Well we had our first snowfalls the last couple of days here in the Rockies and, though enough did not fall to make a snowman, my grandkids wanted to go and play our in the snow. Snow toys can be expensive especially now around Christmas. We have found that there are a lot of toys that you can make yourself or that you have lying around that can be used to play in the snow.
I save everything (just ask my husband) because I love to recycle and I never know when something will come in handy. My grandsons made up a game that was very fun and was challenging but every one could play. I had a bunch of those leftover squeeze catsup bottles. I always intended on refilling them but it always seemed this summer that I was so busy so I just grabbed another at the store. We filled the bottles with colored water and my grandsons made a target in the snow and had a blast shooting it with the colored water.
My grand kids love to take my plastic ware outside so they have a variety of things to make different shapes with. They used old margarine containers to scoop up snow to make bigger targets. They have also used these to pack snow into to make walls for snow ball fights. They hide behind them. We have also recycled the plastic boxes that came with Velveeta for making rectangle sized bricks for building things with.
I love to get my grandkids out in the out of doors for some time in the winter. It lets them work off some of that wild energy that they seem to build up. We have snowman building contests. In the fall I always gather up some pinecones that I leave on my front porch for the purpose of snowman building. They have a ready supply of noses and eyes. They also have used pinecones for hair and necklaces on Mrs. Frosty. We also have contests to see who can roll the biggest snowball. We have done this in parks or in our own front yard.
Last year when we found out that all of our plastic sleds had been stolen, we used the lids from the very large tubs as sleds. These worked really well and when our friends found out what we were using them for, a lot them donated their spare lids to us or gave them to their young grand children to use. Why is it that when you use plastic tubs for storage, it always seems like the tubs break but the lids never do? Any way it was great to use something that would have been thrown away to have a great days fun.
Snow tag is always fun and we play it somewhat like you would play flag football. I give them old socks to hang out of there pockets and they have to grab the sock. When they do that person is out. The guy with the most socks is the winner even if that person had their sock stolen and were out.
Of course my grandsons love to have snowball fights but we try to supervise them as much as possible with a few rules that are strictly adhered to. First, no packing snowballs into ice balls. No aiming for the face or head. No bombarding one person so they can't fight back, fighting fair is a great thing to teach children now days. The kids love to use our trash can lids as gladiator shields. I don't care as long as they put them back. We divide everyone in to teams and then they get to build there forts. Then the fun starts they get to try and take each others forts. We always let them stock their arsenal with about twenty pre-made snowballs and from then on it is make and throw. We have also found a great way to recycle those old campaign signs is let the kids use them on top of their forts for flags. They are light and easy to carry so our snowball fights are also a "capture the flag" type of thing.
We always celebrate the first snow fall by cutting out paper snowflakes and putting them on our big front window. I cut out some white snow drifts to tape to the bottom of the window and I usually put in a tree or two and then we tape the snowflakes on like they are falling down. This makes a great window display for the holidays. I also try to have a new to them book for them to read when it gets just too darn cold to play outside to read. We also watch the movie "Jack Frost" and have hot chocolate and popcorn.
I hope this gives you some great ideas on what to use for snow toys. Of course, as I sit here at my computer with the snow gently piling up outside, I wish for all of you to have a wonderful winter season!