Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be playing outside! If your camp is open year-round, you know that outdoor activity in the winter months can be just as fun and rewarding for campers and staff as it can in the summer.
Not only are winter games and sports fun, spending time outdoors in the winter can benefit children’s health and development. The terrain is different, allowing kids to see the outside world through a new lens. They’ll be moving different muscles as they navigate through snow and ice and will get a healthy dose of vitamin D, something we all lack in the winter. Learn more about why kids should play outdoors in winter.
If you’re hosting a winter camp or retreat, there are lots of outdoor winter games your campers will enjoy. One of our favourites is building a snow obstacle course and creating some healthy competition. There is no better way to challenge a variety of motor skills at once than an awesome obstacle course. In this activity kids will be improving their strength, coordination, motor control, endurance and balance while having so much fun!
Snow Obstacle Course/Race
What you need: SNOW, sleds (plastic disks, crazy-carpets, etc) and snow shovels.
Setting up: There will be 5 different areas in the obstacle course. Divide your kids into groups of two as they will do each challenge as a team. In your sports field or another large area, set up 5 stations one after another that has plenty of room for each activity. Here are the stations and what you’ll have to do to set up for each:
- Make a snow angel: Here you just need a large area with lots of fresh snow. Both team members will make a snow angel.
- Climb up and over a large pile of snow: You’ll have to create this massive pile before hand. If you have a plow or a tractor, you can make a really big one. If not, you’ll have to start shoveling! Both team members will have to climb up and over the snow pile.
- Throw a snowball and hit the target: Here you can have a target pinned onto a large snowball or hay bail from your archery range. To make it even more fun, you can have a staff stand there with a target on their back. Make sure you tell the kids that head shots are not allowed! The staff should maybe wear a helmet just in case. Both kids in each team will have to hit the target at least once before moving on.
- Move 4 shovelfuls of snow from one place to another: All you’ll need is a pile of snow and a shovel for each team. The kids must scoop up the snow, run across a small area and dump it again. Each partner will move 2 shovelfuls of snow to make up the 4 total.
- Push or pull your partner on a sled to cross the finish line: You’ll just need one sled per team and a bit of space for them to race across to the finish line.
You can have the kids race each other through the obstacle course or make it a timed event where each team does it one at a time while the others cheer them on. When you are done, have an awards ceremony and present the winners with a goofy reward. Then everyone can move inside for some hot chocolate and a snack.
More resources for winter camp: