A Winter Amusement Park in Your Own Backyard

If you’re like many moms, the first snow of the year means looking forward to months of having the kids cooped up inside the house, often driving you up the wall. Sometimes they’ll give you some peace and quiet by going outside, but most of the time they want to stay inside and play.

If this is you, it doesn’t have to be. There are some great ways you can make your backyard the perfect place to play in the snow, like these two DIY projects kids will love.

Ice Rink

You can do this fairly easily on your own, and it’s much safer than letting your kids go out on a pond away from home that could potentially break when the temperatures suddenly rise. You’ll need:


A leveling material

White tarp or liner

Lumber or PVC pipe for bracing

Running water, preferably an outside source

First off, you’ll want to clear away the snow with a shovel, and then level the ground. You can use gravel to level any slope in your yard.

Next, create your braces by hooking together PVC pipes in a circle or connecting large pieces of lumber. Railroad ties are great for this.

Finally, lay down your tarp. You’ll want to secure it somehow to the brace you’ve made so that no water spills out.

Fill it with water, freeze, and it’s ready to go!

Sledding Hill

If you want your kids to have a safe environment to go sledding, you should build them a sledding hill right in your backyard. You’ll need:


Dirt and gravel

Snow (of course!)

Sleds (for testing!)

First, you’ll want to clear away the snow with your shovels.

Then, call in a professional to pour a small mound of a dirt and gravel mixture onto the spot. You’ll want to even it out so that it creates a nice wide hill.

Let sit overnight or several days until it freezes. This will serve as a foundation for your hill so that it will stay sturdy even when the snow is powdery or sparse.

When the mound is good and frozen, heap snow all around it and pack it down—the more the better!

Pull out your sleds and give it a test run! If you ever see the mound peaking through, reapply snow liberally.

This may not keep your kids occupied the whole day, but it will certainly give them a reason to get outside a little more often. And who knows? Maybe this winter fun will inspire more outside activities like igloo and snowman building. It’s a great way to encourage exercise and time away from electronics.