Checklist for Outdoor Winter Activities and the benefits of being outside in the winter


It’s wintertime!  Even though you as an adult may not like this season, kids usually love it.  Your kid asks for it to snow and have a snow day.  Maybe your kid likes to ice skate, build a snowman or just have a snowball fight. Kids enjoy the winter just as much as any other season.  To allow kids to play outside and have fun you may need a checklist for outdoor winter playtime.


Having a checklist for outdoor winter playtime will make playing outside in the cold months easy and enjoyable.  You may not stay outside too long, so you want the getting ready to be quick and easy.  Having a list makes the process so much easier for you and your children.



Enjoy winter outdoor playtime being on a sled. Two girls in snow jackets on a sled.

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For your convenience, I created a printable version winter playtime checklist.  Download it, print it and hang on the fridge!



Enjoy outdoor winter playtime with this checklist


Winter outdoor playtime with a man throwing a toddler in the air outside during winter.


To have a great time outdoors, you need to be properly prepared. This checklist will help you get ready in no time.  Join in the fun with your child.  They will remember how mom or dad came out and had a snowball fight with them.  Bundle up and have fun.



Many Layers-

Layers are your first way to protect against the cold temperatures. Bundle up.



Hats, Coats, Gloves, Snow Bibs-

Now you need your outdoor gear.  Snow bibs are the best choice while your kids can still wear them.  They go over the shoulder so that you don’t have to worry about them falling down or any snow getting under the pants.  Make sure the pants are waterproof not just warm. You might want to consider hats that go under the chin.  This way the ears are covered fully as well.



Winter outdoors playtime mitten clips.


Glove Clips-

If you have young children, glove clips are a huge help.  The clip will attach your kid’s gloves to their jacket.  It helps with not losing the gloves.  You know the gloves always seem to come off when they play.



Snow shovels for winter outdoor playtime

Kid Shovel-

My son got a kid-sized shovel one year and loved it.  You should get one that has a wooden pole because a plastic shovel will break in the snow.  Your kids will love having their own shovel to help clear the snow and to play with.



Snow art kit to use for outdoor winter activities

Snow Art Kit-

Let your kid’s creative side come out. With a small snow kit, they can paint the snow.  Watch how excited your kids get when they see the snow change colors.  Make colored snow-balls or paint a snow picture the creativity is endless.




Rich hot chocolate after fun outdoor winter activities.

Hot Chocolate- 

Hot chocolate should be a staple for winter months.  After some outdoor winter playtime, coming in and having a cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows (of course) is the perfect end to playing outside.  It’s usually the only way I get my kids to come back inside.



For your convenience, I created a printable version winter playtime checklist.  Download it, print it and hang on the fridge!  With this list, you won’t have any worries that you forgot something.






Tip: Make sure you label each item of clothing so that your child doesn’t lose anything.  I find the best labels to be from Mabel’s Labels.

Mabels Labels to use for all outdoor clothing



Benefits of being outside in the winter

Children need a movement-based, whole-body approach to learning. Being outside encourages a whole-body approach to learning.  They can run, jump, use different muscles and be kids.  Kids need to get out and release some energy.  I’m sure your kids are running around the house and jumping off the couch.  (Mine are)  Even during the winter kids can go outside and play.  It may not be a long time, but any amount of time is beneficial.



Fresh Air-

Getting outdoors, even when it’s cold out, is beneficial to get fresh air. Being cooped up inside during the winter leads to getting sick.  You don’t have to stay out for long, you probably don’t want to, a little time outside with some fresh air is good.


Exercising without knowing it-

Moving through the snow, climbing up a hill, pulling a sled or having a snowball fight are all great ways to get moving.  Everyone is having fun that you don’t even realize your exercising and working those muscles.  These are a terrific way to work on gross motor skills.



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Sensory Fun-

Playing in the snow is a sensory activity.  Sometimes it’s hard, soft or slushy and wet.  Allows kids to experience something that they don’t play with every day.


Vitamin D-

During the winter months, most of us are low in Vitamin D exposure.  We stay indoor and therefore are not getting Vitamin D from being exposed to the sun.  Vitamin D helps to regulate mental and emotional moods.  It does this by increasing serotonin levels in the brain.  A little exposure with help your Vitamin D levels.



Fun Outdoor Activites to enjoy


 Small snowmen next to a stuffed snowman to make a fun outdoor winter activity.


Snow Art Kit –

Let children paint outside.  You don’t need paper, just paint on the snow.  Your kids will love this.


Build a Snowman-

Kids can use that shovel you got to help get the snow.  Make all different size snowmen.  My kids like to make a mommy or daddy one and a kid one.


Build an Igloo- 

If you want to really get creative build an Igloo. This is harder than a snowman, but the kids love going inside.


Nature Scavenger Hunt-

This is perfect when there’s no snow out.  See the different things you can find outside in the winter months.


Ice Sculpture-

Freeze water in a container with a toy inside.  Them let your child use a toy hammer to break the ice to get their toy.



When you blow bubbles outside when it’s cold out they are harder to pop.


Snowball fight-

See who can throw the furthest.  Who can make the biggest snowball?


Make snow angels

Simple and yet so fun.  Who can make the best one?  The hard part is getting up.


Ice Skating-

Look in your neighborhood for an indoor or outdoor ring.  We haven’t tried this yet.  I’m hoping to this winter season.



You might like a children sled.  This you can use even at home when you build a small hill.


Treasure Time-

Bury a treasure box so you can find it when the snow melts.




When you are cold and ready to go inside, the fun doesn’t have to stop.  Check here for amazing indoor activities.



Related Reading 

Amazing Indoor Winter Activities

Winter Crafts for Kids that you will want to save 



Can playing outside in the cold make you sick?

The cold itself does not make you sick.  When you catch a cold or the flu it is from germs.  There are temperatures that it’s safe to play and temperatures where it’s better to play inside. It’s said that when the temperature is 32 degrees and above then it’s safe to play outside.  When the temperature is around 30 degrees you want to make sure that you take more breaks and make sure none of your clothes are wet.


By using the checklist and activities above you are sure to have a great afternoon outside.  What activity did your kids like the best?  Share below you winter fun.


These are terrific gross motor skills.  If you are looking for more gross motor skills be sure to sign up below.

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