When the cold winds blow, you may put outdoor activities on the back burner. But you don’t have to find all your fun and do all of your learning indoors. Instead, dress for winter’s bite, then head outdoors for a low-cost combination of learning and fun. Here are 4 activities you and your family can do for free or just a few bucks:
Blow Ice Bubbles
Bet your kids don’t know bubbles can freeze. As the temperatures dip lower and lower (below 32 degrees Fahrenheit), don’t waste time complaining about the cold. Bundle up and head outside with a bottle of bubble mix and a wand or two. Let your kids blow bubbles and catch them on their wands. In no time, the bubbles will become frozen balls. They won’t last long, but they’re pretty cool to see. Once you’ve had your fill of ice bubble making, or even while it’s still going on, discuss temperature, the freezing point of water, and the reasons water can be a solid, liquid or gas.
Look for Prints
It’s cold outside, but if you’re out and about, surely some animals are too. Head to the park or take a walk in your neighborhood to see if you can find any animal tracks. Examine the tracks you find and see if you can identify the animal that made them. Use the EEK! site to find information you can use to aid your identification.
Blustery Weather Scavenger Hunt
A trip to your local park can also prove the perfect opportunity for a scavenger hunt. Make a list of the fun things you might find outside in the winter. Then, have your children don their hats, gloves, and scarves to head out for a cold weather hunt. Here are some of the things you might find:
- Pine cones
- Needles from an evergreen tree
- A leaf left on a tree
- A leaf skeleton
- Animal tracks
- Human tracks
- Snow drifts
- Berries on the branches of a tree
- Frozen leaves
- A piece of fur
- A block of ice
Set up a Sundial in the Snow
This probably sounds complicated, but it’s really not. For this, you just need a little help from Mother Nature–in the form of snow–and a long stick. Check where the stick’s shadow is cast to guess the time. No shadow at all? It must be high noon.
Do you have any favorite low-cost activities for winter? We’d love to hear them. Please share in the comments!