National Wildlife FederationIf you live in "snow country," the first flakes of the season bring everyone out to play. But as winter wears on and snow becomes just something to shake from your boots, it gets easier and easier to stay inside.

But as long as your kids bundle up, fresh air will do them a world of good. Here are some ways to keep outdoor winter play fresh and fun.

  

Scenario #1: The snow has been around for weeks and the kids are tired of sledding.

  • Build a miniature luge track. Have the kids use metal spoons to carve parallel tracks in the snow. (Snow that has been piled up and frozen hard is best.) They can race the spoons, rubber balls, acorns, or anything else handy. Kids will have fun trying to create the fastest course!
  • Make mini-snowmen out of snowballs. Younger children find making these little people easier than building the standard life-sized snowman. And older kids can spend more time on the details instead of building huge snow creatures. Get the neighborhood involved and create a whole city of mini-snowpeople!
  • Think beyond snowmen. Expand snow-building to include such things as cars, animals, or favorite sports team logos. Use water with food coloring to “paint” creations. 
  • Go snowshoeing. Snowshoeing doesn’t require fancy gear when you make your own out of cardboard cutouts, shoe boxes, folded newspapers or tree branches. Attach to boots with string, rubber bands or bungee cords and try a trek around your favorite green space.
For more snow-day scenarios, read the rest of this article.

This activity was written by Kimberly Capozzi and published originally for the National Wildlife Federation.

Related on MNN: How to build an igloo