Indoor Winter Activities and Games for Kids
If you are looking for some fun indoor winter activities for kids, look no further. Here you will find 24 winter-themed activities and games to keep the kids busy when they are cooped up.
1. THREE IDEAS FOR INDOOR SNOWBALL FUN!
You will need:
Several sheets of white paper
Empty plastic soda bottle
Crumple up the sheets of paper to make paper snowballs and try one or more of the following activities with the children:
1. Set a Hula-Hoop on the floor and try to toss the snowballs into the circle.
2. Place a laundry basket on a table and try to toss the snowballs into the basket.
3. Place a Ping-Pong ball on the mouth of an empty plastic soda bottle, then try to knock off the ball with the snowballs without knocking over the bottle.
2. SNOWBALL FIGHT
• Crumple up several sheets of paper to make snowballs. Before play begins, create a safe zone to which the children may run.
• Have one player hide (turn their back) with a stack of ‘snowballs’. The other players pretend to ice-skate, ski, or play in the snow.
• With a shout of “Snowball Fight!” the hidden player begins to throw snowballs at the players, who must run to the safe zone before a snowball hits them.
• If the snowball thrower doesn’t hit a player with a snowball, he must return to his hiding place, and play resumes.
• If a player is hit, he becomes the hidden player.
(With a larger group have 2 or 3 snowball throwers)
3. LARGE SEASONAL TIC-TAC-TOE
Adapt tic-tac-toe to play at different seasons and holidays. Take a large piece of poster board and draw the tic tac toe lines on it and laminate if possible. FOR WINTER…
Make winter shape templates of mittens and hats…or snowballs and snowmen.
Cut out the shapes (laminate if possible) and play as usual.
4. WINTER PICTIONARY
Blackboard and chalk or a Dry Erase board. Also markers, slips of paper with different winter items/objects on each one, a container for words and timer.
Example of winter Pictionary words:
mittens, coat, snowflake, sled, ice-skates, snowman, etc…
Divide the kids into teams. The player up draws a slip of paper from the bowl and then reads it silently and hands to it to the facilitator. The player must then draw clues as to what was on their paper — their team guesses what it is. If the playing team guesses correctly, before the timer runs out, they get two points.
If the playing team cannot guess correctly, before the timer runs out, the opposing team may take one guess. If the opposing team guesses correctly they get a point and the playing team loses a point. Most points win.
For small children don’t divide into teams, use a timer, or keep track of points. Just play until someone in the class yells out the right answer.
5. WINTER “SIMON SAYS”
Play Simon Says according to the season and theme:
Frosty Says, The Snowman Says, The Polar Bear Says, The Penguin Says, The Gingerbread Boy (or Girl) Says, etc.
6. HOW ABOUT A GOOD OLD-FASHION SNOWBALL FIGHT? (California Style!)
I live in Southern CA where we don’t get snow. So, each December with my older group of children we assemble about 200 snowballs using newspaper and masking tape. (Or crumpled up paper) On cold days or on days we can’t be outside, we have a snowball fight.
Divide the group into two teams. Put each team on opposite sides of the room with the pile of snowballs in the middle. On go, each team must try to get as many snowballs on the other team’s side as fast as possible. I usually time them for about 1-2 minutes. At the stop, all of the snowballs are on the ground, and staff assists the children in gathering them into one pile and counting. The team with the least snowballs is the winner.
Of course, you have to have the typical rules: you can’t throw them at anyone, yada yada!. Have fun!! Tasha/California
7. HUMAN SNOWBLOWER TABLE GAME
Race against time and competitors to puff your ball to the finish line.
Large paper cups
Paper towel tubes
HOW TO PLAY:
1. To set up, hang three large paper cups with tape off one side of a table, so that the cup openings are level with the table’s surface. Fill each cup halfway with small prizes. (If it’s a party; forget the prizes if it’s NOT a party)
2. Give the first two players paper towel tubes and explain that when you place a Ping-Pong ball in front of each of them, they must blow through the tubes like a snowblower. (Point out that a gentle breath is all it takes to get the “snowball” rolling.)
3. Each contestant will have 15 seconds to direct the ball across the table and into one of the paper cups; if the ball goes over the edge first, that player’s turn is over. Each winner gets to pick one prize from the cup–and the playing continues until each cup is empty.
(Just play if there are no prizers. This could be an on-going winter game; if it is, have the kids decorate their paper towel tubes with construction paper, stickers, ribbon, drawings, etc.
8. PENGUIN SHUFFLE
This is an Indoor race that challenges kids’ balancing skills – penguin style.
Beanbag or Hacky Sack-style footbag
HOW TO PLAY:
Have children stand side by side with their “eggs” (beanbags or Hacky Sack-style footbags) on top of their feet. Players try to shuffle across the room without dropping their “eggs.” The first one to succeed wins.
9. SNOWFLAKES KEEP FALLIN’ ON MY HEAD (A Relay Game)
Supplies: A 5-inch paper snowflake per team, masking tape or chalk
Divide children into equal teams. Use tape or chalk to mark a starting and turning point–about 10 feet apart for each team. Give the first team members a paper snowflake. At the signal, the first players place the snowflakes on their heads and clasp their hands behind their backs. They walk to the turning point and back.. If the snowflake falls off, players must return to the starting point and begin again.
10. GO ICE SKATING
Collect plastic grocery bags. Tie one on each foot. (This will take a little time.) Have children go into the gym and play a game–but they have to skate on the bags! Basketball is a riot! From Mrs.Z/Rochester, Mi.
11. PLAY 20 QUESTIONS WINTER STYLE!
One person picks something that is WINTER RELATED… and then the rest of the children ask “Yes -or -No- questions’ (up to 20 questions only) until someone guesses who/or what the person has chosen. Another version of this game is to place something “Winter-ish” IN A BOX that the children can’t see. Play the game from there! (You could put in a mitten, snowball-in a baggie), hat, paper snowflake, chap-stick, etc.)
12. SNOWBALL RELAY GAME
Styrofoam ball for each team
Pencil for each team
How To Play:
Divide into teams. The first child on each team will be given a Styrofoam ball (snowball) and a pencil.
On your mark- they are to bend over, place the ball on the floor, and push the ball with the pencil across the room, around an obstacle, and back to the next child on a team. The first team to finish wins.
13. SNOWBALL RACE
Styrofoam balls or balls of white yarn, spoons and mittens for each team.
Play this game as you would any relay race. Divide into teams. Each player takes turns putting on mittens and balancing a “snowball” on a spoon while racing to the other side of the room. Drop the snowball
into a bucket, return to the team, pass the mittens, and go to the back of the line. The first team to complete the race wins!
14. JACK FROST GAME
Materials: Draw Snowball, snowflake and icicle shapes on paper…chairs or carpet squares, tape
Divide kids into 3 groups–
• The snowballs
• The snowflakes
• The icicles.
Tape one labeled paper shape on each child to indicate what group they are part of. Have the children sit in a circle on chairs or carpet squares.
Choose one child to be Jack Frost and have him/her stand in the center of the circle.
Remove Jack Frost’s seat from the group so there is one seat less than the number of kids playing the game.
Begin by having Jack Frost call out ONE group name—such as “snowballs” (or one of the other two)
When a group hears their group name called, the children of THAT group run to a NEW chair in the circle. (All in that group switch seats) At the same time, Jack Frost tries to get into one of the empty seats…
Whoever is NOT in a seat is the NEW Jack Frost.
Jack may also call out SNOWSTORM! If so…All kids find new seats!
I first thought this game is only for younger children; however, even 3-5 graders wanted to play too! I join in and play with them. Laugh and have a good time. When adults laugh and play too…the kids have a better time! Barb
15. MARSHMALLOW SNOWBALL FIGHT
Do you have a ‘small’ group? If so, during the winter months when children can’t get outside or if you live in a warm climate and want to have a snowball fight— use large marshmallows.
The children stand across from each other and start throwing. Put the marshmallows into containers. The side that makes them all disappear first wins. After they all hit the floor you can use again to throw some more.
Remind the children they can’t eat them after they hit the floor or ground! This is a fun activity for ages 3 and up.(My older grandchildren love to do this all year round when they visit, they bombard grandpa! Barb)
16. SNOWBALL OVER THE MOUNTAIN
White balloons are blown up
Adults to help
How To Play:
Children are divided into two teams. A sheet (the mountain) is held above eye level between the two groups by adults or tall youth (holding each end). Each side throws snowballs (white balloons) over to the other side. Adapted from kaboose.com
17. SHOEBOX SKATING RELAY RACE
- Tootsie Rolls (1 for each child)
Shoebox for each team, Bell for each team
2 mittens for each team
2 bowls for each team
How To Play:
• Place tootsie rolls, in a bowl, at the opposite end of the room.
• Divide the children into two or more relay teams.
• Explain that when you say, “GO” the first person on each team will put on the mittens, step into the shoe boxes, and race to the other end of the room.
• They are then to pick up a tootsie roll out of the bowl and race back to their team still wearing their mittens and shoe boxes.
• Pass the mittens and shoebox to the next person in line, sit down, eat your tootsie roll.
• The first team to finish eating their tootsie rolls wins! Adapted from Kaboose.com
18. DRESS YOUR TEACHER RACE!
• Have a large area with two adults and their own gloves, hats, coats, scarves, and boots laying next to them.
• The children l line up in front of one of the adults and one at a time run up and place an item of winter on the adult.
• The first team done, wins.
• Children love the excitement of this game and it also gets a lot of energy out on days it is too cold to go outside!
19. SNOWBALL THROW
Supplies: A line is drawn or taped on the floor –pre-made tissue paper snowballs.
How To Play:
• Set a time for 2-3 minutes.
• Yell, “GO”!
• Each team throws their tissue paper snowballs back and forth across the lines.
• When the timer goes off, the team with the LEAST amount of snowballs on their side wins.
20. A FLORIDA SNOW IDEA
My kids (all ages) have a great time balling up old newspapers and then taking the “snowballs” outside for an old-fashioned snowball fight. Just remember that newspaper can leave inky hands… you could also use that rejected copy paper that is saved in a trash bag or large marshmallows (both read about elsewhere on this site) for warm climate winter game ideas! From Casey
***Idea: PLAY COLD BALL using a large white Styrofoam ball…the same way you would play “Hot Potato”.
21. PASS THE ICE (Young kids)
Play just like hot potato only with an ice cube. When the music stops… clap for the person with the ice.
22. PASS THE SNOWBALL – Circle Game (For younger kids)
When you have snow–make a couple of snowballs and freeze them until they are very hard.
Have the children put on their mittens. and play the “Wonder-ball game”.
While passing the snowball around the circle have children memorize and say,
“The wonder ball goes round and round. To pass it quickly, you are bound. If you’re the one to hold it last. The game for you has quickly passed. Out goes Y-O-U!”
The children sit out the rest of that round (or you can have them stay in–it’s your choice how you play this part)
The kids will think it’s fun wearing their mittens during the inside time–to play this game.
23. INSIDE SKATING RINK
There have been several games here describing games that simulate “indoor ice-skating”. This is what we do with our kinder-program. We make a skating rink on the carpet by placing the tape on the floor as an outline and then put wax paper on the children’s shoes. They really like to do this—and it’s also good for indoor large motor skills. (Sarah/Oakbrook)
24. WINTER ‘MAGAZINE’ SCAVENGER HUNT
10-12 magazines for each team
Scissors for each team
Glue or stapler
Create identicle lists of winter items.
Example: snow, mittens, gloves, ice skates, winter coat/jacket, sled, hot cocoa, ice, snowman, igloo, earmuffs, scarf, polar bear, Christmas tree, holiday toys, a winter scene, Holiday food, etc.
1. Divide the players into two or more teams.
2. Give each team a stack of magazines, scissors, and a Scavenger list
3. Have teams search the magazines for the items on their list to cut out. Glue or staple to the construction paper.
The team has found the most items at the end of the time wins. (Remember this activity-it can be adapted to any other time of the year!)
HAVE FUN WITH THE OTHER WINTER PAGES!
There you have it, 24 fun indoor winter activities for kids. We hope you enjoy these activity and games and that you can make your day indoors a memorable one.