When the snowy days of winter come around I often want to just curl up under a throw with a book and a mug of hot chocolate. Though it takes some effort I try to regularly push myself out of my literal comfort zone, to take my kids outside for an afternoon of play in the snow.
There’s just something fantastic about the world covered in a blanket of snow — the experience of being out in it is incomparable. Outside children hear the snow crunch beneath their feet, they feel themselves sink down into the drifts, and they see the sun glint off its smooth surface in countless sparkles.
After a thorough inspection of anything interesting they can find in the backyard, my boys often like to play an old game from my father’s childhood that he taught me and my siblings when we were young. He called it Fox and Geese.
This game is fun with three players and even more fun with more players. It works best after a fresh snowfall of a least a few inches.
Fox and Geese Snow Game
Stomp out a large circle in the snow with an “X” through the middle. Assign one child to be the “fox” and the rest of the players are the “geese.” The fox then chases the geese around trying to tag them. All players can only run within the stomped tracks, around the outside of the circle or across the X. When the fox tags a goose, that player becomes the new fox. The old fox is now a goose and the game continues!
The “playing area” of this game could be expanded for more players. With a large enough field of snow you could stomp out an asterisk within the circle or even concentric circles, to give more avenues for running through. We love playing this game when it snows because the running keeps our bodies toasty, and only when we tire out do we all return inside to enjoy mugs of hot chocolate.
Jeanette Merrill enjoys exploring the great outdoors with her husband and three young sons, and doesn’t let living in town prevent her from chicken-raising or beekeeping or gardening. She blogs at Urban Pioneer Story.