Getting the family loaded up and out the door is challenging, but in the winter, snowsuits, winter boots, and all the layers make it even more challenging. But, good news! Winter is full of fun incentives to lure your kids and grandkids outdoors and enjoy nature. So, whether you can’t get enough snow or are ready to put the snow scraper away for the season, here are some fun inspirations to get everyone outside:
Seeking more snow fun?
- Be an Animal Spy! Winter days are perfect for spotting animal signs. Tracks, fur, feathers, and scat contrast well against the snowy white backdrop, making them accessible and fun to find. Try being an animal detective. Use the animal signs you find to guess who has been here before you. Look closely. Can you locate animal hibernation spots or food sources? Before you head outside, you might want to make a Winter Scavenger Hunt (like this one from the Deschutes Land Trust) filled with fun things you might see on your winter adventure.
- Are you tired of Monopoly and Chutes and Ladders? Take family game night outside and try Winter Charades! Another fun game is choosing an animal to sculpt in the snow. Keep your animal secret and see if the others can guess. The correct guesser goes next!
Celebrations and Sweet Treats
- This winter, consider taking the birthday cake outside and serving it a la mode with homemade Snow Ice Cream! All you need is sugar, salt, milk, vanilla extract, and (yup –– you guessed it) clean snow! Top with sprinkles, invite a few friends, and call it a party!
- And while we’re on the topic of sweet treats – roasting s’mores isn’t just for summertime! Enjoy roasting marshmallows around a campfire on a beautiful winter evening. Tell stories, sing songs, and enjoy the sights and sounds of a season in which we don’t often spend as much time outside.
- Another good thing to do on a winter night is look up! You won’t want to miss the seasonal sky display of Winter Constellations! Learning about the stars may inspire you to read myths around the campfire too.
Enjoying early signs of spring?
- With the leaves off of many plants and trees in your backyard, winter bird viewing can be accessible and fun to watch! With spring right around the corner, you also may have noticed that other birds are beginning to return to your backyard again. A great way to keep birds close by is to hang bird feeders. You can make your own bird feeders with many things lying around your home, including items that would otherwise be considered trash or recycling. Start collecting mesh produce bags, milk jugs, old jars and bottles, popsicle sticks, and old Legos as materials! Here are 14 easy Winter Bird Feeders you can make!
- Get to know the birds! If you’re finding yourself enjoying watching the plump winter birds in your backyard, you also may enjoy learning more about them with fun bird guides and apps like these from The Audobon Society.
Our winter days are numbered, and the snow is getting harder to find, but there is still a lot of winter fun to be had! So, grab your kids, layer up, and get out there!