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If you've got kids, you'll definitely need to have some indoor activities in your back pocket for the cold season. But that doesn't mean you can't still have fun outside. Children's eyes light up when they see the first snowfall of the year, and aside from proper snow gear, you might want to have some toys on hand.
Here, the best snow toys available online.
Best Inflatable Tube: L.L.Bean Sonic Snow Tube
Tubing is a classic wintertime activity for kids, and inflatable snow tubes have come a long way from actual inner tubes for truck tires. The Sonic Snow Tube from L.L.Bean has a special semi-rigid injection-molded polyethylene base and a 600-denier polyester cover. What do all these technical terms mean? Simply put, this tube slides effortlessly downhill in packed or powdered snow and holds up remarkably well against abrasion, rips, tears, punctures, and pops.
Since it was initially designed for commercial use at snow-tubing parks in -40° F weather, you shouldn't have to replace the Sonic Snow Tube for several years. It comes in two sizes, regular (34-inch diameter) and extra-large (40-inch diameter). The regular size is perfect for solo sledding for kids 5 and older, and the extra-large is ideal for tandem rides. With attached handles and a built-in tow strap, it's easy to grip and carry back uphill.
Best Snowman Decorating Kit: TOYMYTOY Snowman Decorating Kit
Snowman building is another timeless snow day activity, and decorations really put the cherry—or shall we say carrot?—on top. For an affordable snowman set, we recommend the TOYMYTOY Snowman Decorating Kit. This 15-piece set comes with eyes, a mouth, a carrot nose, buttons, arms, a red scarf, and a top hat. The materials are made of wood, plastic, and felt and are durable enough to use for several years. They're easy to stick on your snowman, and you can expect them to stay on until it melts.
Building a snowman is almost a right of passage for kids, and it's a wonderful yearly family tradition. It's a great way to get children of all ages involved in an outdoor activity and encourages them to use their imaginations. This decorating kit really makes it all the more magical, allowing your kids to admire their creation for days to come.
Best Snow Paint: Ideal Sno Art Kit Kids Outdoor Snow Activity
If your children love to draw or color, why not take it outdoors? Snow painting is a more contemporary winter activity that both kids and adults can get into. And the best snow paint on the market is the Ideal Sno-Art Kit. It comes with three Sno-Marker bottles, three color packets, and two Sno-Molds. Upon mixing the color packets into the squeeze bottles with warm water, the Sno-Markers are ready to go.
The vibrant red, green, and blue colors stand out brilliantly in the snow, allowing your kids to draw and write to their heart's content. And they can press the snowman and star molds into the snow to make paintable 3D artwork. Since the Sno-Markers have twist-off caps, they can be used more than once, and flip-up nozzles help you avoid leaks and spills. While the paint is safe and non-toxic, this paint set is recommended for kids 5 and up.
Best Snow Castle Toy: Create A Castle Sand or Snow Castle Split Mold Set
Most people are familiar with sandcastles, but building a medieval fortress doesn't have to be strictly a beach activity. With the Sand or Snow Castle Split Mold Set from Create A Castle, all you need to construct a palace is a pile of snow. Recommended for ages 6 and up, this kit comes with three tower molds. You latch the molds together, pack them with snow, and then unlatch them to reveal the perfect castle.
The molds can be stacked on top of each other, allowing you to build towering creations. It also comes with three precision tools for carving out roads, moats, stairwells, windows, archways—you name it. Winner of the 2020 Toy of the Year Awards, the Snow Castle Split Mold Set helps you build professional-looking palaces and cities in the snow. It encourages kids to use their fine motor skills, spatial reasoning, and most of all, their imagination. The pieces are made of durable plastic with stainless steel latches to endure both hot and icy-cold climates.
Best Snowball Maker: Hey! Play! Snowball Maker Tool
Snowball fights are a great way to get some exercise during the winter—especially if your family appreciates a little friendly competition. With the Hey! Play! Snowball Maker Tool, you can take your showdown to the next level. This simple yet effective tool allows you to create the perfect snowball within seconds, so you can quickly get your ammo ready for battle. Plus, you can avoid getting your hands and fingers cold while packing snowballs.
The Snowball Maker Tool is 15 inches long and makes 3-inch snowballs. You'll get a set of two snowball makers—give one to each side or keep both for your team—each with a round mold and a long handle. Just scoop up some snow, clamp down the handle, then release to reveal a perfected packed snowball. Let the games begin! This snowball maker isn't just for snow, either. It can be used year-round to make sand art at the beach or even DIY bath bombs.
Best Snowshoes: Airhead Monsta Trax Snowshoes
A good pair of snowshoes really opens up the doors to wintertime adventures, and the Airhead Monsta Trax Kids Snowshoes are some of the most fun options on the market. At 14.5 inches long, they work best for kids up to 80 pounds. With adjustable bindings, they're easy for kids to slip on and off—even while wearing gloves or mittens.
These snowshoes have a high-impact polymer construction that provides impressive support in the snow. They can be worn on both flat and hilly terrains while walking uphill or downhill, and leave a fun bear paw print that kids will love.
Best Snowball Slingshot: TOPRADE Water Balloon Slingshot Cannon Launcher
Speaking of snowball fights, you can really take things up a notch with the TOPRADE Water Balloon Slingshot Cannon Launcher. Don't let the name fool you—this all-purpose slingshot can hurl more than just water balloons. It can be used to launch any soft or semi-soft materials, like nerf balls, t-shirts, and of course, snowballs.
With soft foam handles and super-elastic rubber, it's easy to pull for both adults and kids. Not only that, but it's made for long-distance launching and can hurl snowballs astonishingly far. With three people, two can hold the front while the third pulls back the snowball for a powerful shot. For solo launches, you can lay down and hold the ends with your feet while pulling the snowball back with your hands. In any case, you'll be glad to have this slingshot when it's time to strike.
Best Sled: Lucky Bums Kids Plastic Snow Sled
What's a collection of snow toys without a sled? The Lucky Bums Kids Plastic Snow Sled is a budget-friendly pick with a slick toboggan design for kids between 3 and 15. It's made of heavy-duty plastic that's treated for below-freezing temps with built-in handles for easy steering. The attached rope can also be used for steering and hauling it back uphill.
With grooves molded into the plastic, this Lucky Bums snow sled is built for speed and effortless downhill gliding. It comes in three colors (red, blue, or pink) and two lengths (35 or 48 inches), which can safely accommodate one or two riders, respectively. Designed for heavy use, you can count on this toboggan for hundreds of trips down the slope and endless fun with your family. Its dependability is even backed by a limited lifetime manufacturer's warranty.