Are your children bored to tears during these dismal winter days? Try these inexpensive or free indoor and outdoor family activities.

1. Enjoy Backyard Winter Games

Do you have an aspiring winter athlete in your family? Angela Smith, a mother of two from Calgary, believes that outdoor winter activities can teach children the importance of teamwork. Smith states, “Everything else is imagination and excitement in plenty.”

Here are some suggestions:

  1. Start with the children and their friends participating in a relay race around the block. There, they carry a “torch” fashioned from a few basic DIY supplies from one person to the next.
  2. Next, construct a snow obstacle course.
  3. Utilize a slope for sled racing, a hill for speed climbing, and a flat area for cross-country skiing or snowshoeing.
  4. If the snow conditions permit, have a snowman-building contest.
  5. Last but not least, dish out gold, silver, and bronze “medals” (homemade or even round cookies would suffice!) and hot chocolate to the little champs.

2. Go Snow Painting with the Kids

Let your budding Picassos spruce up your winter paradise with some flair. Catherine Doyle, a mother from Toronto, pours different colors of tempera paint into little jars and wraps her children in blankets. Doyle said, “I sketch shapes in the snow to act as a canvas and allow the children to paint artwork.” They may give color to a snowman or even write words in the snow. There is no disorder here. The paint is suitable for children and animals, is machine-washable, and will not stain snow pants or winter jackets.

Not having any paint on hand? Also effective is adding a few drops of food coloring to water. Jillian Stinson, a mother from Waterloo, repurposes empty condiment bottles to create colored water. “It is enjoyable for children to squeeze colored water into snow to create patterns. Alternatively, kids may combine colors in a container. Then, once their masterpiece has frozen, they will uncover colorful ice.”

3. Play Outdoor Tourist In Your Own Town Or City

Appreciate what your community has to offer for outdoor winter activities. Take the path less traveled and arrange a day trip to explore new locations in your own backyard. Bring the children on an excursion to a new playground, ice rink, sledding hill, or nature preserve. Consider making a whole day of it. Plan a route and establish times for each stop. Then, warm up between stops while driving to your next location. Pack some nutritious snacks in advance. And get a warm beverage from a drive-through on the way to your next destination.

4. Create A Family Portrait

Create a new custom to honor your child's inner artist and your developing family. Linda Walker, a mother of four from Winnipeg, states that a child-drawn family photo may not be the most attractive, but it is still adorable. Frame the family picture and display it prominently, adding a new one year. Walker adds, “Over the years, our picture wall has become a wonderful reminder of our family.” Copies of the portrait make excellent presents for aunts, uncles, and grandparents as well.

5. Host An Indoor Beach Party

When the wind outside is howling, engage the children with an inside beach party. Decorate your living room or family room with photographs, seashells, an umbrella, and a sun made of posterboard. Turn up the surf music and enjoy a hula hoop contest, the limbo, and beach volleyball with balloons. Additionally, enjoy fruit smoothies with little umbrellas. Remember to put on your beach attire!

6. Build A Blanket Fort

Scott MacDonald, a father from Toronto, promotes his children's creative play by constructing a blanket and chair fort. This is how he interacted with his own father. MacDonald said, “We like telling tales over a fictitious campfire while nibbling on hot dogs and marshmallows.” A blanket fort may be even more enjoyable by having a family overnight within it. Now that's living on the edge!

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