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Keep your kids engaged in the outdoors throughout the coldest winter months. It's all about coming up with ideas that inspire their young minds. Here are 10 fun winter activities you can try with your little ones.

1. Build an obstacle course. Use anything you like: patio furniture, cardboard boxes, tricycles etc. Award small treats as prizes ... just make sure each little competitor gets a prize!

2. Ice candle evening. Bring some wintertime magic to your yard by adorning it with candles secured in old cans. Only mom or dad get to handle the matches, naturally.

3. Bird watching 101. Create a bird-watching observation station by setting up a variety of bird feeders near a window. Your kids will learn about birds just by watching for a few minutes a day.

4. Look for animal tracks. You may have to head to the woods or a park for this activity, but kids love the "exploring" angle. Fun for all.

5. Make suet feeders. Backyard birds and other critters adore these calorie-laden treats, and kids of all ages enjoy making and hanging them.

6. Make a snow "maze." If you get heavy snowfall, here's something new to do with all that white stuff.

7. Draw a neighborhood map. Walk or cycle through your neighborhood, kids in tow, and let them sketch out a rough map with major landmarks. Do a final version in the comfort of your warm home.

8. Decorate a tree with streamers. Another way to bring winter's magic to your yard. This project is a guaranteed kid-pleaser.

9. Winter sun catcher. A block of ice never looked so pretty. Another craft suitable for tots through teens.

10. Colored snow chateau. Aah, food coloring: a kid-craft standby. Here it's used to great effect outdoors, making colored ice building blocks.



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