It’s easy to find yourself battling cabin fever after the solstice, when the days grow longer but somehow also colder. But frigid air is not a prison sentence, nor should it be seen that way. A good pair of wool socks and a group of similarly feverish friends can be the perfect pairing to inspire an excursion. Here are some winter games for children and adults alike that can keep you warm while you get out of your den for a spell.
Use cones to designate goal posts on either end of a snow-covered field. That’s the easiest this gets. Gather an even number of players and strap on some skis. Leave the poles at home for this one. Players may move the ball by batting it across the field – picking it up is against the rules. Try to bat the ball between the other team’s goal posts to score a point. If the ball exits the field of play, the last person to touch it must relinquish it to the other team to toss in bounds. Try not to get tangled up in other players’ skis!
Capture the Flag
Bundle up and head outside to a field, park, or wooded area for a game of capture the flag. Just because the weather changes doesn’t mean the rules do! Divide up into teams and mark two lines in the snow. Between the lines is the neutral zone. On each side of the neutral zone is one team’s territory. Each team hangs a flag within its own territory, and chooses an area to use as a jail. The object of the game is to sneak (or sprint) into the other team’s territory, steal their flag, and bring it to your own team’s territory. If a player is tagged in the other team’s territory, they can be sent to jail. A jailed player can be released by a tag from a teammate. The game ends when a flag is successfully brought to the other team’s territory, or when all of a team’s players have been jailed.
Find an oversized kickball and bring it out to a snowy field or frozen lake for a game of snowshoe kickball. Mark the bases with cones or snowmen and go for it. It’s a little easier to play with a bigger ball when everyone’s bundled up and clumsy from the cold. Of course, snowshoes aren’t required to play kickball in the winter; clunky warm boots sufficiently increase the difficulty of this childhood favorite.