Are you looking for easy and fun winter outdoor activities with kids?
This free printable winter bucket list is packed with 40 outdoor play ideas, and is perfect for keeping the kids busy all season!
Winter outdoor activities with kids
Winter can be a tricky time to tempt the kids outside. There are less daylight hours, the weather can be cold and wet, and we all tend to feel the urge to cosy up inside. But winter is a fantastic season for exploring nature, and there’s so much to see and enjoy out there.
At this time of year it’s also really important to maintain our exposure to natural light. Doing this can boost our levels of vitamin D and help to regulate our body clocks, not to mention the mood-boosting and stress-busting powers of spending time in nature.
The power of outdoor play for kids
Outdoor play is brilliant for kids for lots of other reasons too. For starters, nature play simply makes kids feel great. Natural England conducted a survey in 2020 which found that 83% of children agreed that being in nature made them very happy. Isn’t that an amazing statistic for a type of play that is free and on your doorstep?
Playing outdoors also helps to keep kids fit and active, and gives them the opportunity to learn about nature and engage with the natural world (as these quotes about children and nature emphasise).
And of course, outdoor activities for kids are also ideal for encouraging creative play, letting off steam, and getting away from the screens – all of these are vital when it comes to their development and wellbeing.
It’s no wonder that kids love playing outside!
How to fit more outdoor play into family life
So we know that outdoor play is great for kids, but how do we fit more of it into a busy family schedule?
In my experience, it’s all about making outdoor activity for kids simple and accessible. There’s no need to over-complicate things; outdoor playing is by nature a pretty spontaneous and fluid type of play. Simply getting outside can be the only thing you need to do; nature often provides the inspiration if you just go with the flow. Not having to do much in the way of planning and prep can also help you squeeze in some outdoor fun when you might otherwise feel like there just isn’t time.
A book of nature activities is also useful if you’d like to have some fun outdoor kids activities on-hand to help you make time for outdoor play. My book *A Year of Nature Craft and Play has 52 low-cost, fun activities for kids, all with easy-to-follow instructions and colourful pictures to get kids interested. There are crafts, science experiments, gardening projects, games and art activities to try, and each one is designed to help children explore and engage with nature.
Another great way to get the kids motivated is to use an outdoor activities list – who can resist ticking things off? Make sure you download my winter bucket list of fun outdoor activities with kids – scroll down for the link.
Getting in the mood for winter outdoor time
Outdoors play in winter is definitely made easier by having the right clothes. Warm layers, waterproof coats and boots, and cosy hats and gloves will all help you stay outside for longer.
You don’t have to plan a long activity or venture very far to make the most of nature and being outdoors this time of year. A hunt for the perfect stick, walking games, half an hour planting seeds in the garden, a family game of football in the park, or a wildlife spotting walk are all lovely ways to keep the kids busy and grab some outdoor time without making it feel like a chore.
Here are some inspiring winter-themed quotes to help you get the kids in the mood for heading outdoors.
“The colour of springtime is flowers; the colour of winter is in our imagination.” – Terri Guillemets
“Snow flurries began to fall and they swirled around people’s legs like house cats. It was magical, this snow globe world.” – Sarah Addison Allen
“Winter is not a season, it’s a celebration.” – Anamika Mishra
“To appreciate the beauty of a snowflake it is necessary to stand out in the cold.” – Aristotle
“January brings the snow, makes our feet and fingers glow.” – Sarah Coleridge
“When it snows, you have two choices: shovel or make snow angels.” – Unknown
Winter jokes for kids
Once you’ve inspired them, get them giggling with these fun jokes. You’ll find even more winter jokes here.
What do snowmen call their offspring? Chill-dren.
What’s the best breakfast cereal to eat in winter? Frosted flakes.
What falls in the winter but never gets hurt? Snow.
What do you call it when a snowman has a temper tantrum? A meltdown.
What do you get when you cross a snowman with a vampire? Frostbite.
How do you keep your feet warm in winter? Don’t go around brrrr-footed.
Why don’t mountains get cold in winter? They wear snow caps.
What did the woolly hat say to the winter scarf? You hang around while I go on ahead.
Free printable winter bucket list ideas for kids
Ready to get cracking with the winter outdoor fun?
My winter bucket list is filled with 40 fun kids outdoor activities, all great for keeping everyone happy and active at this time of year. And you can download it for free!
There are lots of fun ideas for winter outdoor play, including nature exploration, crafts, outdoor games for kids and garden projects, and plenty of suggestions for ways to burn off some energy too.
Once you’ve downloaded this family bucket list, all you need to do is print it off and pop it on your noticeboard or fridge. It’s a handy reference for when you want to get the kids playing outdoors, or need some inspiration for outdoor family activities.
Don’t forget to tick the activities off as you do them to keep track of your progress!
I hope you have lots of lovely winter fun 🙂
More great ideas for winter outdoor play
If you’re keen to find even more ideas for kids outdoor activities in winter, take a look at these resources.
My Christmas nature scavenger hunt is a fantastic way to get kids outdoors in the run-up to Christmas.
Winter is the perfect time to make homemade bird feeders – and it’s also one of the activities on my winter bucket list.
My post on gardening with children in winter is also worth a look, there’s a list of quick and easy seeds to grow in winter plus a planting guide. And for more garden fun, head over to my roundup of 60 fun garden activities for kids.
I also co-run a Nature Crafts & Play Facebook group which shares loads of fun nature activities for kids.
Free printable kids outdoor bucket lists for every season
I’ve got a kids outdoor activities bucket list for every season, so you can keep them busy all year round!
You can also print off my free list of fun ideas for exploring nature with children.
Have these ideas for kids outdoor activities inspired you to get out there and make the most of winter with the kids?
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