5 Fun and Exciting Snowshoe Games for Kids

cover image snowshoeing games for kids- two girls running wearing snow shoes

Snowshoeing is a fun and exciting way to get kids outside and exploring during the winter. Not only will students get to experience the many benefits of getting outside in the winter, but they will also be exposed to a fun and accessible way to add physical activity into their day. If you are new to snowshoeing, you can learn the basics here. Once your students have had a chance to get the hang of snowshoeing, you can start to add to the excitement by playing snowshoe games.

Before You Start- Winter Outdoor Education Safety

Taking the time to ensure that everyone is safe and comfortable will help your students have a positive experience and want to get outside more during the winter.

1. Dressing for the Weather

To ensure your students stay comfortable, warm and dry it’s important to ensure that everyone comes dressed for the winter weather. Kids who don’t come with ski pants or forget their mittens will get wet and cold rather quickly and not enjoy their time outside.

The basics of dressing for winter weather are:

  • dressing in layers
  • avoiding cotton clothing (it gets wet and stays wet)
  • a shell (wind and waterproof layer) as the outer layer on both top and bottom
  • warm winter boots (warm and waterproof)
  • mittens, toques, scarves etc.- bring extras

Take some time to prepare your students so that they know what dressing for the winter weather looks like. You can find some handy tools for communicating with families in our “Get Outside Tool Kit.”

2. Check the Snow and Weather Conditions in Advance

As part of ensuring your student’s safety, be sure to conduct a site assessment of the area you plan on using. Before taking your students out to build, ensure that you check the snow and weather conditions in the area that you plan to build in.

Some Additional Things to Consider Are:

  • how deep is the snow? can the kids easily travel through the snow? Is it accessible to everyone?
  • is the snow covering up any potential hazards?
  • are there icy areas that kids need to be aware of?
  • are there any hazards in the area that need to be mitigated?
  • are there areas with overhanging snow or ice that could fall?
  • what is the temperature and windchill?
  • do we have a warm-up space?
a child hiking wearing snowshoes

Snowshoe tips

  1. Teach students how to put them on inside. You will have to teach your students several times how to put on their snowshoes. I find that if I show them the first time while they are inside they have better focus and better able to be independent in putting on their own snowshoes.
  2. Bring gloves that allow you to do up buckles. The first several times you snowshoe you will probably have to help out most students with putting on their snowshoes. Bring a pair of gloves that allow you to do up buckles. This will save your fingers from freezing.
  3. Buddy students up do up buckles. Encourage students to buddy up to help each other put on snowshoes. This will save some time as well as save your fingers from freezing.
  4. Have patience. The first few times that your students put on snowshoes it might take forever. Plan some extra time for putting on snowshoes as well as putting them away.
  5. Allow students to have a chance to get used to the snowshoes. Snowshoes are relatively easy to get the hang of, however your students will need some time to get used to them. Give students some practice time before you jump into any games/activities with them.

Where to Get Snowshoes

  1. Grants or Purchase Your Own Class Set: If your school budget allows you may want to purchase a set of snowshoes for your class. If this is not an option, many organizations offer grants to help with the purchase of outdoor equipment.
  2. Rent: Many outdoor stores have rental programs. Contact the store to see if they have sizes that would appropriate for your students.
  3. Outdoor lending programs: Your area might also have organizations that have equipment lending programs. Ensure that the sizes they have available are appropriate for your students.
two kids laying in the snow wearing snowshoes

Snowshoe Games and Activities

Snowshoe Obstacle Course

There are so many fun ways that you can design snowshoe obstacle courses for your students. In designing your obstacles ensure that they are safe for all of your students to attempt while wearing snowshoes. Keep in mind that the snowshoes can catch on loose items and students can also trip over things more easily.

Some obstacle ideas include:

  • climbing hills/descending hills
  • moving around pylons
  • moving between two objects
  • moving under an object
  • stepping over obstacles (carefully)

I have found that students also enjoy designing their own obstacle courses. Students can work in groups to create obstacle courses for other groups to try.

Snowshoe Scavenger Hunt

Create a scavenger hunt in your learning area or community park. Set the clues far enough apart that students need to use their snowshoes to traverse across large areas. How you structure your scavenger hunt is up to you and dependent on your students grade level. You can also integrate other subjects content into your scavenger hunt clues (such as math problems or science facts.) I like to put the facts inside a plastic bag or plastic sleeve to protect them.

Snowshoe Kickball

Snowshoe kickball is just like regular kickball…except in the snow…and wearing snowshoes. Use hula hoops for bases and a sturdy ball for kicking.

Snowshoe Races

Snowshoe races are a fun way for students to practice basic snowshoeing technique. Ensure that students have enough space that they won’t trip over each other as they race. Keep the races fun and non-competitive by adding challenges or obstacles. You could do races as individuals in heats or in relays.

Snowshoe Capture the Flag

Again, this is simply capture the flag, but played in snowshoes. Adjust your space and equipment as necessary to ensure the safety of your students.

snowshoe tracks

Now Let’s Get Outside And Snowshoe!

Snowshoeing is a great way for students to spend some time outdoors having fun with your students. Adding a bit of novelty and competition to the snowshoeing by incorporating snowshoe games can add some fun and excitement to your snowshoeing time. Try out one of these games or get creative and invent your own. There are some many fun ways that you can use snowshoes to get outside and enjoy the many benefits of outdoor learning with your students.

More Winter Outdoor Learning Activities…

Keep Reading….

Get Outside With Your Students All Year…

Similar Posts