Why let a little cold and snow prevent you and the fam from enjoying the many wonders of winter? Chicago Wilderness has put together a handy list of backyard activity ideas to help inspire us all to get outside this winter.
From CW: There are plenty of ways to get your kids active right in your own backyard. Here is a list of activities to keep the energy going and connect to the natural world. Just be sure to bundle up!
Let your child lead the way as you walk around your neighborhood with binoculars to observe birds and other critters that might be hiding in trees or just look closely at the way the snow is positioned on the trees. After returning home, have your children draw the winter scenes.
Explore your backyard or nearby park after a snowfall to look for animal tracks. Ask your kids to guess the animal and take photos to continue investigation indoors.
Create snowball games such as aiming at trees or rolling the largest snowball or stacking the most snowballs on top of each other. Similarly, create contests for building forts or benches or chairs—get creative!
Turn this year-round activity into a winter hunt, using icicles and snowbanks as clues to hidden objects or create a list of winter items for children to find such as the longest or fattest icicle, pine cones, hidden sticks, and more.
Check out the playground
Visit your child’s favorite playground to see how it is transformed by the winter elements.
Warm up with cocoa and s’mores
Who says s’mores are only for the summertime? Build an outdoor fire in an appropriate place and invite friends and neighbors to enjoy this delicious treat outdoors.
Psst: If you live in southeastern Wisconsin, northeastern Illinois, northwestern Indiana, or southwestern Michigan, visit the Chicago Wilderness Explorer Map to find a park, preserve or natural area near you, and learn about other ways to get you and your children outside this winter at a year-round Leave No Child Inside program or nature play area.