from Cyber Space

      Winter is one of the favorite season of kids. I love the whole idea you posted. I hope they will enjoy their stay here in RP.

    • Shane Belceto profile image

      Shane Belceto 6 years ago from WA USA

      Great ideas and timely since even already kids were already home for 2 snow days this year smiles.

      may I add that for older kids a photo scavenger hunt is fun too and so many different ways you can put a twist on it.

      Completely love that you added in the volunteering a lot of people don't think of that with kids but there are so many things to do as you suggested some .. food bank this time of year is also a great place and lots of easy jobs there too.

      ~Expect Miracles

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 6 years ago from United States

      Habee, You thought of some great, unique ideas for kids that I know they would love. Clever lady!

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 6 years ago from Georgia

      Hi, Audrey! Great to see you!

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 6 years ago from Georgia

      Yes, they are, Sweetie! I used to love board games when the weather was nasty!

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 6 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks, HH! Hope you're staying warm!

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 6 years ago from Georgia

      Eiddwen, I understand - I have 8 grandkids!

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 6 years ago from Georgia

      Kristen, many thanks!

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 6 years ago from Georgia

      True, Rob! Thanks for reading!

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 6 years ago from Georgia

      Love and peace to you, too, Prasetio!

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 6 years ago from Georgia

      Drbj, adult scavenger hunts could prove very intersting!

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 6 years ago from Georgia

      Katie, teaching kids to have compassion is just as important as other skills, IMO!

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 6 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks, Michelle! I really enjoy arts and crafts.

    • habee profile image
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      Holle Abee 6 years ago from Georgia

      Suzie, we love the scavenger hunts, too!

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 6 years ago from Central Oregon

      Great information, Holle. Now I know how to entertain myself in the dreary months.

    • sweetie1 profile image

      sweetie1 6 years ago from India

      Hi Habee, this is very informative hub,, though there are many games which have been forgotten like snakes and ladders and chinese checkers, which were popular before the advent of internet, they are also nice and clean pass time

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

      This is a fantastic hub with great ideas only you could have written it, habee. Well done.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 6 years ago from Wales

      Brilliant hub and still handy for me whose children are all grown up but I do have 10 grandchildren.

      Thank you so much for sharing.

      A useful and bookmark for this one!

      Take care.

    • KristenGrace profile image

      KristenGrace 6 years ago from Philadelphia, PA

      Winter can be a tough time, so this was a great idea for a hub!! Nice work.

    • Robwrite profile image

      Rob 6 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY

      Many of those are good for adults, too.

    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 6 years ago from malang-indonesia

      I always miss winter and touch the snow in person. I hope my dream will com true. Nice hub, my friend. I love how you describe about winter activities for kids. I believe they love to see the first snow fall. Beautiful, Habee. Rating up. Love and peace!

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 6 years ago from south Florida

      I love scavenger hunts for adults, too. You never know what someone will drag back.

    • katiem2 profile image

      katiem2 6 years ago from I'm outta here

      Great winter activity ideas for kids. I like that you added volunteering as it's great for kids to learn to help others and consider them. :)

    • profile image

      michelle.dragon99 6 years ago

      hello habee, great hub! I think indoor activities are much suitable for kids during winter time, you've highlighted some of them which is great like crafts...:)

    • suziecat7 profile image

      suziecat7 6 years ago from Asheville, NC

      A scavenger hunt is always a great time. You have some great ideas here.