It’s crazy to think that the cooler weather is now upon us. Are you already preparing for winter and all the fun and festivities that go along with the season?
I was thinking about fun things kids can do in the wintertime (but without the snow, since we live in the south), and I came up with a total of 50 outdoor winter activities for kids without snow that you’re going to love!
As most moms know, one thing leads to another, and in planning one thing, you start thinking of something else!
With all the changes and challenges we are still having with the pandemic and this era of our lives, especially for those who homeschool or have little ones at home, you might be considering cold weather outdoor activities more so than before.
Not all winter outdoor learning activities or cold weather games have to include snow to be fun!
Even if you are fortunate (or unfortunate depending on your point of view) to have snow where you live, there are still times when it’s a bit frosty outdoors, and there’s no snow to motivate your kids to get outside and away from the electronics.
That’s where this list of 50 cold weather outdoor activities for kids will help, even without the added allure of fresh snow.
Are There Fun Things To Do With Kids Outside In The Cold?
You betcha! And not only fun, but so many activities can incorporate learning and exploration for your child that is much more stimulating than being indoors glued to a tablet or Switch.
Even a simple game of hide-n-seek outdoors in cooler weather with your kids will have them running and moving their bodies, shrieking in excitement when they are discovered.
Hey, without snow, there are no footprints to spoil the fun. Don’t forget to follow up with a blood-pumping game of tag and a tickle party!
What Are The Advantages Of Cold Weather Outdoor Activities?
You’ll be surprised at all the positive benefits that getting the kids (and parents) outside will have on your family! So many outdoor winter activities for kids you can do!
We all know how important playtime is for children. It’s also quality bonding time when parents play outside with their children because the focus is different than indoors.
The benefit, besides ungluing little eyeballs from blue screens, is that the sunlight is a natural way to increase vitamin D production and help with seasonal affective disorder or the winter blues that can affect children too!
Outdoor Winter Activities for Kids Makes For Happy Kids!
Laughing, running, and mentally stimulation helps those little bodies burn calories and produce happy hormones-endorphins: serotonin, dopamine, and oxytocin.
The added bonus of those hormones from exercise and laughter do several things:
- Burn off extra energy and make for a great night sleep
- Increases creative thinking, attention spans, and problem-solving skills
- Naturally increases happiness and reduces depression
- Develops muscle strength and burns off holiday treats
- Ups oxygen levels in the blood and decrease stress hormones
- Boosts cell regeneration and lowers blood pressure
- Naturally strengthens the immune system to fight illnesses
Ok, so this wasn’t intended to be a physiology lesson. Still, in case you might be waffling on the idea of bundling everyone up, including yourself, those benefits are sure to give you some extra motivation. I did save the best for last; did you know that endorphins are the body’s own natural pain killer? Yahoo!
Are There Winter Outdoor Activities For Toddlers?
I know it seems like a given, but many people, especially first-time moms, ask this question. The answer is yes!
Luckily there are many, and you are only as limited as you and your little one’s endurance for cold and your inventiveness!
Once you go through this list of outdoor winter activities for kids without snow, you are sure to find many ideas on your own! The biggest limitation is the weather itself.
What Temperature Is Too Cold For Winter Outdoor Learning Activities?
Now, this is a great question! Have you heard the “old wives tale” where you lose 30-40% (or thereabout) of your body heat through your head? Um, not true!
The body can lose 7-10% of its heat through the head if it is unprotected. A hat definitely helps to retain body heat and keeps little ears warm, but once they warm up through exertion, you don’t want them to get overhead either.
The critical factor for deciding if it’s too cold for outdoor winter activities is the wind chill factor, not always the temperature.
Also, where you live can factor in your decision. Florida folks might consider 45F a reason to stay indoors when Alaskan residents consider that summer.
Speaking of cold weather, in the Swedish Lapland winters can be nine months long. Even so, there is a well known saying, “Det finns inget dåligt väder, bara dåliga kläder.” This translates to:
There is no bad weather, only bad clothes!”
This is not only a way of life for Swedes and their children; it’s part of their culture.
Actually, there is a great book by Linda Åkeson McGurk, “There’s No Such Thing as Bad Weather, you might find interesting!
For a good rule of thumb when the wind chill or temperature is freezing, when engaged in winter outdoor learning or play activities, toddlers and small children should be brought inside every 20-30 minutes.
50 Cold Weather Outdoor Activities For Kids Without Snow
Want to keep the littles engaged outside during cold weather? Check out these options for winter activities that kids will have fun without snow.
Also, outdoor winter learning activities can be combined with indoor crafts or lessons when it’s time to come inside and warm up!
Winter Outdoor Activities Without Snow For Kids
You don’t have to lose out on cold weather activities just because there is no snow. Here are some ideas to get you and the kids out of the house, enjoying the season’s magical atmosphere and festive mood.
Don’t forget to invite other family and friends!
- Winter Festivals – most communities have various fall and winter options.
- Outdoor Ice Skating – find an outdoor rink if the pond isn’t safe.
- Town Tree Lighting – enjoy the community celebration.
- Neighborhood Caroling – a great way to incorporate music into a curriculum.
- Christmas Tree Cutting – at a tree farm and discuss sustainability.
- Trip to the Zoo – some animals are more active, and crowds are less!
- **Build a Bonfire – with wood gathered on a nature walk.
- Weenie Roast/S’mores – enjoy that bonfire twofold!
- Playgrounds – visit one you don’t go to ordinarily.
- Go Kiting – at the beach or park with a Make at Home Kite.
Learn how to create your own kite with these fun ideas!
Create your very own one-of-a-kind kite with this hands on kite building kit for hours of great fun!
4-player fun this kite bundle consists of 4 kites and 2 sets of color marker pen making this perfect for families!
“Cool” Winter Outdoor Learning Activities
In this category, what can’t you turn into a learning activity? I could even find a way to teach melting points and observation as an excuse to eat ice cream cones! Oh, fun; see how fast ice cream melts in the house or outside!
Ok, how about some other cold weather outdoor learning activities without snow that don’t include sugar?
- *Make Pine Cone Bird Feeders & Decorate Outdoor Tree by Wilder Child
- Winter Words Scavenger Hunt by Little Pine Learners
- Blow Frozen Snow Bubbles by HighLights
- Learning Clouds and Weather Sighting/Meteorology
- Geocaching: Learning GPS Tracking, Investigation, Compass, Geography
- Make a Nature/Winter ScrapBook or Journal
- Build a Backyard Stick Teepee by Gardens That Matter
- Recycling/Repurpose Milk Containers Project Igloo/Fort or Bird Feeders
- Telescope Stargazing and Astronomy Activities
- Making Icicle Garland or Ice Lanterns Outside by Handmade Charlotte & Willowday
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- Sturdy, non-slip foot pegs- textured foot pegs to increase stability and to make sure your child doe
- 80mm astronomy telescope: 400mm focal length and 80 mm large objective lens, multi-fully high transm
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No Snow? Cold Weather Outdoor Games For Kids
I mentioned before that Scandinavian culture has kids outside playing pretty much daily year-round. These are obvious suggestions for warm weather, so why not for cold weather outdoor games when there is no snow?
Dress them for success and get the little mess monsters outside!
- Pogo Stick Races
- Laser Tag
- Giant Lawn Bowling
- Play I Spy
- Yard Yahtzee and Yarkle with Giant Dice
- “Street” Hockey
- Shooting Hoops, Basketball
- Skateboarding or Inline Skates
- Golfing or Croquet
- Carport or Driveway Chalk Drawings/Hopscotch
- Snowball maker tool kit: this snowball maker set contains 4 snowball makers, 1 snow brick maker, a s
- Premium quality & more shapes: made of eco-friendly pp material, this snow toy set is safe, non-toxi
- Build giant snow forts: besides playing snowball fight game, we have also included a sturdy snow bri
- Easy grabbing: design with a flexible handle, our snowball makers are easy to grab, you can make sno
- Best christmas gift: this snowball maker tool set is also an ideal christmas and birthday gift for k
- Perfect sled board: our plastic skiing boards are of large size, 22" x 16.6", suitable for most peop
- Safety design: it has large handle, which can make you easy to control. there is also a sunken seat
- Easy to carry: it is very light, and its reasonably designed handle and stackable body allow you to
- Fast speed: because material of this snowboard is hdpe, it is very smooth, and with the less resista
- Wide application: the snowboard is suitable for a variety of outdoor activities, such as skiing, gra
- material: using lotus wood, flannel and non-woven fabric, light weight and easy to use. more import
- size: the hat with brim is about 11 inches, the scarf is about 53.1x3.7 inches, the arms are about
- snowman: after a heavy snowfall, its time to start a traditional and interesting snow journey-snowm
- fun and creative: children like this snowman kit, they will use this convenient kit to design and d
- exquisite gifts: its time to break all the holiday classics and get the perfect gift! this charming
Cold Weather Outdoor Nature Activities
Winter is the perfect time to make children aware of the change in seasons and how animals prepare for cold weather. Create outdoor winter activities for kids without snow directly for nature activities when you go on hikes or walks and explore different areas around your home, local parks, and animal habitats.
- Bird Watching Winter Birds/Geese
- Locating Beavers Dams/Winter Animals
- “Rock Walk” Collecting flat rocks for Rock Painting
- Scavenger Hunts- DIY or canvas collection bag/ cotton sling.
- Plant Winter Garden Bulbs/Onions & Garlic for Spring
- Fishing/Ice Fishing
- Collect Pine Cones* and Leaves for Crafts
- Bug Catch & Release, Identifying Insects
- Gather Wood for Bonfire**
- Exploring Nature Activity Book For Kids by Kim Andrews, Excellent Resource
Winter Outdoor Activities And Games For Toddlers Without Snow
It will be easier to keep the littles happy and engaged once you get them outside than it was to bundle them up!
These ten cold weather ideas are suggested to get toddler bodies moving and increase motor skills and body awareness: balance, reaction speed, and strength.
- Play Hide and Seek
- Wooden Wobble Balance Board
- Trampoline Fun for Toddler or Family
- Tag and Tickle Play
- Bubble Blower Lawn Mower (2 pack)
- Ride a Toddler Scooter (adjusts as they grow)
- Basketball or T-Ball Sports
- Flarts – Inflatable Lawn “Darts”
- Flying Saucer Tree Swing
- Tricycle or Bike Riding or Foam Pogo Jumper
Are you inspired yet? This should be inspiration for everyone with this list of 50 outdoor winter things for kids to do without snow.
Fresh air, a little vitamin D, and a hot supper followed by all the kiddos hitting the hay…now it’s “mommy time!”