Top 10 Wintertime Neighborhood Games

by: Lindsay Hutton

Just because it's cold and snowy, it doesn't mean you have to stay inside! Winter weather can be a great excuse to round up everyone in your neighborhood and get outside for some fresh air and exercise. So bundle up, and try these outdoor winter group activities and games.

Too stormy to play? Check out our favorite indoor activities!

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Rope Tow
Have you ever played Tug of War in the snow? It's a whole lot of slip-sliding fun!

All you need to play this game is a long, thick rope, and two teams. Flatten out a trench in the snow to serve as a mid-line. The team that pulls everyone on the other team over the mid-line first wins!

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Powder Puff Football
This game requires two teams of at least three players each.

To start, mark off your "field" by using a spray bottle filled with colored water. Make a large rectangle with a center line, and have each team line up at opposite ends of the field for a kickoff.

When a member of the receiving team catches the ball, he tries to advance down the field towards the other team's goal line by running the ball or passing it to a teammate (much the same as a regular game of football).

A player is "tackled" when he is tagged by a member of the opposite teams, or slides out of bounds.

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Dodgeball
This winter version is played the same way as regular dodgeball, only using snowballs instead of regular balls. (Just remember to loosely pack your snowballs, so they stay soft and don't sting when you get hit.)

Split your group of kids into two teams, and then go to town throwing the balls at each other. When someone is hit, he is "out" and sits down. If someone catches an offending ball, the thrower is out. The game continues until all members of one team are eliminated.

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Capture the Snow Flag
All you need for this game is a piece of white cloth and a wooden spoon.

Tie the cloth to the end of the spoon. Mark off a set area to play your game, and have one person hide the flag by placing it anywhere in the snow within your set area, making sure to press the spoon into the snow so only the white cloth is visible.

Time how long it takes to find the flag each time it is hidden. Whoever is able to hide the flag for the longest time wins.

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Snow Baseball
Start off by having everyone make a big pile of snowballs. Once that's done, make your baseball diamond by making four snow mounds for home plate, first, second, and third base, with a mound in the middle for the "pitcher" to stand on.

Place a bottle or can on top of the four mounds in the diamond.

Taking turns, have each player stand on the pitcher's mound and try to knock the bottle off each mound by throwing snowballs at each one.

The player who uses the fewest snowballs to knock each bottle over wins.

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Hat Trick
Building a snowman is a favorite among most kids, so why not make a game out of it?

Have everyone help make the snowman, complete with a carrot nose and charcoal eyes, but don't put a hat on him--that's where the game comes in.

Once your snowman is built, have everyone line up about 10 feet away. Take turns trying to land the hat on the snowman's head by throwing it Frisbee style.

The player who lands the hat on the snowman's head in the fewest number of throws wins.

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Pin the Nose on the Snowman
Who says this party-favorite has to be played inside?

Have everyone help make a snowman, except this time, don't put his carrot nose on.

Once he is complete, take turns blind-folding each player and trying to pin the carrot on his face.

The player who gets the carrot closest to the center of his head wins.

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Snowball Relay
This game is a great way to burn off some extra energy. You'll need two or more teams of equal numbers to play.

Start off by making a "track" in your yard by tamping snow down in a large oval shape. Have each team make a snowball to use as their relay stick.

To play, each player runs around the track, and passes their snowball onto the next player. Continue this until each team member has run around the track. The first team to finish wins.

To make this a little more challenging, try making hurdles along your track by packing mounds of snow for the players to jump over.

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Footprint Tag
This version is played the same as regular tag, except players can only step in the footprints others have made in the snow.

If a player steps outside of another footprint, he is "it."

Ice Hockey
Ice Hockey
If you've got a pond in your neighborhood, older kids will love playing a pick-up game of ice hockey. Set a goal up on either end of the pond, make sure all the players have on extra padding to guard against any falls, and let them loose on the ice.

Just remember to always check the ice to make sure it is solid enough.