Great Ways to Have Fun Outside!
Snow painting, star gazing and more
By: Rhea Seymour
Sculpt some art! When the weather outside is frightful, gather your kids around the table for a craft that’s delightful. Using old yogurt or margarine containers, water and food coloring, they can makeone-of-a-kind ice sculptures that can serve as an outdoor stoop accent or a table centerpiece for your next party!
Host a snow-angel contest. Get the kids to decorate their snow angels with evergreen branches, twigs and snow paint. Then choose the most creatively decorated masterpiece. Back inside, make a pretty fabric angel.
Catch snowflakes. When the snow is falling, the kids can capture snowflakes by wearing dark mittens or holding a piece of bright-colored paper. Bring along a magnifying glass; they’ll marvel at the unique shapes. Then make a snow globe!
Decorate the trees. Take a margarine container, fill it with a few pinecones and a piece of looped string, suggests Charlebois-Bin. Pour water into the container, covering the pinecones and leaving the loop outside. Freeze it, then pop it out of the container and hang your icy ornament outside on a tree. Make a bird feeder and watch as the winter birds come and snack.
Have a snowshoe race. Use cardboard boxes to make your own snowshoes. Place your child’s foot on a piece of sturdy cardboard, cut around it, leaving a few inches around the edge or her boot. Then use a needle and string to secure it to her feet. Ready, set, race!
Play in a snow bank. Rachelle Davenport’s seven-year-old daughter Andi loves sliding and jumping off the snow piles beside their home in Ignace, ON. "We build tunnels through the snow banks and pretend we’re in a space ship," says Davenport. Use your imagination — snow banks and piles can be volcanoes, pirate ships, teepees or mountaintops.
Star gaze. Lay down with the kids on a tarp or blanket on the snow, look up at the night sky and point out stars and constellations. "Have them pick out their own constellations and create names for them," says Charlebois-Bin. Find out more about the night sky.