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Unique Games for Winter Play

Fun And Unique Games The Whole Family Can Enjoy

As popular as snowmen are, there are only so many that a child can create in one season. But don't give up and just place your offspring in front of the television until spring.

"Snow brings joy to children," says Trish Kuffner, author of The Children's Busy Book: 365 Creative Games and Activities to Keep Your 6- to 10-Year-Old Busy (Meadowbrook Press, 2001).

"But to keep them entertained, you have to mix it up every once in a while," Kuffner says. "By teaching them new games, you'll make your children happy. And you'll also have the knowledge that you are showing them how to be creative."

Kuffner offers these unique games for children to play in the winter:

Target Practice

Cut three or four holes, each about a foot in diameter, in an old sheet or blanket. Fasten this target with lots of clothespins to a rope strung between two trees or posts. Have each child stand about 10 feet away and throw snowballs at the holes. Score one point for each snowball that goes through a hole. The first player to score a set number of points is the winner. A child playing alone can see how many snowballs it takes to score a certain number of points.

Ice Sculptures

Fill buckets, plastic containers or ice cube trays with water. Set them outdoors overnight to freeze. Dip each mold in warm water for a few seconds to loosen the ice. Turn the mold upside down to slide the ice out. Let your child build an ice sculpture. To stick two shapes together, spray water on the surfaces you want to join and hold them together for about 10 seconds.

Snow Painting

Add a few drops of food coloring or a spoonful or two of tempera paint to a spray bottle full of water. Let your child paint the snow by spraying it. Or have her brush on undiluted tempera paint poured into small containers.

Button, Button

This game requires four or more players. Make snowballs, one less than the number of players you have. For example, if eight children are playing, make seven snowballs. Hide a brightly colored button inside one of the snowballs. Choose one player to be "It." The other players stand in a circle around him and pass the snowballs quickly until he tells them to stop. He then guesses which player has the snowball with the button inside. The players break open their snowballs to see if he has guessed correctly. If he has not, he's again "It" for the next round. If he guessed right, the player holding the button becomes "It."

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