10 Favorite Winter Woodland Activities

Celebrate the Wisconsin Winter in your woodlands with these easy, fun, and free activities for all to enjoy!

The WWOA office has generated a suggested list of 10 ways you can enjoy your woodlands either on your own or with your next generation this winter.

1. Make natural bird feeders out of pinecones, old bread, orange rinds, etc. and watch for birds. Test your identification skills; what kind do you see? birdfeeder

2. Look for animal tracks in the snow – Is it a bird? A fox? A deer? Use this opportunity to learn more about the wildlife on your land and understand how their lifestyles change in the winter.

3. Build a snowman – Get creative! Maybe your snowman is upside down? Or looks more like a bear? How will you decorate it? Is there a whole family of snowmen?

4. Snowshoe, hike, sled, snowmobile or cross country ski through the woods – Listen to the crunch of the snow under your feet, taste the crisp air, feel the cool air tickle your nose; focus on your 5 senses to wholly appreciate the world around you.

5. Day camp – pack a lunch, walk out into the woods, build a small fire and enjoy lunch (and a few smores) there, then head back at the end of the day.

snowman6. Scavenger hunt – a forest carpeted in snow looks much different than a forest in bloom. Draft your own list of searchable items or reference this pre-made list for some ideas.

7. Make a snow fort – Build walls out of snow and engage in a light hearted snowball fight or create your own winter clubhouse. Set up targets through your woodlands or flag trees to hit with snowballs and include obstacles like a barricade of snow to jump over along the way. Get creative!

8. Make snow angels and other drawings in the snow – Use food dye and water to make snow paints and add some color to your snow art!

9. Look for winter constellations like Orion in the dark, but clear, night sky. See if you can find others! While you’re out there, listen for wildlife. Do you hear an owl call? Or a coyote? Check your birdfeeders…are there any flying squirrels?

10. Practice winter tree ID using LEAF’s winter tree ID key to help you through the process. Challenge yourself and test your skills without leaves on the trees.

End your day of fun with some hot cocoa, a peppermint stick, and warm cookies to bring the magic full circle. Take pictures as you make your memories to reflect on and cherish later.

If you’re looking for some indoor activities to partake in with your next generation or on your own when it’s just too cold and wet to be outdoors, try these:blanketfort

1.Break out your My Land Handbook – Take advantage of the time indoors to work on your My Land Handbook. If the kids are over, have them color a picture or write about your woodlands and add it to your Handbook; it’ll surely be something fun to look at again later.

2. Have a cook-off using food from the forest – There’s nothing like hot food on a cold day! Use foods that originate in the forest (walnuts, apples, mushrooms, etc.) to craft a tasty dish and appreciate the gifts of the forest. If there’s a few of you cooking, make a competition out of it.

3. Play “I spy” – Look out the window, what do you see? This is the perfect game for kids of all ages. Something small that sings…a chickadee! Something tall and green…a pine tree! See where their imagination takes them.

4. Bake your favorite holiday treats – The oven is the perfect way to heat your home in the cool of winter and satisfy your sweet tooth. Try new recipes in addition to the tried and true.

5. Curl up inside with a good book (check out the WWOA Gift Shop for ideas) and enjoy the warmth of the indoors. If the kids are over, break out the blankets and engineer a fun and safe fort to play in. Let the imagination run wild!

6. Make your own paper – Learn how to make your own paper and design your own scratch pad or cards out of your newly crafted paper. It’s a fun way to learn about recycling and make a little something to share or use yourself.