girl in stream

9 Outdoor Activities – Keep Your Kids Busy This Winter

As nature begins to wind down and the days become crisp and bright, it’s the ideal time to get out and about. There are lots of activities that you can do to keep your kids busy as the weather cools down and enjoy the changing seasons together outdoors. Read on to hear some of our favourites…

1. Winter Walk

A simple outdoor activity to keep the kids busy during the colder months is to go on a Winter walk.

Winter is the perfect time to whack out those Wellington boots, pop them on and go for a walk as a family. Jump in the puddles, splash in the mud or search for vibrant tree leaves. It’s all part of the fun of a winter walk!

Why not see who can find the most leaves, see how many birds you can spot or count the puddles as you go to immerse yourself and your little ones in the beauty of the season?

toddler paddling in stream

2. Scavenger Hunt

What will you find? Take your Winter exploration a step further by going on a scavenger hunt. This is an excellent activity for children of all ages to get involved in. You can keep this activity simple by looking out for the signs of Winter and scavenging for seasonal treasures.

Why not make a list of things to look out for:

🪵 Twigs

🪶 Feathers

🍁 Red leaves

🍂 Yellow leaves

🍃 Green leaves

🌰 Conker

🌼 Flowers

Need a chest to keep your Winter treasure safe? Egg boxes are a great way to look after all your finds. Use the egg box to keep things together as you go. Little ones can even decorate the box with pens and paper or stick some of their treasures to the box itself when they get home.

child on scavenger hunt

3. Wild Work of Art

Another great use of your little one’s nature treasures would be to create a wild work of art.

Use leaves, twigs, feathers and more to make a natural artwork. You can get your little ones to create their artwork straight onto the backyard patio or grass, then take a picture to remember their masterpiece. Or why not use a sheet of paper as the base for their design, so they have something to create and keep?

discovery nature play hideaway

4. Pooh Sticks

This is a classic outdoor activity, made famous by a certain bear, and will be a fun way to pass the time together during Winter weekends.

You need two or more players, each with a stick. Find a bridge that sits over a flow of moving water, like over a stream or river.

Once everyone has chosen their favourite stick, everyone needs to stand on the bridge.

On your marks, get set, go! Everyone throws their sticks into the water at the same time.

The stick that floats under the bridge and emerges first on the other side wins, hooray!

Top Tip: Double-check how the water flows so that your sticks go the right way!

child walking through field

5. Bug Buddy

Insects and bugs like to stay cosy in Winter, living under snuggly moss or in big hollows in tree bark, so this is the perfect time of year to make a bug buddy.

Go on a bug hunt around the backyard and look for the marvellous minibeasts hiding out.

When your child finds their bug buddy remind them to be kind and gentle. To the bugs, your child is a giant. The bugs are minibeasts, after all! Encourage your child to scoop them up carefully in their hands and place them down gently once they have finished meeting their bug buddy.

You could even get children to write out the names of the bugs they see, count how many they find or draw their bug buddies too.

bug on child's hand

6. Bug Hotel

So, you’ve found some bug buddies. What about making a bug hotel so that they have a cosy place to stay in your backyard this Winter?

This activity is a great way to encourage your kids to help look after nature and will keep them occupied.

Use those leaves and sticks you collected on your scavenger hunt to construct a tiny house for the insects that call your backyard home.

When your child is creating their bug hotel, ask them to consider whether their bug visitors need leaves and whether they like their hotel to be wet or dry, in the shade or the sun – so it really can be the perfect retreat for backyard creatures.

Things like cardboard tubes and boxes can help to create ‘rooms’ for minibeast guests in your bug hotel.

bug hotel

7. Conker Painting

Conkers are the glossy brown staples of Autumn and Wintertime.

They are robust and relatively large, meaning they are great for painting!

This activity can be mindful and an excellent way for your kids to wind down after a busy Winter day.

Gather some paint and paint brushes, along with your conkers and get painting.

This is a great activity to do in the backyard. For one, your children can take inspiration from the outdoors around them for their painting-they’ll spot wildlife, flowers, and colours. Painting in the backyard also means no mess indoors, and the rain can wash any spills away afterwards!

child holding conkers

8. Make a Mud Masterpiece

For this one, prepare to get messy, but that’s really what outdoor exploring is all about!

Encourage little ones to grab a big handful of mud and mould it like clay into mud masterpieces. Why not develop mud into a mud creature or perhaps a mud pie?

This is a great idea to encourage children to engage their senses outdoors. When creating their mud masterpiece, encourage your kids to fully immerse themselves in the sensory play by asking them questions such as, what does the mud feel like? What does it sound like when you squish it?

Encourage them to mould it in different ways, such as rolling, squashing, mixing and patting. This will help them create their mud masterpieces and aid the development of fine and gross motor skills.

child exploring in stream

9. Winter Obstacle Course

This a fun way to encourage healthy, active play during the cooler months of the year.

Your children can make an outdoor nature obstacle course for their friends by gathering sticks to jump over or create hopscotch. Why not collect a big pile of leaves to jump into at the finish line?

If you have a climbing frame, why not use this as a challenge within the obstacle course? Kids can climb up the ladder, swoop down the slide, and go to the finish line!

If your backyard has a small footprint, children can take turns to complete the route and see who can complete it in the fastest time, so everyone safely gets a go with plenty of space.

plum play discovery create & paint easel

Wintertime is the perfect time to get outdoors, so pop on a coat, get the kids together and get out there! We hope these seasonal outdoor ideas give you lots of inspiration to keep your kids busy this Winter.

If you try out any of these activities for kids, share your adventures with us @PlumPlayAus #lifeatplay

Prepare to get set for even more Plum Play Fun…

There’s lots of fun to be had in Winter, and we hope that you and your little ones enjoy trying out some of these seasonal outdoor ideas. However, if you’re dreaming of sunnier days and even more Plum Play fun, don’t worry as the countdown has begun… You can now pre-order play equipment in time for Spring!

You can enjoy over 15% off on pre-order items, making it the perfect opportunity to get set for an unforgettable season of backyard play.

Explore pre-order play here.

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