With screens dominating work and free time alike for so many, a snowstorm can often serve to reinforce those solitary, sedentary habits. And whether they want to admit it or not, this can apply to parents just as much as kids.
But snow can provide an opportunity to break with routine and give the snowblower a break, and unless you’re lucky enough to live near an indoor ice rink, there are several sports and games you can only do with the white stuff on the ground. And all can be done safely (assuming proper equipment and supervision, of course).
You don’t have to live in the mountains to take advantage of the situation by getting out for some fresh air as a family. Just think how much better the hot chocolate will taste when you’re coming in from the cold. Plus, there’s no need to take unnecessary risks.
Here are several snow sports you can do as a family this weekend or whenever the next snowstorm passes your way.
- Stick sports. Now might be a good time to break out the hockey gear. No hockey gear? The same principle works with lacrosse gear or even just a few snowballs. If you purchase a set of goals, just about any space can become a sports arena. Simple pop-up goals are a breeze to set up and stow and are suitable for most any sport. There are also hockey and lacrosse starter kits if you’re looking to introduce those sports to your kids or yourself (ice skates sold separately and are a whole other discussion).
- Powder-puff football. There are plenty of games that don’t require a lot of gear. To play powder-puff football, grab the old pigskin, fill a spray bottle with colored water to mark the field and end zone boundaries, and you’re ready to play! The rules are the same as regular American football, with players throwing, catching, and running the ball down the field toward the other team’s end zone. To avoid unnecessary injury risk, make it a game of touch football instead of tackle, or tuck some tube socks into your waistband for instant flag football.
- Sledding. A true classic of the great American snow day, all you need is a hill and something slippery to sit on. Everything from woks to garbage can lids can serve as sleds in a pinch, but it doesn’t need to come to that if you plan ahead and invest in a fun sled. The Flexible Flyer Lightning Snow Sled is a great model for kids and adults alike, and you’ll never have to watch forlornly from the sidelines. (Sled not your style? They’re doing amazing things with snow tubes as well.)
- Dodgeball: Take the basic snowball fight to the next level and make it a game of snow dodgeball. Add yet another extra layer of fun by making a capture the flag game, where players dodge the snowballs as they attempt to filch the other team’s banner.
- Snowman hat toss. Building a snowman is a favorite among most kids, so why not make a game out of it? Build the snowman and dress him up like normal but leave off the hat. Everyone then takes turns attempting to toss the hat from a pre-determined line onto the snowman’s head.
The point with any of these games is not to see who reigns supreme in a test of wills but to get outside and (safely) enjoy the season. Always gear up properly, stay warm, and don’t let young children get in over their heads. Now get out there and win the winter!
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