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We know. Netflix and popcorn are way more fun than freezing toes and drippy noses. But if you encourage your kids to play outside in cold temps, they’ll stay happy, healthy and thoroughly entertained until April. Here are five fun ways to get ‘em up and moving.

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kidsactivities fort
Twenty20

Build a Fort

Get the kids to make a blueprint of their idea first, then brainstorm materials, the floor plan and any toys they’d like to put in their new outdoor hideaway. And make sure they pick a name (might we suggest “Fort Awesome”) and hang a sign. The more elaborate the fort, the longer it’ll keep them occupied.

kidsactivities bonfire
Twenty20

Pick Up Sticks (for a Bonfire)

A clean yard and a cozy fire for roasting s’mores? Sounds like a win-win to us. Break out the wheelbarrow and show them which sticks are good for kindling (small and dry ones) and exactly how many you'll need (just estimate). Motivate the kiddos by stocking up on graham crackers and Hershey’s bars. If they know sweets are in store, they’ll jump right off the couch, we promise.

kidactivities snow
Twenty20

Make Snow Creatures

If you live in an area with fresh powder, get your kids to envision and build their favorite movie characters. Little Samantha’s favorite film is Frozen? Help her create an Olaf, Elsa, Anna and Sven in the front yard. Donate carrots and raisins for noses and eyes, and old scarves to keep their new friends warm.

kidactivities obstacle
Twenty20

Create an Outdoor Obstacle Course

Spur a little friendly competition by setting up a fun boot camp in the backyard. Buy miniature traffic cones and set them up in the driveway, then have your kids bike around them. Next, instruct them to kick a soccer ball to the end of the yard. Then have them swing three times on the porch swing. Your kids will want to go again and again.

kidsactivities scavenger
Twenty20

Design a Scavenger Hunt

OK, so this one takes a bit more planning. But once it’s set up, delight in the fact that Little Timmy will have to spend lots of time and energy searching for his next clue (instead of asking mommy when she’ll be done with work). Write hints that he'll be able to piece together to find the prize, starting from inside the house and working his way through your backyardall the way to the final surprise: A new toy. (Or better yet, a new book to read inside by the fire when he gets cold.)

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