Sometimes just sitting next to the fire, sipping hot chocolate and watching a movie sound perfect on a winter day. Soon or later cabin fever sets in, so head outdoors with your toddler and try some of these fun activities that provide an alternative to sledding, building snowmen and skiing.
Snow painting is an easy and low-cost activity that kids will love to do in the winter. While inside, fill some squirt bottles half with water and half with food coloring, and you are ready to paint. If you can't find any squirt bottles, you can fill bowls with water and food coloring and use paint brushes to fling the paint onto the snow. Some heavy-duty paint brushes will work on the snow if it is hard packed or iced over. Kids love the opportunity to show their creative side on an endless canvas of white snow.
With a few empty two-liter bottles and some sand, build your own bowling alley. Start by filling the two-liter bottles almost to the top with sand. Get out the shovel or snow blower and clear a lane. Find a basketball or rubber ball in the garage or basement to be your bowling ball. If you don't have any balls, you can make some snowballs and freeze them in water ahead of time. Let that creativity shine as you set the pins (two litter bottles) up into different patterns. Because you are playing in the snow, if you get three strikes in a row, you get a snowman instead of the turkey you would get if you were playing at a true bowling alley.
Winter Scavenger Hunt
After bundling up, throw on snow boots and head out the door for a winter scavenger hunt. Make a list of hidden winter treasures you need to find as you and your kiddos turn into Sherlock Homes and Watson on the trail. Bring out the old magnifying glass, and don't forget a grocery bag to collect all the pine cones, acorns or whatever surprises you find in your yard or on a nearby trail in a park.
Who said forts are just for sunny days? Now's your time to be Frank Lloyd Wright and design your own snow fort with your kids. Use spoons, buckets, shovels and whatever tools you can find to design a house or castle. Build a square foundation base and add on from there. Add water to harden the snow into the shapes and forms you want. Build your fort as tall or as low as you want. You can use it as home base or the safety zone for playing a game of tag or having a snowball fight.