Fun Things to Do With Snow
There's More to Snow than Snowballs
Playing in the snow is something that you're never too old to enjoy! This page has all kinds of fun activities to do with snow. Looking out the window to a yard coated in fresh blizzard, I was inspired to find some activities and uses for snow that go beyond your traditional snowball fight or snow angels (though those will be covered here, too, no worries!). On this page, you'll find the old standby ways to have fun in the snow, as well as some new, more inventive uses for the stuff.
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Go Sledding or Snow-tubing
Of course, one of the most fun things to do with snow is to go sledding! Whether you visit a special snow-tubing resort or pick a nice big hill in your neighborhood, there's no end to the fun you can have going sledding. Make sure you bundle up, though, because falling off your snow tube can land you with snow in places you never knew you had, haha.
I did some searching and found an assortment of 'snow vehicles', so to speak, to make gliding down that hill as fun as can be. When I was little, I really loved snow tubes, but it was so scary if you got turned backwards! Did you use a sled or a snow tube? Share your answers with the group in the feedback section!
Affordable Snow Sleds For Your Family
You don't have to spend hundreds on an authentic toboggan to have a great time sledding this winter! These sleds are perfect for an afternoon of fun that won't break the bank.
The Different Types of Snow
Before you can build/sculpt/play with snow, you need to know what kind you're dealing with!
Snow, like many things in life, comes in many different shapes, sizes and textures. Chances are, if you live in an area that gets snowy, you've tried to make a snowball and had it completely disintegrate in your hand. (and if you've done it with bare hands, well,...you know how painful that kind of snow is. Sticks to your skin like glue but not to itself, ouch!)
Here are some particular types of snow to look for in order to know what you can do with each kind. If your yard hasn't been pelted with that ever-coveted sticky but not icy, wet but not slushy snow that's perfect for snowballs, never fear. There's always something you can do with it! In a range of just a few degrees, the shapes of the ice crystals that make up snowflakes can change dramatically, thus changing the texture of the snow as well. Pretty neat, huh?
Snow Type #1: Powder
Ahh, a skier and snowboarder's dream. Powder is the fine, freshly fallen snow that lands very loosely on top of itself, creating a pillowy layer of fluffy flakes perfect for cutting down a hill or mountain on your winter gear. It provides a great cushion if you take a spill, and is soft and cushy for snow angels.
Snow Type #2: Snowball Snow
The more dense snow is, the more moisture it contains. Snowball snow generally happens when the snow has fallen at a slightly warmer temperature. This allows some of the moisture to remain in the flakes and not get so icy and 'dry' like the super-fine powder. Snowflake snow has a distinct 'crunch' underfoot, and sticks to itself very well. There are varying degrees of 'stickiness', but it works very well for things like snow sculptures, snowball fights, and making designs in it.
Snow Type #3: Slush
This is a lot less fun than it sounds. Slush, while definitely sticky enough to hold its shape, is often so weighted with water that it soaks through nearly everything and creates very dense and icy snowballs that hurt on impact! You'll often see dirty man-made slush as a result of cars driving through snow on the roads, but a mix of snow and rain can produce clean slush that is generally less fun to play in.
Fun and Sporty Snow Tubes - Inflatable Snow Tubes for the whole family
I've always had trouble with getting sleds to work as well as a snow tube. You can even go 'tubing' at special ski and snow tubing resorts! Snow tubes have come a long way since their earlier days. With these designs, you'll feel like you're snowboarding!
How To Make the Best Snowman
I couldn't leave this one out, could I?
The Snowball Snow described in the section above is the perfect recipe for making a snowman. Sometimes, if the snow is really sticky, you may start rolling a snowball and it will become so heavy it'll pull up all of your lawn's snow, including some dirt and grass! You can just call this creative license and make a dirty snowman. Nobody has to know. :)
Here's a step by step guide to make a traditional snowman.
1. Make sure your snow is the right consistency.
If your snow isn't sticky, you're going to be a very frustrated snowman maker. Even if the snow is powdery the first day it falls, you may be able to wait a couple days if the temperature rises and it will soften up to the right consistency for you.
2. Keep that snowball rollin'.
Start a decently sized snowball in your hands and place it gently on the ground. Depending on how much snow you have, you may need to adjust the size of your finished snowman. Begin rolling the ball so it picks up the snow around it. Gently push it along and be sure to rotate it in different directions so you don't end up with a big cylinder or log. Try to plan out where you want your snowman to end up on the ground so by the time the snowball is big enough for the base, you won't have to move it much further. Snow can get really heavy really quickly!
3. Make the torso and head
Roll two more snowballs in the same fashion as the first, with each one a bit smaller. Stack them on top of one another and you should have a nice stack of snow to work with.
4. Give your Snowman a shave
Chances are, your snowballs aren't perfectly round when you stack them on top of one another. If you see lumpy spots, pack some snow in by hand, or skim off parts that are sticking out and bumpy with the side of your mitten, a shovel, a scraper, or even a stick or rock. Once your snowballs are round enough for your taste, you can try taking your gloves off and run your hands all over the snow to melt it a little and create an icy seal. This isn't recommended if you can't get inside to warm your hands soon afterward!
5. Pick your accessories
Now I've been referring to this as a snowman this whole time, but of course it could be a snow woman, too! Traditionally, people stick a couple of twigs in for arms, find some coal for eyes and a mouth, and shove a carrot in for a nose, maybe adding a hat and scarf and some coal buttons down the center. If you don't have coal, you could just use regular pebbles, or even food like chocolate sandwich cookies, jellybeans, or chocolate coated nuts. Be creative!
Check out the next section for some other ideas to take a spin on the usual snowman design.
Deluxe Sleds and Toboggans
If you're looking for a special wintry gift for a friend, or just want the traditional fun of a sled on a sled that actually glides smoothly through the snow, these classic luxury sleds will be just right.
With a 5 star review, you can't go wrong with this one!
Cute, Crazy Dog Jumping in the Snow!
Oh my gosh. My friend showed me this video and I just had to put it up here. The snow's so deep the dog actually disappears at times, and all you can see is this moving tunnel of snow, haha! I love it.
Taking Your Snowman to Another Level
For those of us who feel the need to go a little beyond the norm.
If you're like me, you never can seem to let things be easy for yourself. You want to put a little creative spin on things and make them your own. Well lucky for you, snow is the perfect way to expel some of that pent up winter creativity! Here are some tips for really making it your own.
It's a jungle out there
Why stop at making a snowman or woman? Why not make a snow cat, bird, dog, zebra, turtle, you name it. Animals like turtles or ladybugs are particularly easy because they don't stand up high off the ground. Turn your front or back yard into a zoo, aquarium, or other themed animal adventure. You could make snowy flowers too!
Color your snow
You can add a colorful touch to your snow sculptures with a little bit of food coloring mixed with water in a spray bottle. You don't want to pour colored water directly on your snow or it will melt it and create a big hole! But you can gently spray it or even dab some more concentrated colors on with a paintbrush for a really cool effect (no pun intended).
Want to bring your snowman from snow to "whoa!"? Decorate him/her! If you have some old halloween costumes lying around, or even some clothes you've been thinking about getting rid of, put them on your snow person! You could make a funny, mismatched snowman, or a stylish haute couture snowman decked out with a scarf, sunglasses, maybe even an old handbag. Paris Hilton's got nothing on that! (ok maybe that was a bit of a stretch...)
Use your kitchen's ingredients
Who says you have to stick to coal and carrots? You can use all kinds of different foods and household items to give your snowman a boost. Maybe you want to give it some pepper slices for ears or a pear for a funny, bulbous nose. You could give it curly uncooked multicolored pasta for hair or grind up cookies for a 5 o'clock shadow. Give it face paint with ketchup and mustard. Give it an apron and have it hold a real ice cream cone! The options are virtually limitless.
Give it a family
A fun way to spruce up a snowman is to make more than one. You could try to recreate your own family, with smaller children snowmen and bigger parents, maybe even a snow pet. Take a picture of your family standing amidst your snow family and send it to friends.
Outdoor Snowy Fun Gear on Amazon
I just looked at a bunch of snow items on Amazon and these things look really fun (and practical I suppose. The snow thrower got some really good reviews). Enjoy!
Making Shapes in the Snow
There's more to it than just snow angels!
For powdery to moderately sticky snow, making snow angels can be great fun.
The easiest and most traditional way to do it is to lie on your back in the snow, swish your legs and arms up and down/out to the sides, then try to find a way to get up without destroying your creation. Voila! A snow angel!
If you're craving a bit more variety in your human snow stamping, try a few different techniques.
Try it from the side
Just like a shadow puppet, try to think of different shapes your silhouette could make in the snow. Lie down on your side and strike a pose like you're running or jumping. After you get up, does it look like you expected? See what swirling your arm or leg might do to alter the shape. You might be surprised how many different shapes you can make with just a few different movements!
Stamp, don't swish
Instead of moving your arms and legs fluidly like you would in a traditional snow angel, try lifting your legs and arms up and then 'stamping' them back into the snow a little further out. Bring them back to their original position and stand up to look at your creation. You'll have a bunch of different lines almost like a snowflake.
You could try kneeling instead of lying down, and then doing fun things like punching the snow with your mitten in a circle or dragging sticks with your arms extended. This can create really cool circular patterns and dots. You could also lie flat on your back and have someone else trace around your body with a stick, making dots or dashes.
You might also look for things that have unique shapes like different sized buckets, rakes, or tennis rackets. Try stamping the bucket and then weaving lines around with the rake for a cool snowy pattern.
Building a Snow Castle
Take your beach toys out of the sand and into the snow.
If you live near a beach or have been on vacation at a beach, chances are you have some sand toys around. Wet snow can work just like wet sand! Grab a sandcastle bucket and get building.
If you don't have specific pails and shovels for sand, you can make your own snowy castle building tools out of a number of household objects. For bricks for an igloo, fort or the base of your castle, use a loaf pan from your kitchen.
For columns or towers, try stuffing a cardboard tube with snow until it's packed and then poke it out with your finger or a stick. An oat container is a great size for this.
For mounds or other structures, try a mixing bowl or cereal bowls.
Use square and round cake pans or stock pots for really cool shapes in all sizes.
Your castle is limited only by your imagination! If you want to make the traditional 'waffle style' borders on the tops of your castle shapes, try sticking some of your snow in an ice cube tray then place them around the border. Squirt some blue food coloring water around for a moat and you've got an icy medieval masterpiece.
Want to see what some people have done with snow castle building? Believe it or not, there are international competitions for this stuff, and there is even a life-size snow castle!
Check out the famous SnowCastle of Kemi at SnowCastle.net
Snow Fort-making materials are here!
If only they had these when I was little! You can get a whole bunch of different tools and materials to make the best snow fort ever - from snow molds to snow carving tools. Look out, innocent bystanders! While other kids are hiding behind a snowbank, you'll be protected in your custom built snow fortress with these tools of the trade.
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What's Your Favorite Thing To Do With Snow?
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