Let it Snow With These Great Geeky Winter Toys

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Just because I grew up in California doesn’t mean I can’t imagine how great it would have been to play in the snow all the time. I mean, we had sand, but throwing a sandball at your friends usually meant big trouble. The only thing around to rinse a big gritty batch of sand out of your stinging eyes and nose was saltwater, which was problematic in itself. Throwing a snowball, however, is a strongly encouraged and much less painful, so I can see where all you winter-lovers are coming from.

So that got me thinking – how do snow kids play with snow? We’ve covered about the only thing I can come up with, which is molding and chucking a snowball at someone. Since I moved to Canada, I’ve tried this a few times, but these Canadians have years of experience on me. Their resulting barrage of perfectly exploding snowballs makes me give up every time.

So like any good geek, I took it to the Internet. What can you show me about playing in the snow, Google? As it turns out, there are a lot of things I wasn’t thinking of. First of all, snow forts. When I first moved here, my dad told me all about how he used to build snow forts with his friends in Illinois once the plow trucks had plodded by, dumping mounds of snow in the gutters and sidewalks. “What if the thing collapsed on you?” I asked, trying to imagine my much younger and tinier father digging to the center of his bunker. “Who cares? Snowfort.”

So apparently, the attitude surrounding snow dangers melts when it comes into contact with any type of snow fun. As it turns out, snow forts are still a really big part of playing outside in the winter. They come premade now, sometimes even with inflatable shields to help defend your castle from all those frozen airborne projectiles.

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Of course, there’s always the old way of doing it brick by brick (or scoop by scoop), but why not use a snow brick mold?

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And speaking of digging, your kids are probably going to need a shovel if they’re going to get anywhere with all that snow. You can get a big plastic shovel just about anywhere, but if that spade has measurements for figuring out how big things are or how deep your hole is on the handle, you just added a learning element to playtime. Point those kids and their educational shovels toward the snowy driveway and you’ve just won multitasking parent of the year.

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And of course, let’s not forget sledding. When you’re a kid, your need for speed is voracious. Slap a sled in that kid’s hand, point him to a hill, and you just burned a whole afternoon while making a very happy, very tired child.

Because we are who we are, we couldn’t help but find a great Marvel disc sled. Comic book fiends have to go outside sometimes, even in the winter.

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If your kids don’t enjoy snowball shaped bruises all over their torso or making snow bricks until their arms burn, there’s still a ton of snow fun to be had. Ever see a weird track in the snow? Of course you have. Ever made a weird track in the snow? With these clever stompers, your kids can snowshoe around with glee at their odd dino and animal tracks.

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And let’s not forget the perennial winter activity: building a snowman. If your kids are tired of making the traditional Frosty-style tri-torso guy, challenge them to create other kinds of snow-things, like dinos. This dinosaur building kit will certainly help your kids tell the neighborhood where the nerdy family lives.

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Are these toys failing to bring the science to the yard? If you’re the kind of parent who feels that hands on physics is an all-season activity, there’s no better project for you to do with your kids than to build your own snow catapult.

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Header image AT-AT snow kids via Technabob

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