There's no need to get cold feet about spending a winter day outdoors. Instead, bundle up and follow your kids to the nearest drift for a snow pile of fun. Here are seven winter games to get your family started.
Lightly pack a bunch of basketball-size snowballs and then use them to build a course of hurdles to jump over in a round of follow the leader.
Team up for a slip-sliding variation of tug-of-war. Tamp down a wide, shallow trench in the snow to serve as the midline. Then, take up positions at the ends of a long, thick rope and let the tugging and towing begin. Whichever team pulls the entire opposing group over to its side of the trench wins.
Tie a white cloth to the end of a short stick or around the bowl of a wooden spoon. Then, give each child a chance to hide it by staking it anywhere within a predetermined set of boundaries. Keep track of how long it takes for the rest of the group to find it. Whoever hid the flag that takes the longest time to spot wins the game.
For this pitching contest, first mound up snow to create three bases and a pitcher's mound. They should each be about 2 feet high and 20 feet apart. Next, build a tin can pyramid on each base. The challenge is to knock down the stacks in order from first to third base by throwing snowballs from the pitcher's mound. The child who succeeds with the fewest pitches wins.
Once you've built a plump, frosty snowman to stand sentry in your front yard, make a game of topping him off in style. Take turns trying to land a hat on his head by throwing it Frisbee style from 10 or so feet away.
Pair up for a contest in which the object is to finish with the biggest snowball. The contest ends when the teams can no longer roll their entries or when you run out of snow.
All you need are two teams of three or more people to play, along with a spray bottle filled with a mix of water and food coloring to mark the playing field (a large rectangle with a centerline should suffice). The teams line up at opposite ends of the field (the North and South poles) for a kickoff. Once someone on the receiving team catches the ball, he tries to move it back across the defense's goal line by running with it or passing it to a teammate. Play stops if the person with the ball is tagged by an opponent or slides out of bounds. The teams then face off again on the spot. After four tries, or a touchdown, the ball goes to the other team. The game ends when either team gets cold.
For more winter fun,try out these seven Ice Games.