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Top 12 Winter Activities for Kids

 Minnesota is a completely different place this time of year, so here are PHS staff members’ top winter activities for kids, starting with advice from Lynn, a PHS IV nurse.

Play in the water,” Lynn advises. “Whether it’s a bucket-full or bathtub full, water play is one of the most beneficial ‘play times’ for children of all ages. You can add a little food coloring, some measuring cups and spoons, floating toys or bubbles.”




Get out there
1. Pull a sled through the snow. Better yet, pull it to a hill and slide down.


2. Build with snow: try a snowperson, snow fort and make angels in the snow.
3. Play on water: Look for a safely frozen pond, lake or outdoor rink. Slide around on your boots or try ice skating or even hockey. Find an ice rink near you.

4. Go for a hike in the woods; Try snowshoes or cross-country skis. Find winter activities for kids at Minnesota State Parks.

5. See a lights display. Use these resources to find a neighborhood, park or festival that fits your family and your location:
Lights displays map

Downtown Minneapolis Holidazzle Parade

Metro area lights displays at families homes, some synchronized to music from your vehicle’s radio

6. Go caroling around your building, neighborhood or around your own living room. Tune in to radio station 107.9 FM for all-holiday music

Stay in
7. Set up a challenging puzzle and work on it all season. Ask at your local library about puzzles to check out. Libraries also have board games to rent.

8. Wrap gifts together; See some clever, thrifty ideas.

9. Bake together; Tips and recipes for holiday baking with kids from Minnesota’s own Betty Crocker

10. Blow bubbles inside; Recipe for homemade bubbles:
6 parts water
2 parts dishwashing soap liquid
1 part corn syrup
Combine and store in a covered container.

Make and create with play dough; Recipe for homemade play dough:
2 cups flour
2 cups warm water
1 cup salt
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 Tablespoon cream of tartar
Add a few drops of food coloring or 1 packed of unsweetened drink mix like Kool-Aid. If you’d like, consider these variations: 1 tsp. peppermint extract; 2 Tbsp. pumpkin pie spice; 1 tsp. lemon extract; 1 tsp. cocoa.

11. String popped popcorn onto thread for a garland. Hang it in your home or on a tree outdoors (and watch the birds and perhaps other wildlife enjoy it!).

12. Read about winter and the holidays; See teachers’ picks for winter books

What are winter activities your kids enjoy? What makes winter special for your family? Do you have tips and resources, based on your experiences? We’d love to hear about it, and we especially appreciate photos of your winter activities.

PHS is not liable for the content of any of the resources listed, nor do we endorse any commercial product or service mentioned or suggested.

Originally published: December 3, 2010