Keeping kids busy during the winter months can be a challenge, but using the Winter Olympic Games for inspiration, you can actually help your kids have a lot of fun on cold days. Though you may not be able to go speed skating, figure skating, skiing or snowboarding, you can bring the Winter Olympics down to kid level and provide activities your children will want to do over and over again.
The best thing about these games is that you don’t need a lot of extras. These winter activities for kids can be put together with what you already have around the house.
Ice hockey for kids
Instead of playing actual ice hockey, in this game, kids don’t even have to know how to skate. You can play this game outdoors if you have a large enough patio area or flat driveway. Otherwise, you can play it on the kitchen or unfinished basement floor.
All you need is some masking tape or duct tape to mark a goal line on the sidewalk or floor. Then using brooms, toy golf clubs or hockey sticks, wrapping paper tubes covered in saran wrap, or even just your feet, you can try to score a goal using an ice cube as your puck. Have kids see if they can score a goal from different distances.
If you’re playing this game indoors, you can use balled up white socks. If playing outdoors while there is snow on the ground, you’ll want to use colored socks, soft balls such as the splash balls used in the swimming pool, or you can use balled up aluminum foil.
Again, all you need is a goal of some sort. This can be a single line, or you can use buckets set at varying distances, each marked with a different point value. Kids take turns tossing their snowballs into the buckets or across the finish line, racking up points for each goal. The child or team with the most points wins.
For a variation of this game, use two large containers as the goals and have kids compete against each other to see who can get all their snowballs into the bucket first.
Air ball race
For this winter game, you’ll need a cookie pan that has raised edges, or another large, deep pan or dish that is freezer-safe. Fill the pan with water and place in the freezer (or outdoors) until it is completely frozen solid.
Then, create a goal line at one end of the pan. This can be done by placing a piece of tape across the pan, pulled taut so the middle won’t sag, or by using a large rubber band.
Then, cut aluminum foil into equally size squares, about 2 x 2 inches. Kids can roll the aluminum foil into small balls and place theirs at the opposite end of the pan from the goal. Give each child a straw. Using only their breath, they must blow through the straw and try to get their foil ball to move. The first person whose “air ball” crosses the goal line wins. For variation, try this game with different objects from around the house to see how lighter or heavier objects present different challenges.
This is a really fun (and delicious) winter activity for kids. Give each child a large bowl of marshmallows. Any size will do. Each child should also have a flat surface area on which to build. This can be a cutting board, large plate, cookie pan, or even just a placemat.
Give each child a squeezeable tube of icing, the easy-to-squeeze kind that come ready made for decorating cookies and baked goods. Set a timer and let each child build a marshmallow igloo (or snow fort), using icing to stick the marshmallows together. If anyone can use all their marshmallows before the timer goes off, they are declared a winner. If you want to award medals, the person who used the most marshmallows would get the gold, the next most marshmallows would earn the silver, and the next would earn the bronze.
Can you think of more ways to create your own Winter Olympic Games? Share your winter games ideas for kids in the comments below.
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