Can you feel it? That patriotic pride that comes from cheering on America's best athletes as they strive for gold has inspired the masses with winter games fever! If your kids love the sports of the season, take advantage of their enthusiasm and host your own winter sports games. Fun is the focus of these athletic events, but your kids will also enjoy experiencing the camaraderie that happens when everyone supports each other's efforts.
All of these sportsmanship games for kids reward creativity, hustle, and integrity while building the bonds of friendship and family. Along with (or in lieu of) honoring 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners, give awards for a variety of categories including most creative run, funniest approach, best teamwork, and more to inspire a bit of positive competition. Make imaginative homemade medals, cue "The Star-Spangled Banner," and get ready to have some fun.
Ice skating is a highlight of any winter sports games, and while everyone can't land a triple Salchow, even the most amateur of athletes can compete on the ice. The first step to this competition is locating your local ice rink. Whether you choose indoor ice or an outdoor location—many park districts host ice rinks in the winter—be sure to fill out any permits or rental agreements if you are organizing a larger tournament for the neighborhood. If you are skating with only your kids, you should be able to attend any open rink time.
The Freestyle Skate competition can be adapted to accommodate any age group and location. If you have access to the entire rink (or pond), you can set up an obstacle course with cones and give extra points for the most creative ways to navigate them. If you are restrained by skating in a circle with the general public, have your kids do something different with each lap and assign points in a variety of categories. A funny face loop, a hand-jive pass, and a slowest skate lap are all great and safe ways for a group to have fun on the ice.
Professional athletes ski, luge, and snowboard down mountains with ease. You may not have access to a slalom, but there is probably a local sledding hill nearby that can provide fast fun for your young athletes.
Saucer races, accuracy tests, and quickest-up-the-hill competitions inspire sportsmanship and teamwork. Encourage little ones to work together by sharing the load and helping each other carry sleds back up the hill. Be sure to have a thermos of hot chocolate on hand for the perfect winter sports games fuel.
This triathlon can be done in your own backyard with individuals or teams. The goal is to complete the three activities in the fastest time, but additional prizes can be awarded for the most creative, best hustle, best sportsmanship, and more creative divisions.
First, have each child make a snowman at least 3 feet tall, complete with a carrot nose and charcoal eyes. Make sure all snowman sections are in place before allowing competitors to move on to the next leg of the race for Snow Angel Art. Each competitor must complete ten snow angel repetitions before moving on to the final leg of the competition: Snowball Target Throwing. Set up a target (a tire swing or bowling pins) and have the competitors test their speed and accuracy by throwing snowballs through the hoop or knocking pins down with snowballs. Everyone who finishes all three parts could win an individual prize like the chance to pick what you have for dinner one night that week, or a group treat like s'mores in front of the fireplace.
Sportsmanship, exercise, and the great outdoors can all be enjoyed year-round, especially when winter games are added to the equation. Revel in the thrill of friendly competition with your kids this season, and look for other blustery outdoor activities to do together like volunteering on a farm or building a fort with the snow you shovel off the driveway. On your marks, get set, go—outside—and have some winter fun with the family!
What are some of your favorite winter sports to play with your kids? Share your game recommendations on Twitter #GoodMatters!
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Why It’s Good
If your family has winter sports games fever, create your own tournament focused on fun, sportsmanship, and creativity. This is a fantastic way to integrate exercise and the great outdoors into the winter season.