Let’s face it, keeping kids entertained over winter is no easy feat. The days are shorter, the temperature is colder and being stuck indoors when it’s raining can really limit activity choices. For families living in Victoria, the bite of the winter chill can really sting! But just because it’s winter doesn’t mean the kids have to resort to video games. There are loads of great ways to entertain kids this winter to keep the whole family from going stir-crazy, including:
- Backyard Olympics
- Ice sculpture scavenger hunt
- Curling up with a good book
- Roasting marshmallows around a fire
- Organising a dance party under fairy lights
- Winter gardening
- Making homemade snow
- Experimenting with ice and salt
- Indoor snowball fight
- Indoor camping
The cool, grey days aren’t going to put a dampener on your children’s fun this winter!
Our favourite outdoor activities your kids will love this winter school holiday.
1. Host a backyard Olympics!
The kids will have a blast competing in their own Winter Olympics! There’s no snow required for these games, either. All you need is some space set up in the backyard for some winter-themed obstacles for the kids to navigate.
Get the kids to invite some friends over and set up their own Olympic team, make some DIY gold, bronze and silver medals and let the games begin!
Some winter-themed Olympic obstacles ideas include:
- Abominable snowman race: Have the kids jump inside a white pillowcase (an old one you don’t mind getting dirty!) and see who can cross the finish line first!
- Igloo obstacle course: utilise plastic chairs, inflatable toys or anything at your disposal to create an obstacle course that gets the kids jumping, crawling and weaving to the end!
- Snowball toss: Set up a hoop or use a basketball hoop and throw scrunched paper snowballs through the hole!
- Penguin race: Have the kids do a balloon waddle race! To make it more fun, set up bowls full of ice at the finish line marker, and get each child to waddle up, scoop up the ice with a spoon, then waddle back to the starting point. First one to successfully carry their ice without it falling off the spoon wins!
2. Go on a winter scavenger hunt
This snowy, colourful scavenger hunt will be a hit for kids young or old. First, make some colourful ice moulds by dropping food dye into water and filling an ice mould. Pop into the freezer until it’s set. Next, take the coloured ice sculptures out of their moulds and hide them throughout the backyard. Get the kids bundled up before going out to find each colourful ice sculpture! Don’t forget to warm up after your hunt with some delicious hot choccie!
3. Read to your kids
Cuddle up on the couch or in your own cushion fort and read winter-themed books to the kids! Take turns reading each page and then discuss the book afterwards over some yummy treats!
4. Roast marshmallows
One of the best ways to enjoy your backyard this winter while keeping kids happy and entertained is to have your own backyard campfire!
If you don’t already have a fire pit, you can easily make one (just check with your local regulations regarding backyard firepits first!). Get the whole family gathered around the fireplace one night and try roasting marshmallows or making s’mores! Make the night even more entertaining by telling ghost stories or - if the kids are too young for spooky stories - make up your own adventure story!
5. Throw a dance party under fairy lights
Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean having to hibernate indoors! Make the most of your backyard this winter and keep the kids entertained with a dance party under fairy lights! If you have an outdoor patio area, dangle some colourful fairy lights and then press play on your kids favourite music/playlist and have a magical winter dance party!
6. Winter gardening
Gardening chores don’t stop just because it’s winter! There are plenty of things to do in the garden in winter including pruning, mowing and planting winter vegetables.
Having kids help out with household chores can set them up for a happier and more successful life! In fact, recent research by the University of Minnesota has found that giving children chores to do can promote motor development. Simply digging in the garden or helping cut herbs with scissors will equip your kids with the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in adulthood. It can also help them to strengthen relationships and gives them the ability to meet and overcome challenges, bebetter able to handle frustration, and develop higher emotional and social intelligence. Time to start gardening!
What to do in Victoria when it’s cold?
If you’re Victorian, you know all about the “four seasons in one day” weather we experience on a daily basis! So, if you’re looking for fun things to do with kids when it’s raining outside, then try this list of cool indoor activities!
7. Make homemade colourful snow!
If it snows where you live, then you have the perfect opportunity to create an indoor activity that kids will love! Colourful snow!
Simply venture outside and fill a cookie tray with snow, then pack it down and set it up on a table inside alongside some colourful liquid watercolour paints. Have the kids put on a smock and let their imaginations run wild as they paint colours on the snow!
8. Sensory play with ice and salt
This melting ice project is perfect for sensory play. Using ice and salt, kids will go crazy over this winter indoor activity!
The day before the experiment, make your ice by filling different sized containers with water and freezing them overnight. Next, set up the melting station by taking the ice out of their moulds and popping them into a baking tray on top of a newspaper-lined table (you don’t want melted water, paint and salt all over the place!). Now the fun part - get your kids to sprinkle salt (rock salt works best!) over the ice moulds and watch little tunnels form as the salt hits the ice!
Once the salt begins melting the ice, squeeze watercolours or food dye over the ice and watch the beautiful effects take hold!
9. Host an indoor campout
Set up a tent in the living room, fill it with cushions and blankets, make a fake campfire using sticks and flame coloured acetate paper sheets or tissue paper, and pack some camping snacks for a night of indoor camping adventure!
Wintry weather fun with the whole family
These fun winter activities for the kids can also be enjoyed by the entire family! In between experimenting with at-home crafts and finding creative ways to enjoy winter outdoors, there won’t ever be a chance of the cold dampening your family’s fun this winter. Just as long as you rug up with some extra layers of clothing before venturing outside, you can discover a winter wonderland brimming with endless health and wellbeing benefits! That’s right, spending time outdoors - even in winter - is doing more than getting the kids off their screens. #ditchingscreentimeforgreentime
You are giving them opportunities to expand their critical thinking skills, develop greater social and emotional intelligence, and providing them with new childhood memories they can look back on for years to come.