Cold Weather Means More Fun – 10 Exciting Ideas to Get Moving this Winter!

Join hundreds of communities across Ontario as they choose to walk, wheel, bike, and scoot to school on Winter Walk Day (WWD)! WWD, celebrated on Wednesday, February 1st, 2023, and throughout the entire month of February, is an annual celebration of active school travel in the winter.   

Continue reading for 10 fun ideas on how you can celebrate WWD in your school or community!  

1) Explore your Neighbourhood with a Scavenger Hunt  

A scavenger hunt is a great way to explore your neighbourhood and make walking trips extra fun. Download and print the I-SPY activity sheet, grab a pencil, and off you go! How many of these winter-themed objects and creatures can you find in your local streets and parks?  

2) Hot Chocolate Reward 

During WWD, have teachers or older students set-up a hot chocolate station near the entrance of the school. When students arrive to school by foot or by wheels, reward them with a delicious cup of hot chocolate! Be extra green by encouraging students to bring their own reusable mug and offer compostable cups. This tasty incentive will be sure to encourage more students to walk or wheel throughout the month of February.  

A person holding a cup of hot chocolate.

A person holding a cup of hot chocolate. Photo By: Brigitte Thom (2017).

3) Art Class in the Snow  

Bringing art class outside can spark a child’s creativity and excitement! On your next snowy walk, bring food colouring, water, and a spray/squirt bottle. Add the food colouring and water into the spray/squirt bottle and have fun painting shapes and designs in the snow. Try your hand at creating a snow person, snowflakes, or a pair of ice skates! 

4) Build a Fort/Quinzee  

We’ve all built a snow person before, but what about a snow fort/quinzee? Encourage children to build a big snow fort/quinzee during their walk outside. You can also turn it into a friendly competition – divide students into teams and see which groups make the tallest, biggest, or most creative snow fort/quinzee!   

A snow fort/quinzee in the sunny winter.

A snow fort/quinzee. Photo by: Marc Wieland (2020).

5) Organize an Outdoor Fitness Class 

The best way to get warm when we are cold, is to move our bodies! Create a walking route with a few stops along the way for your next walk. At these stops, encourage students to do 3-5 fitness activities, such as skier jumps, leapfrog, or invisible jumping ropes. Get inspired with movement ideas with Ophea’s 50 fitness activity GIFs 

Graphic of one of the 50 fitness activity GIFs.

Example of one of the 50 fitness activity GIFs. Created by: (2021).

6) Bowling in the Snow  

Grab a few bowling pins and stand them up in the snow. If you don’t have bowling pins, you can use empty water bottles, or any other lightweight containers. Create a few snowballs to use as bowling balls. Roll the snowballs towards the bowling pins and see how many you can knock down. Can you get a strike?  

7) Plan a Dress for the Weather Initiative 

During the cold, winter months, it’s important to know how to dress for the weather to stay warm. Create a school-wide initiative to educate students about how to dress when the temperatures drop. This can be done using school posters, announcements, or even a fashion show of appropriate winter attire. Take it a step further by leading a winter clothing drive, to ensure all students have the outdoor clothing they need to keep warm. 

A parent dressing their child for the winter weather.

A parent dressing their child for the winter weather. Photo by: Aleksandar Nakic (2019).

8) Create a Frozen Bubble!  

On a very cold winter day, go outside and create a frozen bubble! Grab a bottle of bubbles and leave it outside for 10 to 20 minutes to allow it to get really cold. Instead of blowing a bubble with your mouth, slowly wave the wand back and forth to create a bubble. If it is cold enough outside, you will see that the bubbles freeze almost immediately – leaving behind an unpoppable, frozen bubble! 

Close-up of a bubble.

Close-up image of a bubble. Photo by: m. uptegrove (n.d.).

9) Create a Steps Challenge 

Get students excited to walk to school with a fun winter steps challenge! Bring together the whole school, grade, or classroom and see which individual, grade, or classroom walks the most steps during the month of February. Check out the Jack Frost Challenge in Manitoba for some inspiration! 

You can track steps taken, or distance walked using a pedometer, step counting app, or a map. You can even create a trophy for the winning individual/classroom/grade using an old shoe – check out how to do so here!    

10) Play Tic-Tac-Toe in the Snow  

Find an area of untouched snow and draw out the Tic-Tac-Toe grid. Grab a friend or family member and have fun playing!  

Tic-tac-toe in the snow.

Tic-tac-toe in the snow. Photo by: Vereshchagin Dmitry (n.d.).

WWD is about celebrating active school travel and encouraging kids to journey outside. We hope that these 10 ideas have inspired you to encourage fun and movement outside during the month of February. 

Check out the resources page for more ideas and tools on how to make the month extra fun, and to register your school/classroom for the month-long event. We hope you will join in the movement to get more active during the journey to school!  

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