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Snow Activities for the Family

I suppose it all started with the snow. You see, it was a very special kind of snow. A snow that made the happy happier, and the giddy even giddier. A snow that'd make a homecoming homier, and natural enemies, friends, natural. For it was the first snow of the season.

~~ Frosty the Snowman (1969)
Snowman CenterpieceWinter is coming, and though the official first day of winter isn’t until December 21, the good tidings are in full swing. Some areas in the United States have already gotten their first snowfall, but the rest of us are waiting for those happy white flakes to appear. As with every season, there are many activities particular to winter that the whole family can enjoy. The classics include snowball fights, ice skating, and building a snowman.

Have you ever wondered the history of the snowman? Snow beings have been around for tens of thousands of years. They often took on a female form during this time, leading historians to believe that they were a sign of prosperity for a given tribe of people. In the 16th century, during the Italian Renaissance period, snow was often used as an art medium. Free sculpting material falling from the sky, heck yea! Even the famous Michelangelo is known to have sculpted a few snowmen. During times of war, snowmen have even been used to trick enemies. Before the time of night vision goggles, soldiers would build snowmen to make their infantries appear larger from a distance. Some would even be erected as guards in the night.
Olympia the 122-foot tall snowman
Olympia, Bethel, Maine's 122-foot snowman, 2008
© Bethel Area Chamber of Commerce

The snowman became a traditional image of the winter season during the Victorian Era. Now children and adults around the world build snow people in celebration of winter festivities. Just as there are sand castle competitions in summer, there are also local snowman competitions nationwide. The world’s largest snowman was built in 2008 in Maine. It was 122 feet tall and had two 30-foot spruce trees for arms.

While building a snowman is a classic, there are also other fun snow games you can play with your kids. Try out some of our recommendations!
  • Pin the Accessories on the Snowman: If you’re building a snowman anyway, turn the last bit of the project into a game. Grab a blindfold for your kids and prepare your accessories (buttons, smile, eyes, mouth, nose, etc.). Send your little ones up one by one till you get all the accessories added.
  • Snow Graffiti: Pick up some spray bottles from your local dollar store (or maybe you have some empty Windex bottles lying around?) Fill them with water and add a few drops of food coloring. Let you kids decorating the backyard with a natural “spray paint.”
  • Light Up Ice Cube
  • Tic-tac-snow: find some of your favorite natural winter items, we like twigs and pine cones. If you use twigs, tie them together in the shape of an X with a piece of string. Draw a big tic-tac-toe board in the snow and let your kids play!
  • Winter Scavenger Hunt: This one you have to prep for beforehand. Create a decent number of ice cubes using a drop of food coloring in each cube. Once frozen, hide them in your yard for the children to find. If they don’t find all of them, no problem, these are eco-friendly and will melt right away. Maybe avoid using yellow food coloring. If you don't want to make your own, you can check out these glowing beauties, but make sure to collect all them when you're done.
  • Snow Maze: This one is for our most ambitious readers and those who get a lot of snow. Imagine a corn maze but made of snow. Plan this out on paper first. Shovel out the paths and then compact the snow to make walls. The walls don't have to be tall to satisfy your little explorers. Make the finish line near your door so you can welcome them back to the house with hot cocoa!
If it's too cold to stay outside for long, make your own snow treasures inside. With plastic ornaments, your favorite figurines or cutouts, and sparkling snow you can make your own winter wonderland creations for the holidays. Check back with PartyCheap later this week and all winter long for more crafty ideas!

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