Outdoor Games

Since most ofSnow Kansas seems to have a snow day at this point, let’s throw out some ideas about snow day fun! The nice thing is that it is not frigidly cold. Right now it is 26 degrees (with wind it feels like 13). If you have the appropriate outdoor clothes (coat, hat, mittens/gloves, boots, snowpants (or athletic pants you can layer with other things), you can have a lot of fun outside!

The snow yesterday was mostly a wetter, heavier snow, which is the BEST kind! (Okay, it isn’t as much fun for mom and dad to shovel, but it is the best kind to PLAY in.) This kind of snow packs into snowballs and snowmen really well.

The snow this morning seems to be drier and fluffier, which isn’t quite as much fun, but I bet in a few days when it starts getting a little melty it will work out.

So bey0nd snowballs and snowmen, what are some other fun snow day activities? We always played Fox & Geese in the snow growing up. You could also make snow ice cream (you just need milk, sugar, and vanilla!), or just have fun playing in the fluffy snow!

If you have the materials, you could also make a simple bird feeder with a toilet paper roll, peanut butter, and some seeds. Hang it in view of a window and you can watch birds when you come back in!

What other ideas do you have for outdoor snow day fun?



Take a different kind of walk with your family this week.  Try a COLOR WALK

IMG_20121210_164719Find a notebook and some crayons or markers.  On the left-hand side of the page, make a square for each color and leave room on the right for the kids to make tally marks.

While on your Color Walk have the kids tally as they see each color.  Tailor the number of colors to the age of the child.  The number of colors should be the same as their age.  After age 13 this rule no longer applies.  35 colors is too much for anyone to deal with 🙂

Before the walk have the kids predict which color they will find the most of, and which color they will find the least.  Keep your lists and do this in different seasons and find out how the colors change throughout the year.

I usually write about activities that I hope will inspire you to head outside to play.  This weekend I have no motivation to share other than the gorgeous WEATHER!  It’s Dec 1 and it’s going to be int he upper 60s or 70s.  If that doesn’t get you out the door to play, nothing will.

I don’t care what you do, just get outside and play.  Jump rope.  Ride bikes. Play tag.  Hunt for wildlife at Pawnee Prairie Park.  Or check out the waterways at Chisholm Creek Park.

Tonight is going to be nice too.  Come to downtown Wichita to Lights on the River.  See a boat parade, try your hand at the activities, watch fireworks over the River.  Santa will even make a visit.  Click HERE for event details.


It is the time of year we count our blessings.  As you and your children list what you are thankful for, don’t forget to think about the things outside that you love and would not want to live without.

Take a Thanksgiving Walk.  The weather is supposed to be nice across most of the US on Thursday, so no matter where you’re spending Thanksgiving you can go out for a pre- or post-dinner walk.  As you stroll count 5 things that you are thankful for.  Stop midway through your walk and ask your kids what their 5 things are.  (If your kids are small make it 1-3 things or have them announce their things as they walk.)

Do any of your Thanksgiving things match?  Did someone think of something you never thought of before?  Did you think of BIG things and little things?  On the second half of your walk can you think of any more as a group? 

I am thankful for all of you g2g Outside readers and those that participate in the g2g Outside events.  You all make going outside to play fun!

Here are a few Thanksgiving Games I posted last year for more fun outdoor ideas for the family.  Let’s get EVERYONE outside this week!

Have you seen all the great “toys” that are falling from the trees right now? 

A leaf makes a great art supply, spark for make-believe or piece for a game.  Now is the perfect time of year to use these brightly colored, one of a kind objects = LEAVES!

Ideas for playing with leaves

  • Leaf Puppets – glue leaves onto a popcicle stick or regular stick to make the puppet.  Googley eyes or sharpie faces give the leaves some personality. 
  • Leaf Collection – collect as many different types of leaves as possible.  Use books, the internet or the Leafsnap app to find out the type of leaves you found.  You can even make a book of your leaves with labels.
  • Leaf Creatures – using leaves and other nature objects make your own creative creatures.  You can make them 3-dimensional or you can glue them to a page and hang them on your fridge.
  • Leaf Games – have your kids make up a game involving leaves.  A matching game?  A color game?  A counting game?
  • Leave Piles – Do I even need to explain the popular “leaf pile and jump-in” activity?

Whether you enjoy Halloween for its costumes and make-believe or because of that tingle that runs up your spine, the best thing about Halloween is that you get to explore your neighborhood at night in the crisp fall weather.

Here is a great link to fun ideas from to National Wildlife Federation to make your Halloween adventures even more fun.  I used to play “Ghosts in the Graveyard” with my neighborhood friends.  Just the name made us feel spooky and excited.

Nothing celebrates Christopher Columbus Day like floating some boats on a pond or in a puddle.

Make 3 ships to sale. Remember to teach the kiddos their names (Nina, Pinta, Santa Maria).



Boat Design Options

  1. Old plastic containers, straws for masts and paper for sails.
  2. Use one cork or glue 3-5 corks together for boat, toothpicks for masts, paper sails
  3. Tie twigs and branches together with string, twig for mast, leaves for sails
  4. Walnut shell boat, use melted wax to hold up a toothpick mast, leaf or feather for sail
  5. Freeze water into a boat shape and make an ice boat (see pic at top)
  6. Also try balloons, tuna cans, sponges or egg cartons as boats.

Don’t forget to decorate the boats with markers or paint.  Also tie a string to you boat if sailing in a large pond.  You don’t want a sinking boat to  turn in to “litter.”

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