Our Top 25 winter activity checklist for children

children sledgingWinter can be a long, long time for kids. Quite often, many of the activities they usually enjoy are off-limits during winter. Or, at least, the activities change somewhat. It’s difficult to run around on a soggy football pitch, for example, but there are plenty of things to do when the weather’s a little colder and the nights are darker.

We’ve assembled 25 of the best ideas to inspire you. Some are dependent on a sprinkling of the white stuff, but others are available for everyone!

1) Build a snowman – Everyone likes building a snowman, and it can be a real family activity. If there’s enough snow, you could even have a snowman building competition.
2) Build an indoor fort – All it takes is a few pillows and cushions and your kids have a magical fort to hide in during the long winter nights. They can play with all their favourite toys or let their imagination run wild and pretend to be their favourites from the TV screens. Not forgetting, adults can have lots of fun helping build it.
3) Go bird spotting – It’s much easier to see some birds while there are no leaves on the trees, and you’ll be able to spot nests that wouldn’t have been visible otherwise. It’s a great mix of educational activity and fresh air.
4) Read a Christmas book – There are plenty of books with a Christmas theme. Whatever the age of your kids, there are books out there perfectly suited for their Christmas time.
mum and little girl reading a christmas book
5) Have a movie marathon – Some films are just better at Christmas and some are made especially for the season. Bust out the big guns and throw whatever films you fancy into the mix for one special night together. Whether it's a Disney classic, a Christmas favourite or it's simply something on the telly, a movie night can be great fun for everyone. 
6) Bake Christmas biscuits – The great thing about baking Christmas cookies in the shape of trees, snowmen, Santa Claus or anything else you can think of is that you get to eat them afterwards. What’s not to love?
7) Go ice skating – Visit a permanent or temporary ice skating rink to enjoy the sensation of gliding across the ice. Who knows – it might become a proper hobby ahead of next Christmas?
8) Decorate the home – Make sure that you decorate the house together as a family. However much the kids might get in the way, it’s a rite of passage for this time of year.
children sitting by the Christmas tree
9) Complete a Christmas jigsaw – A nice family activity for those long winter evenings, a Christmas-themed jigsaw can while away the hours.
10) Go through your wardrobes – This might not sound like the most exciting activity in the world, but it’s a great way to clear the decks ready for a new year. If the kids are reluctant, make it a challenge with chocolate rewards.
11) Donate to a charity – Research charities as a family and pick one shop or donation box to give something to. This can be some old clothes or old toys cleared out to make way for new ones that Santa maybe bringing this year.
12) Sing Christmas songs together – Whether they’re still on novelty songs or have moved on to the Christmas greats, bursting into song is a great way to get festive – plus it keeps your lungs warm.
children singing songs together
13) Make a family tree – Learning about the family tree and family history is a brilliant use of a long evening, plus you’ll have something to show off at the end of it.
14) Walk in the woods – The natural world looks different in the winter and kids can discover animals and their habits in ways you might not have considered before. Just remember to wrap up warm!
15) Prepare a scavenger hunt – Create clues for the kids to follow around the house (or outside, if you’d prefer). It not only keeps them busy, but it can help their comprehension and reasoning skills too.
16) Play board games together – It might be old-fashioned, but that doesn’t mean it’s not fun to sit around a table and play something from the board games collection. Choose one that’s on the kids’ level, although make sure it challenges you all a little bit.
family playing a board game together
17) Try some funky hot chocolate flavours – It’s one thing to drink hot chocolate and keep warm during the winter nights but why not throw open the door to some funky flavours that will capture your imagination?
18) Learn some magic tricks – Get the kids ready to wow their friends by encouraging them to learn some basic (or not so basic) magic tricks. All kids love the idea of being a magician – they can even dress up to practice. 
19) Make some monster gloves – This one sounds more complicated than it is – honest! It not only serves as a craft activity, but it also has a practical purpose. Just get a pair of plain gloves and some “monster” materials to attach to them. You can do a lot with googly eyes on fingertips and some mini pompoms. Just don’t take them out in the rain if they’re not up to it!
20) Make snow angels – Give them permission to roll around in the snow and they might thank you for it. The catch is that you might have to jump down there and join them, but at least the photos afterwards will be fun.
girl making snow angles
21) Do some stargazing – Winter nights might feel boring, but if you’ve got a clear one, the stargazing opportunities are sparkling. Either take a guide out with you or make some shapes up yourself for the ultimate night time creativity.
22) Have a dance contest – Kids and adults can go all-in and bust some moves on the (living room) floor to be crowned the ultimate winter dance champion. The Jojo Siwa Bust A Bow Dance Game is great for getting the family together for a dance off, just roll the dance and pop on your dancing shoes. 
23) Make a bird feeder – Lots of birds get hungry during the winter when they can’t find enough food. Make your garden or somewhere near your home a bird haven by adding pine cones, peanut butter and birdseed to a simple piece of string. Then watch what happens!
family stargazing
24) Knit or sew something – This is one for the crafty amongst you, or maybe for the relative who just loves teaching these skills. Help the kids to make something for themselves such as a scarf or a pillow colour and it’ll be a nice reminder of their new skill.
25) Practice photography – You don’t need a lot of expensive kit to try your hand at photography these days. You can use a cheap digital camera or a mobile phone then help them to use editing software afterwards for some stunning special effects.
What winter activities have you completed from this checklist? Let us know in the comments box down below...

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