During the winter, it’s tempting to stay indoors where it’s warm, but there are plenty of fun games kids can play in the snow. My kids love playing outside in the winter when there is freshly fallen snow!

When it’s truly too cold to be outside for a long period of time, then we like to stay inside and play board games together, like these winter-themed board games. Otherwise, bundle up and head outside for some fresh air and exercise with these fun snow activities. Then when you are done, come inside and make yummy hot chocolate!

Tic Tac Toe

Play a game of Tic Tac Toe in the snow. You can use snow paint to draw the game or gather up sticks, pinecones, and other nature items. Another idea would be to create a checkerboard in the snow for a game of Checkers or Chess.

Freeze Tag

You don’t even need anything extra to start a game of Freeze Tag. This was a favorite variation of tag from my childhood. One person is “it” and they freeze other players in place by tagging them, but other players can unfreeze you again by giving you another tap. Once everyone is frozen at the same time, kids select a new person to be “it” and play again! Kids can get creative and put their own spin on the game, making new rules as they play to keep the fun going.

Obstacle Course

Create a winter obstacle course for your kids. You can have them do things like make a snow angel, army crawl across the snow, step inside other footprints, hopscotch, build a snowman, and more. Have the kids help come up with ideas of what to include. Their ideas may surprise you!

Scavenger Hunt

Going on a winter scavenger hunt is a great way to get everyone outside and moving. Create a list of items that you may see while taking a walk during the winter or of items they can find. Kids can collect the sticks, pinecones, and more, or check things off a list as they see them. You can make your own list or use a free printable like this one from Teaching Mama.

Another idea is to hide toys or colored ice cubes in your yard for the kids to find. If hiding toys, keep track of where you hid them just in case. You could also provide clues for your kids to follow.

games to play in the snow
Credit: Ethan Hu via Unsplash

Snow Sculptures

Think beyond snowmen and hold a snow sculpture contest. Or, spark their creativity by playing snow charades where others have to guess what they are building in the snow. Another idea is to provide random props and challenge them to use them in their creation.

Snowball Toss

Everyone loves to make snowballs, but not everyone likes getting hit by them. Keep snowball throwing fun by changing up the game a little bit. Lay a hula hoop down on the snow or draw a large circle. See how many snowballs they can throw into the circle. To create more of a challenge for older kids, you can make a target on the ground with different point values depending on where their snowballs land.

Snow Tube Race

Plan a sled or snow tube race. Even if you don’t race, going down a snowy hill in a large inflatable unicorn snow tube is sure to be a blast. If kids can’t go down the hill at the same time, you can time them indivudually instead.

Snow Inside

Too cold to go outside? Bring the snow inside for an engaging sensory bin. Fill a play tray or plastic storage tote with snow, small toys, measuring spoons and cups, etc. Have little ones wear gloves or mittens while playing with the snow. Older kids may enjoy making and playing with Super-Expanding Instant Snow from Ooze Labs, too.

We hope these ideas will help you and your children create memories playing games in the snow. Check out this list for a few more inside and outside snow day activities for preschoolers!

About the author

Darcy Zalewski

Darcy Zalewski

Darcy Zalewski is an avid gamer who believes gaming is an excellent family activity. Happily raising two little geeklings with her equally geeky husband in the land of cheese, aka Wisconsin. Darcy loves both video and board games, as they provide infinite family bonding opportunities. When she’s not gaming, she’s crafting, reading dystopian novels, or discussing one of her many fandoms. Her writing has also been featured on Babble, CafeMom, and Mom.me. Connect with her on Twitter at @darcyzalewski.