Getting out into the great outdoors gets harder as that temperature starts to drop. If everything else is asleep under a cozy blanket of cold snow, why should you be up and about?
Instead of giving in and letting those winter blues win, you can try one of these fun outdoor winter nature activities to get yourself outdoors and into the fresh air! You’ll have so much fun that you’ll barely even notice the cold.
1. Take Nature’s Temperature
How often do you use an outdoor thermometer these days? This is a good chance to learn about temperature and watch how temperature fluctuations affect your environment. Everyone talks about the weather no matter where you live so this exercise can give you some insight into your next conversation. If you’re having a little trouble working up to going out, this can be a great way to start off!
2. Tweet at Some Birds
A homemade bird feeder, or one from the store, will guarantee some winter visitors to your window! Make sure you put it within easy sight, pick up some bird books, notebooks, and binoculars, and start taking notes on your feathery visitors. Once you start feeding the birds, remember to remove the feeder once spring arrives so they can easily find their own food.
3. Be a Snowday Shutterbug
Another fun outdoor winter nature activity is to add a little more fun to your snowy walk by taking photos. It’s a great way to bring the outdoors back in with you. As you go through the pictures later in the day, you may discover details you missed on your journey. Depending on the time of day, you might even be able to catch signs of recent woodland visitors, or the way the sky changes in winter.
4. Go Out Looking For Green
While a lot of plants go dormant for the winter, there is still some looking green out there. This is a great time to go looking for those plants and compare them to their counterparts or talk a little more about dormancy and the differences between deciduous trees and evergreens.
5. Words, Winter Animals, and Signs of Wildlife
Find a good book about winter animals to read before you head out! You might find some tracks near a wooded area, or underneath your bird feeder, and you can always talk about what animals hibernate in winter and who goes out to forage. If you find tracks, you can identify them with the help of your wildlife book.
6. Rocks Will Always Rock
If you can’t find any plant life or wildlife, rocks won’t let you down. Take the time to study some rocks, or see how the winter weather does (or doesn’t!) affect your sturdy stone friends. Try freezing a rock, then thawing it out, to see what changes. Can you see any cracks? Is it easier to break?
7. Keep it Frosty
What better time to learn about ice than right in the middle of the season? Talk about the properties of ice, which makes it different than snow, and the best ways to break it—if you even can. If you’re planning to build a fort, see if you can make the ice into a window!
8. Study a Snowflake
Everyone is different, which makes this a good activity to do several times over. In the early 18th century, Snowflake Bentley was so fascinated by the uniqueness of snowflakes, he photographed over 5000 snow crystals in his lifetime. Get out some black paper to catch them and find a magnifying glass to see every single detail up close. Another great craft to go with this is drawing out snowflakes or making your own to decorate with folded paper and scissors.
9. Create Your own Cold-Weather Crafts
Even in winter, you can find color in nature, and if all else fails, there is snow! Use the world around you to create your own art and celebrate winter. The rocks, ice, and plant life you found earlier are great for this.
10. Bring the Outdoors Inside
When the cold finally has you beat, bring the outdoors in! Spread out your photographs, and the other natural treasures you’ve found. Discover what you can do with snow and ice indoors before it melts. Even a quick trip into the cold for something new to do will get you more outside and into nature than you would have been.
And when all else fails…
Go out and play! Winter is perfect for snowball fights, snow angels, or making winter scenery out of a whole snow village. You can take a nature walk up a hill, then sled back down, or take some time perfecting the ultimate snowball.
If you’re determined to get your nature on, then don’t let the weather stop you! Find those layers and get going. Whatever season it is, there’s always a fun outdoor winter nature activity out there.