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9+ Outdoor Winter Activities for Kids: Super Fun Ways to Learn & Play

These winter activities for kids are wonderful ways to take boost learning and play outdoors.

You’ll find a variety of tips and ideas for making the most out of your outdoor winter learning adventures.

Find out why it’s important to go outside (even in the winter) and how you can help your kids enjoy it.

Need ideas and inspiration for ways to boost learning and play this season? Check out these 9+ outdoor activities for kids that are simple yet fun.

Don’t Let the Cold Interfere with Learning Fun!

The winter season might be cold, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t go out and have fun.

Dr. Flanders, a Toronto-based pediatrician, recommends that kids should spend some time outdoors, even when it is extremely cold.

Of course, it’s essential to take measures to ensure your kids’ safety prior to going out. Following these 10 Winter Safety Tips for Children can help you do that.

Once you have these safety precautions taken care of, your children will be ready to go outside and have some learning fun!

two kids in bright winter clothes smiling outside in the snow

A Winter Wonderland of Activities

Here are some outdoor activities that give a whole new spin to winter wonderland. Your kids will have fun while still learning important life lessons

Nature activities

There’s something therapeutic about being out in the outdoors.

The air feels crisp and refreshing. The birds chirping in the trees make such natural and beautiful music. And the sense of calm, especially during the winter season, are all things to look forward to whenever you think about going outdoors.

To keep the winter wonderland alive with your kids, give these activities a try:

Winter hiking

Hiking (especially in snowy trails) can be an exhilarating experience.

You need to dress for the weather. Thermal clothing works better because it retains body heat. Wear other clothing in layers, instead of dressing in heavy attire that can become uncomfortable pretty fast.

To weave learning into your hiking, create games you can play with your kids. A simple game like iSpy where the kids compete to spot different kinds of adventurous stuff along the way would be a great one to play. 

Identify different types of birds

Get your kids started as avid bird watchers!

Taking a walk into the woods (or other nature area) during the winter season is a great way to spot different types of bird species.

Encourage the kids to take note of their observations, like bird’s behavior, how they build their nests, the kind of noise they make, their color and body shape, and any other information they can gather on these birds. 

If possible, you can take photos. Once you get back home, try to find out which types of bird species you observed during your walk. You can use a free birding mobile app to help you out.

For extra fun, help your kids create a DIY bird feeder for your backyard and monitor it for several days to see which types of birds visit.

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Identify animals by their tracks

When you come across animal patterns on the snow (or frozen ground), take a moment to let your kids play detective.

You’re likely to come across foot tracks of small game such as squirrels, foxes, rabbits, or deer.

If possible, let your children draw the pattern or take pictures for further analysis back home. You can use a resource such as Bear Tracker to try and identify the animal using the footprints they have. Make it a game to see who can identify most patterns.

Identifying different types of trees

What kind of trees grow in your neighborhood?

What are the textures of the leaves? How big are the trees’ barks? Do you have evergreen and deciduous trees?

Grab some books and online resources to help you learn more about trees in your area and around the world.

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Stargazing for winter activities for kids

The clear skies during the winter season offer great opportunities for stargazing and learning about constellations.

You can do this in your backyard. Some constellations can be seen clearly without the need for a telescope.

For a bonus activity, trace these constellations on paper and then use an app to identify them.

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Smiling boy wearing blue knit hat, blue winter coat, gloves, and snow pants as he digs snow with a shovel into a red bucket

Gardening 

In the winter season, not much gardening happens.

However, it is a fantastic time to prepare your backyard garden for planting in the spring season.

Let your kids help you out. Teach them how to prepare the garden bed, how to do composting, and how to prepare bulbs. 

You can research the kind of crops and plants that are frost-resistant in your region. Onions are good examples of crops you can plant during this season. Perennial vegetables such as spinach, leeks, garlic, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and radish also do well in cold places.

Be part of a community project

Enjoy winter activities for kids by volunteering to help in a community project.

For instance, your kids can learn how to shovel snow by observing how others do it.

You could join a community clean-up project to pick up trash. Or hang bird houses for places for our feathered friends to make homes.

Snow games 

No winter wonderland of outdoor learning would be complete without some snow fun. If you have snow in your area, there are many fun learning activities you can do, like:

  • Build a snowman – This is a classic activity. If your kids feel that they are ready for a bigger challenge than building a snowman, ask them to build other animals such as penguins, bears, or cats.
  • Snow tic-tac-toe – Draw giant tic-tac-toe using snow on the ground and play with sticks, pinecones, or stones. 
  • Snowball games – To make this game more interesting, create hoops using tree branches and tie them to a tree trunk or onto a pole in your backyard. Mold snow into balls and try to see who can shoot snow ‘basketball’ better.
  • Snow paint – Make some DIY snow paint and have a blast! Encourage your kids to be as creative as possible when snow painting. They should use food coloring or eco-friendly water-based paint. And don’t worry – the paint will get washed away when the snow melts.
  • Snow castles – Your kids can compete to see who builds the most magnificent castle or fort.
  • Snow maze – Mazes are fun and creative ways to enjoy the outdoors. Encourage the kids to build complicated and creative mazes. These DIY creations can be fun challenges for siblings, neighbors, and you.

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Two kids wearing winter coats, knit hats, scarves, and gloves as they happily play in the snow

Make the Most of It with Fun Outdoor Winter Activities for Kids

Let your kids enjoy outdoor fun this winter. As long as everyone keeps safe and warm, being outdoors during this season should be encouraged and embraced. There’s so much fun out there and so much to learn in the process!

Oh, and if you like these outdoor winter fun activities, you’ll LOVE these indoor winter activities (plus FREE printable chart)!

What fun winter activities would you add to this list of ideas?

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