Fun Winter Activities for Kids

a snowman with hat and buttons for winter activities for kids.

Winter can be long and depressing. After the first round of cold and snow, it’s easy to find ourselves longing for warmth. To help combat those feelings, today’s post is full of winter activities for kids.

The perfect thing to help you put together a frugal winter bucket list.

Your kids will love these ideas that will help your your family create special memories during those frigid months.

Playing in the snow! These frugal and fun winter bucket list ideas will take your family from winter blues to creating memories your kids will cherish.

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I’m one of those people who is completely satisfied staying inside curled up on the couch with a good book. But seeing that I have kids, that doesn’t happen but on a rare occasion. They still want to have enjoy other winter activities for kids besides reading books. (Imagine that!)

Often times I need a little extra motivation to face the cold and have fun with the kids.

Moms of littles, I think winter is harder for us. We have kids with a lot of energy cooped up in a house. Bundling up to head outside is a chore and often little kids don’t last long before cold fingers bother them (or they have to use the bathroom and you have to completely unbundle them and then redo it)!

Hopefully using these winter activities for kids will help you create the perfect winter bucket list for your family!

Often, having a list to check off increases motivation. I think it will encourage us to embrace cold weather activities as well as the warm and cozy indoor ones.

Let your kids pick an activity each week (or let each child select an activity each week) – give them something to look forward to (and you will have plenty of time to mentally prepare)!

Disclaimer about the word frugal. Some of these items are only going to be frugal depending on where you live! Skiing in Oklahoma is in no way going to be cheap. But where I grew up skiing and ice skating where super accessible (and free).

Just select the winter activities that work for you and your kids.

Winter Activities for Kids – Creating a Winter Bucket List for Your Family

  1. Ice Skating
    All 3 of my kids were able to experience this for the first time last winter on a trip to Minnesota. They loved it. My 3 year had the best time and was so persistent.
  2. Skiing
    We did this growing up, but it’s something we have yet to do as a family. (My last ski outing as a child I did a summersault. I might just be slightly intimidated by this one.)
  3. Snowboarding
    Again, haven’t done but I know my son would love this if we lived in an area with a real winter.
  4. Sledding
    Every kid loves sledding! Every few years we’ll get enough snow to find a hill and sled, so this has to be taken advantage of.
  5. Ice Fishing
    I have a few memories of doing this with my dad growing up. Such a unique experience.
  6. Build a Snow Man
    Getting basic here, but if it snows you need to build at least one snowman. Or have a snowman building contest. One year we just had a dusting of snow, so the kids made mini 1 foot snow people and still loved it.
  7. Make Snow Angels
    Once again, we are back to the basics. But find an empty patch of snow and make a family of snow angels!
  8. Snowball Fight
    Divide into teams and have an epic battle. Kids against parents, perhaps? Or put mom and dad on opposite teams.
  9. Build a Snow Fort
    Let the kids get creative! Make a fortress, a castle, an igloo or make them all.
  10. Go to a Hockey Game
    Every once in a while, my sister and I got to stay up late and our dad would take us to a hockey game at the local university. The games are always so exciting.
  11. Go Caroling
    Go as a family or coordinate with a group of friends and make the rounds. Stop by the homes of the elderly from your church (great thing to do and easy to social distance)!
  12. Looking at Christmas Lights
    One of my kiddos’ must do winter activities for kids. We drive through neighborhoods and our city’s large display. Some years we’ll drive to a walk through display.
  13. Truth in the Tinsel
    Looking for a fun way to countdown to Christmas and keep Christ at the center of the season? Truth in the Tinsel is a fun advent experience for kids.
  14. Peppermint Playdough.
    All kids like playdough, right? Make it fit the season by turning it into peppermint playdough.
  15. Bubble Bath
    Bath time is always a great time killer on those long cold days. Bubbles make it even more fun for the kids.
  16. Make Snow Ice Cream
    This is something we only have enough snow to do once every 5 years, but if you live in a snowy area, the kids love this.
  17. Decorate Sugar Cookies
    My 3 children have to do this each year! I try to stay as hands off as possible – give them the supplies and let them decorate however they’d like.
  18. Deliver Sugar Cookies.
    Plate or box up the decorated cookies and drop them off at your friends or neighbors. You can hand deliver or leave the (well wrapped) cookies on the front porch and send a text to let your friends know they have a delivery.
  19. Make a Fire
    Bundle up and do an outdoor bonfire (with s’mores of course) or start a fire in your fire place and cozy up around it as a family and read a book aloud or take turns telling stories.
  20. Family Game Night
    Too cold (and dark) to go out? Bring out a stack of board games and start playing. Game night is always a hit in our house.
  21. Indoor Camp Out
    Pile blankets and pillows in the living room and have a family sleepover on the floor. This would be fun to do on the same night you light the fire.
  22. Read Winter Themed Books
    Pictures Books:
    The Snowy Day
    The Mitten
    Katy and the Big Snow
    Chapter Books:
    Miracles on Maple Hill
    The Long Winter
    Snow Treasure
    The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
  23. Make A Scarf
    Scarves and winter just go together. This would be a fun project for you and your daughters to do together.
  24. Winter Crafts for Kids or Adults.
    Take advantage of it being too cold to go out and do some fun crafts as a family. You can find something for everyone!
  25. Frozen Bubbles
    So fun! Your kids will love trying this out on a cold day.
  26. Advent Calendar
    Once December hits, start an advent calendar to count down the days to Christmas. You can go as simple or elaborate as you’d like. Or do this reverse advent calendar!
  27. Bake Something with Peppermint
    Peppermint just goes with the winter months. Here is an easy recipe for Chocolate Crinkle Peppermint Cookies or Peppermint Hot Fudge Sauce.
  28. Bake Something with Cranberries 
    Another quintessential winter baking ingredient! Maybe plan a menu where each dish includes cranberry.
  29. Hot Chocolate Bar
    Do this along with family game night or while reading one of the winter themed chapter books. Have your hot chocolate (homemade is yummy or use powdered) and then have dishes with items to add into your mug. Things like: mini chocolate chips, whipped cream, sprinkles, candy cane pieces, crushed candy bars etc.
  30. Watch a Christmas Movie
    The Santa Clause
    Nativity Story
  31. Nutcracker Ballet
    One year my aunt and uncle took us to see the Nutcracker Ballet. It was such a special outing. Go as a family or maybe take your kids on a special date when they reach a certain age.
  32. Family Christmas Card
    Use the early cold months to write (and address envelopes) a Christmas letter/card as a family.
  33. Volunteer
    Call and see if the food pantry (or humane society or other non-profit) could use some help!
  34. Winter Science Experiments
    Science experiments are always a homerun in my house. The kids would love doing these winter themed ideas.

Girl with getting ready to blow snow off of her hands

What are your favorite winter activities for kids? What does your family look forward to each year?

Hopefully, taking the time to plan some special moments and creating a winter bucket list will keep the cold, dreary gloom from taking over your family.

Even a few minutes of purposeful fun each day when it comes winter activities for your kids can go a long way in bettering attitudes, beating the winter blues, and creating memories your kids will remember!

Hot cocoa in the snow! These frugal and fun winter bucket list ideas will take your family from winter blues to creating memories your kids will cherish.

Originally published November 13, 2018

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