By Raising Children Network
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Muddy young boy playing outside
It’s easy to think of fun, active things to do with kids when the sun is shining. It can be harder in winter. Here are some winter activities to get you going when it’s cold or wet.

Ideas for winter activities

Free activities
There are plenty of free things you and your child can do around your home and neighbourhood:

  • Put on coats, hats and gloves and head outside. Show your child what the beach looks like in wild weather, or visit parks and gardens when the plants are all wet and glossy.
  • Take your child to see how the flow of rivers, creeks and streams changes after rain.
  • When it’s wet, dress up in gumboots and raincoats. Look for some big puddles to jump in. An umbrella can be fun to take along too. Your child might have fun opening and closing it a few times.
  • If it’s darker, let your child play with a torch when you go out for a walk.
  • Gather leaves, sticks, shells and stones from outside. You can take them inside and use them for sorting, painting or building.
  • On a windy day, you can try flying kites, chasing leaves – or helping them ‘fly’ – and trying to find places to hide from the wind outside.

Activities you need to pay for
As a special treat, your child might enjoy some of these paid activities:

  • Indoor play centres, swimming, trampolining, ice-skating, and ten-pin bowling can keep your child active inside.
  • Traditional winter sports, like football, hockey, netball or rugby, can be great for children when they’re big enough. Look for sports where the rules have been modified so they’re fun and safe for young children.
  • If it’s not too far or expensive, a trip to the snow can be great fun for snow play or tobogganing.

Winter activities inside at home

If you can’t face the cold and wet, here are some ideas for winter activities you can do inside at home:

  • Line up some empty plastic bottles inside and use a soft ball or old pair of socks to play indoor ‘bowling’. Make it harder by adding some weight (like sand or water) inside the bottles.
  • Encourage your child to throw a scarf up in the air and catch it on an arm, leg, knee, food or head.
  • Let your child kick a balloon up as high as possible, or use a fly swat or plastic bat to hit the balloon.
  • Try using socks for soccer, tennis or puppet plays.
  • Move to music, make up dances and play dress-ups.
  • Build a fort together out of chairs and blankets.
  • Set up an indoor treasure hunt. 
  • If you have space, set up an obstacle course around the living room.
  • Last updated or reviewed 29-02-2016