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Fall and winter outdoor playtime

Just because summer is a distant memory doesn’t mean there aren’t a lot of ways kids can have fun while playing outside. Outdoor playtime is important all year-round, so here are a few winter playtime activities that will help encourage your kids to head outside for some fun and fresh air!

little girl playing in snow

Create backyard snow art

A snow-covered yard is like a large, white canvas, so why not have your kids use it to create a beautiful winter masterpiece? Snow painting is fun for children of all ages and is super easy to prepare. All you need are a few spray bottles (one for each colour), cold water and food colouring. Fill the bottles with cold water, mix in a few drops of food colouring until you reach the desired colour, then send the kids out to have fun spray-painting pictures in the snow!

Make snow sculptures

Move over, Frosty. A snowman might be a winter classic, but there are other things your child can build with snow! Bring out the pails, shovels and other sandbox toys, and have your child build snow castles.

Other cool-weather ideas:

  • Have the kids go outside and blow bubbles. If the temperature is below freezing, they can watch the bubbles freeze and then shatter.
  • Build a target practice with a piece of cardboard or wood painted with target rings. Use snowballs to try and hit the bull’s eye.
  • Have a backyard treasure hunt. Use food colouring to make coloured ice cubes, then hide them throughout the yard. Kids can use a sand pail to collect as many frozen treasures as possible.

Or for something a bit more advanced, have them try their hand at snow sculpture. First, keep in mind the snow should be wet and sticky so the sculpture holds together. Then help your child make a pile of firmly packed snow, and trim it down to the shape of a block. Give your child a selection of carving and smoothing tools, such as a trowel, chisel, large spoons and gardening hand tools, then let them create their art piece. When it’s done, finish it off with a light spray of water that will freeze and help keep its shape, or for even more fun, use snow paint to add a touch of colour!

Build an obstacle course

Regardless of whether you have snow, an obstacle course is a great way to get kids outside and moving. Since building one is half the fun, get your kids involved in creating a fun obstacle course that will keep them entertained and test their abilities. Try to incorporate several challenging elements that include skills in jumping, crawling, balance and aim, as well as special skills such as hula hooping. If you happen to have a layer of the white stuff, running the course in a snow-filled yard will present a few unique challenges for the participants, as tackling some of the obstacles in head-to-toe winter gear might be harder than they think!

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