* This post was written by contributing author and parenting pro, Annie Young.
I just read that as of recently, 49 states have had snow on the ground in some part of them (Florida was cited as the one state without any…that lucky Sunshine State!). I know I can see plowed snow piles higher than my head when I look out my kitchen window this morning. Why not take advantage of the white stuff and get outside with your family this weekend to play in it? Here are some fun ideas that go beyond snow angels and snowmen….
Knock Down – A Game of Aim • Build up a line of six-inch-high snow columns • Have the group stand back 2-6 steps form the columns (depending on how old your players are) • Players take turns making a snowball and throwing it at the columns • They get a point for each column they knock over • The game continues until all columns are knocked over • The person with the most points wins
White – A Game of Visual Perception • Each player holds three small white objects (things like cotton, piece of chalk, ping-pong ball, pom pom, etc) • The players stand in a line and count to “three” aloud together. When they get to, “three”, they throw their objects over their heads as far as they can (like a bride when she throws her bouquet) • Then the players say aloud, “ready, set, go!” After they say, “go”, they turn around and race to find and pick up as many white objects as they can. • Once all the objects are found, the winner is the one with the best vision who found the most camouflaged items in the snow!
Basket of Snow – A Game of Aim • Make a “basket” of well packed snow about a foot wide and 6 inches high. (add a handle for a challenge if you want to) • Have the group stand back 2-6 steps form the basket (depending on how old your players are) • Players take turns making a snowball and throwing it at the basket • They get a point if their snowball gets in the basket • If they get their snowball in, they get a second throw which gives them 2 points if they get it in. This continues until they miss. • For a challenge…all points are erased if they hit the basket handle • The person with the most points wins
Eskimo Circle – A Game Originated by the Eskimos • All players stand in a tight circle with their hands extended out, palms facing upward and touching each other (the book says to use bare hands, but that makes me cold just thinking about it!) • The first person makes a small snowball and puts it in her hands • Then she moves the snowball to the next person by slightly tilting her hands and having it roll over • The ball continues around the circle in this fashion • The game ends once the snowball falls to the ground or gets melted by warm hands!
Long Jump- A Jumping Game • Pick a flat area covered in a uniform amount of snow • Mark 2 parallel lines about 30 feet apart • Stomp down the snow between the 2 lines to smooth it out • Players take turns running towards the first line (should be funny with 2 feet of snow on the ground…Mainers may just need to jump from a standing position!) and jumping as far as possible • The heel prints mark your distance • Who can jump the farthest?
Follow Yeti – A Game of Hide-and-Seek • You need a big area where footprints can be left for this game • Pick a Yeti • Yeti leaves the group and walks in a heavy way to leave footprints. Yeti can try to trick the group from following his trail by doing things like hopping on one foot or walking backward over his own footprints • The group waits for a few minutes without looking • Then the group sets out to look for Yeti by following his footprints • If Yeti returns to the starting point without being seen, he is saved • Otherwise, the first person to spot him is the next Yeti!
Snow Mound – A Game of Precision Throwing • Smooth out a rectangle or snow about 30 feet long and 3 feet wide • Shape a mound at the end of the rectangle • Players stand at the opposite end and make three snowballs each • They take turns rolling/throwing their snowball towards the mound, trying to get it as close to the mound as possible • If a snowball breaks apart it is disqualified • The person closest to the mound at the end wins
Snake Slide – A Native American Game played on a frozen surface • This game was originally played on a frozen lake (please make sure it is completely frozen before walking on it) • Each player finds a stick about 6 inches long to be her “snake” • Players take turns standing on a starting spot throwing their “snake” so that it slides as far as possible across the icy surface • Once all snakes have been thrown, the winner is the snake that is the farthest
How will your family take advantage of the fun this wonderful winterland offers?