Cut-out cabin fever, banish indoor boredom and shake-off sluggishness with our guide to outdoorsy fun with family and friends, even on the coldest and snowiest of days. First of all, the obvious trick is to make sure everyone’s wrapped-up extra warm – because you simply can’t have outdoor fun when you’re shivering! Secondly, choose activities that will get you all moving and the blood pumping. And thirdly, inject a little friendly competition into activities as this usually helps to keep youngsters engaged. Here are some ideas we tried out last winter and we hope they’ll inspire you to come up with some new ones of your own – let us know!
Snow Obstacle Course
If you’ve had some heavy snowfall, pull on your waterproofs and build a series of snow tunnels, jumps, hills and ramps for competitors to scramble up, down and through. This one’s seriously good fun for all ages. Even though the set up takes a bit of time, it’s a sure-fire way to get everyone outside in the fresh air and laughing on a freezing cold day.
To encourage birds into your backyard this winter, have a go at making your own bird feeder. Drag the patio table outside and get crafty with pine cone, twigs, nuts and birdseed. Ask everyone to go on a “materials” hunt and bring their stash back to the assembly table. Check out this method for starters.
It’s actually pretty simple to paint on snow. Take a spray bottle and fill it with a mixture of water and food colouring then create some abstract outdoor art in the garden. Why not get the kids to set up an entire snow graffiti art gallery that the adults can come outside to visit and admire?
Winter Photography Challenge
Snow boots on and cameras at the ready, devise a snowy/icy/misty landscape photography competition. Nominate a contest judge and then set out for a walk around your neighbourhood or a local rural setting, ready to observe the beauty of wintry nature. Teams of adults and children get to take their best phone pics. All the photos can be downloaded back at home and the judge picks a winner.
Elevate a basic snowball fight by constructing snow forts first – split into adults vs kids teams and build your defences before battle commences!
Hot Chocolate Shop
You know, like a summertime lemonade stand but with flasks of steaming hot choc. If you live on a busy enough street, the kids will love to sell a warming drink to passers-by. Encourage them to set up shop on the driveway with signs and decorations made from garden finds and keep them moving by building snowmen as their make-believe “café customers”. Adults can run back and forth replenishing the flasks!