Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean children should stay indoors. There are so many winter outdoor activities that kids can do, that there should be no excuse not to wrap up warm and get out there. I read somewhere that there was never inappropriate weather, just inappropriate clothing. So get on the wellies and waterproofs and get outside.
Getting outside and playing outdoors is so good for children and a lot of fun too for all the family. Not only does it give the kids exercise but it also helps them develop their motor skills, improve concentration, encourage creativity and ignite their imagination. Not to mention getting closer to and learning about nature and the world we live in.
Even a simple dog walk can be turned into an exciting ‘adventure’. So pack some snacks, get on your wellies and take a look at these 33 super fun winter outdoor activities for kids to give you some inspiration.
33 Super Fun Winter Outdoor Activities for Kids
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In the Countryside
A simple walk in the countryside can be a great adventure. You can arm yourself with some binoculars and magnifying glass and go bird and wildlife spotting, or even nest spotting.
We also like to go on footprint hunts looking for animal tracks. Winter is an ideal time to do this as the soft ground is ideal for capturing footprints. Local to us we often see tracks from dogs, deer, horses and sometimes birds. If you find some great footprints you can also make plaster casts of the footprints, which is really simple and fun to do.
Scavenger hunts are also great, you can create your own like I did in the Autumn, or you can find loads on the internet. There is a great Winter Scavenger Hunt that you can download and print from the Woodlands Trust. You could also collect treasures to make a fairy crown using twigs, leaves and anything else you can find. Or what about making a journey stick which is a fab idea from Growing Family to document your walk.
If you’re feeling creative you could set up your own Treasure hunt. It takes a little bit of preparation but you can make a map, and leave clues and even bury some treasure. I remember as a kid going on a treasure hunt and my dad had buried a little matchbox full of pennies, and X marked the spot!
Maybe setting up your own treasure hunt is to much effort, so why not try Geocaching. Effectively ready made treasure hunts all over the country. Download the app, and off you go. It’s a great activity for the whole family to enjoy. Or why not leave treasures for others to find? Something that has gained popularity recently is painting rocks that you can leave on walks for other children to find. There are lots of Facebook groups about it, so check them out and see if there’s one in your area.
In the Deep Dark Forest
Forest and Woodland Walks can be lots of fun, and offer lots of potential activities. Visit the National Trust and Forestry Commission websites to find the nearest ones to you. You could even take a little portable camping stove with you, so you can cook hotdogs for lunch, or stop for a cup of hot chocolate along the way.
Along your walk why don’t you do some tree spotting, see how many different types of trees you can spot or see who can find the tallest one or one with the thickest trunk. The kids can also climb trees, build dens or spend ages playing hide and seek.
Our kids love getting involved in some imaginative play in our local forest. They find sticks and use them as swords guarding their castles, or wands at their wizard and fairy schools.
With all those trees around it’s also the perfect place to get some great bark rubbings. All you need is some paper and crayons and you’re set to go.
All You Need is Mud
There is usually plenty of mud around in the winter, and it can be a great source of entertainment. Thanks to Peppa Pig Jumping in muddy puddles is a favourite among kiddies, but make sure you have their wellies and waterproofs on.
Mud kitchens are also a great idea and encourage your childs’ more creative side.
Or how about making a Mud Pie? My kids love to mix mud, stones and leaves in an old wheelbarrow and pretend it’s a magic potion. You could even try your hand at Mud painting, and the best thing is all the mess is kept outside.
The Beach in the Winter
Just because it’s winter, don’t give the beach a miss. The beach can be great for shell hunting, or treasure hunting with a metal detectors.
You can also spend hours wave jumping, or use the sound of the sea and the sight of the waves crashing against the shore as inspiration for some creative writing, story telling or beach inspired artwork.
If we are lucky enough to get snow, then it opens up a whole load of other outdoor activities that the kids can enjoy. There’s the obvious building of a snowman, snowball fights, making snow angels and sledging down a hill.
What about thinking outside the box? Have you tried painting snow?
Great for the kids to get creative, but leaves all the mess outside. Or what about building snow castles? The bucket and spade don’t need to confined to the beach.
And if all that hasn’t given you enough ideas of what to do outside in the winter, then take a look at this Free and Almost Free Resources for Outdoor Activities by Diary of a First Child for some great websites that list either more activities.
Whatever you decide to do, just get outside this winter and enjoy the great outdoors, whatever the weather!
A massive thank you to the following lovely bloggers for their contributions to this post,