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Play These Fun Winter Games

February is no time to stay inside!

snow snakes
Photo by Sara Russell

Take advantage of the snow to play these games you can’t enjoy any other time of year.

Snow Snake

Snow snake is a game originally enjoy by woodland tribes like the Oneida, Ojibway, and Haudenosaunee (Iroquois). The games were traditionally played when men came back from hunting trips and they were intense, fun games of skill. The men would carve long flat sticks and paint them to look like snakes. Long trenches were dug in the snow. Then the games began. With a sideways toss, the men would throw their snakes down the channel. The furthest snake won! Snakes were known to travel a couple miles – talk about an amazing feat!

Make your own version!

  1. Find smooth sticks or dowel rods about two feet long (three to five per player).

  2. Paint or color the sticks to look like a snake.

  3. Dig an alley in snow that is at least 12 feet long. Hint: start it on top of a hill or create a ramp at the beginning.

  4. Throw your snakes head first down the alley. Who makes it the furthest?

What if there’s no snow?

Use pinecones to mark a target area and toss your snow snakes. Closest snake wins!

Fox and Goose

Snow makes wonderful paths – and they’re all up to your imagination! In this version of tag the predator (the fox) follows paths made in snow to try to catch dinner (the geese). But don’t step out of the snow path or you lose!

  1. Make the paths before the game begins. Make sure to include lots of twists and turns to make it more interesting.

  2. Pick one person to be the fox. Everyone else plays the geese.

  3. Fox gives geese a 10-second head start.

  4. Everyone MUST stay on the paths. The fox can jump between paths, but if she misses, the fox has to start all over again.

  5. The goal is for the fox to tag a goose. This former goose now becomes the fox and the fun starts all over again!

What if there’s no snow?

Fox and Goose is just one version of tag. Play fox and goose tag, or fox and goose freeze tag, or fox and goose flashlight tag. Designate something – carpet squares or rags or branches – as the only places the fox and geese can walk on and play lava fox and goose tag.

The possibilities are endless!


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