When you’re tired of tobogganing and snowball-fighting, there are plenty of other games to play with little ones in the snow. Here at FamilySkiNews.com, we especially like the following:
Snow angels: There’s nothing more fun than lying in soft, deep powder, rubbing your arms up and down to make angel-wing marks in the snow. The boys enjoy it too… as long as you call it snow monsters/daleks!
Mini obstacle course: Make a series of giant snowballs, space them out then let the kids try and hurdle them – great fun for little ones clamouring around in baggy snowsuits!
Snowy targets: See who can throw their snowball to hit a stationary target – use a snowman, a large snowball, an item of clothing, a twig or a cross marked on the snow.
Snowman relay race: In teams, everyone has to assemble all the necessary bits and bobs (twigs, pine cones, carrots, hats, etc) in advance and agree on the height of the winning snowman – at least as tall as mummy/daddy/Johnny/cousin Sue… Each player on the team then takes a turn rolling a snowball back and forth between two lines until the snowball is big enough to become a body, then a head. Little contestants may need help if the balls get too heavy for them. They then have to construct their snowman to win the competition.
Headless snowman: Build a snowman’s body, decorate it fully (pine-cone buttons, scarf, etc) then let the kids take it in turns to stand behind it and substitute their heads for the snowman’s – a great opportunity for some entertaining holiday photos.
Hat trick: Once you’ve completed your snowman, take it in turns and see who can be the first to throw his hat onto his head Frisbee-style.
Snow football: Pack a small inflatable beach ball – it’s ideal for toddler football as long as it’s not too windy.
Snowcastles: Soft snow has all the capabilities of sand on a beach, so use a container (a plastic cup, a bowl) to make snowcastles or even an entire snow village.
Catch a snowflake on your tongue… the old favourites are often the most fun!
Ice is great for any kind of sliding and pulling games as long as you take care – remember, it’s not a soft landing if you fall! If your resort has an ice rink, you might like to try these activities on skates:
Ice Train: Form a ‘Conga’-style line by holding onto the hips of the person in front of you, then hold on tight as you all snake around the ice. Don’t go too fast if your children are small, and make sure you have a good, strong skating adult as the engine at the front of the line, and a decent skater at the end – in case they get flung off into a pile of snow!
Fox and Geese: One person is the fox and has to try and catch everyone else (the geese). If you’re caught, you become a fox/catcher too, until all the geese have been caught. The last goose to be caught is the winner.
INDOOR SNOW GAMES
If it’s snowing too hard or it’s simply too cold to play outdoors, why not bring the snow in? Here are a couple of snowy activities to try indoors – but do make sure you clean up your chalet/apartment really well afterwards! First of all you need to go on a snow-harvesting expedition. Hunt for the very cleanest, freshly-fallen snow. (Take the snow beneath the topmost layer as this will be the cleanest, as long as it’s absolutely fresh.) With clean hands, pile the snow into a couple of mixing bowls.
Ice Sculptures: Wet one of the mixing bowls of snow thoroughly and place it into the freezer. After a while the snow-and-water mix will freeze almost solid, but you should still be able to chip pieces off with a spoon. (If it’s too hard, leave it at room temperature for 5 minutes). Chisel away at the ice block until your sculpture is complete then return it to the freezer, ready to show everyone when they return to the slopes at the end of the day.
Snowy Ice Cream: It is imperative to use only absolutely clean, just fallen snow to make this simple vanilla ice cream. Otherwise do not attempt this recipe. Mix 3 cups of snow with 2 tablespoons of milk, ¼ of a cup of sugar and a teaspoon of vanilla extract. (Add more sugar and vanilla extract to taste if required). Eat immediately!
Finally, here some (drier!) snowy-themed indoor games:
Paper snowflakes: Get a square piece of paper, fold in half diagonally, fold your triangle in half diagonally again, then fold that triangle into thirds – one side to the front, the other to the back. Using scissors, trim the two pointy piece of paper off the bottom of your small triangle so that it has three straight edges, then cut some fun designs (squiggles, circles, squares, triangles…) around the outside of the remaining triangle. Young children may need help with this. Then unfold to reveal your snowflake.
Secret snowman: Cut a piece of paper into a snowman shape and get kids to colour it in, then stick a loop of sticky tape to the back. The object of the game is for the kids to stick the snowman on a person’s back without them noticing. When that person realises, they have to stick it onto someone else’s back, and so on….
Loo–roll snowman: You need a minimum of 4 children for this competition. Divide everyone into pairs – a wrapper and a snowman model. Give each wrapper a loo roll, a couple of crayons/felt pens and let them choose 2 or 3 appropriate items of clothing from the chalet/apartment. Set a time limit. Using the loo roll and the crayons, the wrappers have to wrap their partner up in the loo roll to look like a snowman. The best snowman wins!
NB It’s vital that your children are dressed appropriately for ALL the outdoor games and activities. They will need a good quality woolly hat; warm, waterproof ski jacket and trousers (with several layers underneath); and, as they’ll be handling snow, some well-insulated, waterproof gloves with long cuffs. The time you can play in the snow will be determined by how quickly they get cold. Afterwards, why not treat them to a piping hot cup of hot chocolate back at the chalet or in a cosy mountain restaurant?
If you have any more snowy games or ideas, why not visit us on Facebook and tell us about them?