Affordable Winter Activities To Do With Kids

Friday, October 22, 2021


What can you do with kids when the temperature outside is - 20℃? While it’s easy to stay in the comfort of your home and watch movies, doing too much of it can get boring quickly and younger kids can get fussy and whiny from too much TV. Having a balanced schedule with some physical activities, stimulating or quiet games and some relaxing downtime is a way to keep your kids happy and engaged. Here are some ideas for indoor and outdoor winter activities for all the family to enjoy:

1)    Go outside. The most simple thing to do in winter is just to get outside and take a quick walk. You don’t need to have exciting activities to enjoy the brisk walk and fresh air, movement is important and walking is the best exercise for your cardiovascular system.  Once at the raw food seminar I heard that air is actually nutrition for your cells. Our body needs oxygen, so it is an essential nutrition element. Movement during the walk and fresh air outside allow for optimal body oxygenation. Going for a walk is a great habit to teach your children, it can keep them healthy all life long. If kids aren’t used to going outside a lot, it might be challenging at first, but after a while, they will actually find it fun and enjoyable. Kids naturally have imagination and will find a variety of ways to keep themselves entertained.

2)    Go sledding or tobogganing. This is something I always looked forward to as a kid and I still love it. Sleds are usually made of hard materials like wood or metal or both.  Toboggans don’t have runners or skis on the underside. Tobogganing is a modern version of sledding. Hard wooden and metal sleds can be fun and have an advantage for pulling someone on a flat surface as their shape doesn’t allow the snow to be scooped by the edge and thrown in your face. The disadvantage of the sled is that it’s not the best choice for sliding down the hill in case of a collision or tumbling; it can cause injuries for the person riding it or those around.

3)    Cross-country skiing. Skiing is a great activity and you can go skiing in the areas where walking is impossible like forests and the countryside. You can go as fast or as slow as you like or move in a way that is similar to running and you can ski down small hills which is a lot of fun. Mountain skiing requires a lot of skill and isn’t a kid-friendly activity, at least not for younger kids. One of my acquaintances once took her 5-year-old mountain skiing and he broke both of his legs. Ouch! I definitely don’t recommend mountain skiing for kids, but cross-country skiing is a great activity to enjoy with your kids. The equipment required is skis and ski-poles which are inexpensive and can be stored easily when not in use. Another friend of mine actually went cross-country skiing across the city via the river valley with her son to take him to art lessons. While this might not be an option for everyone, getting out and trying some skiing with your kids this season is something that you might really enjoy.

4)    Build a fort. Building the fort is easy when the snow is sticky, especially if you can use the existing snowdrift pile and dig out the cavity for the fort. Large piles of snow are usually formed after shovelling snow on sidewalks.  Add more snow as needed, but don’t make it too heavy on the top, so the roof doesn’t collapse. The snow fort will be similar to an igloo.  Another way to build a fort is to make bricks first by using an empty tapware container and packing as much snow in it as possible and then flip it to get the brick-shaped snow out. Stack the bricks to shape the walls. You can use a piece of plywood for the roof and floor. You can carve out patterns or use food colouring to decorate the fort.

5)    Do winter-themed crafts.

My favourite winter craft activity is cutting snowflakes out of paper. It’s a very fun way to create Christmas decorations that could be later used to decorate a Christmas tree or attach to the window glass (getting paper snowflake wet and then pressing onto the glass is usually enough to achieve the sticky effect). Take a square piece of paper and fold it in half across, then fold it again in half but this time in the opposite direction, so it forms a square. After that start folding from the central fold in half so it forms a smaller triangle each time. Cut little shapes around the fold lines and unfold to reveal the snowflake.

6)    Colouring the snow

Colouring snow is a fun sensory activity for all kids. Bring snow indoors in a large plastic container and let kids use food colouring or other liquid paints for kids. Supply containers to separate colours and create different shapes and create some space to experiment, like a large board along with paper towels and rugs for easy cleanup when needed.


These are some winter activities to try with your kids. There is no limit to what you can do. As long as the temperature isn’t below -20 ℃, you can try anything outdoors that you do indoors -  running, dancing, playing hide and seek. Make sure to dress warm, have warm drinks ready to serve and bring out extra mittens for kids and yourself especially if you are playing in the snow.

Spending time outdoors with children is fun, but can also be taxing and at times stressful. Remember to take time for yourself, simplify your schedule by removing some things off your plate that aren’t important to you or your family. Delegate tasks that might take too much of your time and aren’t easy to do with kids. For example, you can hire snow shovelling services or ask a friend to come over and play with kids a game of their choice.  

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