Winter Challenge 2022 Activity Blog

❄️ 2023 Activity Guide available here ❄️

Looking for winter activities to help you get outside?

Every day throughout the #TMOWinterChallenge, we’ll be suggesting different Olympic- and nature-themed activities to join in with your class. We hope this inspires you to try something new, get creative, and get outside! And the more you go outside, the better prizes you can win as a bonus!

Remember to share what you got up to on social media, submit your photos to our gallery, or email us at …and most importantly, have fun!

Just getting started? Check out some reasons why outdoor play is so beneficial for children (year-round!), and tips from teachers on how to best prepare for safe and fun outdoor learning in the winter.

❄️Mon Feb 14th:

Seasonal sit spots

Begin the winter challenge by getting acquainted with a special outdoor spot nearby. There’s no “right or wrong” way to choose or conduct your sit spot, as long as the spot is visited regularly and with a sense of awareness and observation. Try this guide from Wildsight to get started.

You can choose a spot as a class, or students may choose their own individually. Incorporating journaling, art, or mindfulness activities could be an additional component to your regular sit spot.

Additional resource: Winter sit spot prompts” from Wildsight

❄️Tues Feb 15th:

Do You Want To Build An *Olympic* Snowman?

Building snowmen is a quintessential snowy weather activity, and is a fun way to get outdoors and stay moving while also being creative.

This year, add a fun twist: Design your snowman after a famous Olympian – past or present… or even a whole team if you’re feeling ambitious!

Don’t have snow where you are? Use foraged outdoor items to build a 2d snowman on the ground! 

We can’t wait to see what you create!

Additional resource:Top 5 books on snowmen for outdoor learning” from Outdoor Learning Hub

❄️Wed Feb 16th

Not All Birds Fly South

Who are your local avian neighbours this season? Ever wonder why some birds stay during the winters, and others migrate south? Head outdoors to go birdwatching and get to know who’s who!

Consider using this checklist with your students:

  • Description or image of bird
  • Colour 
  • Size
  • Sound description – remember birds can have different types of calls for warnings, songs, and mating season!

Need to keep track of your observations? eBird Canada is a website and app designed to encourage citizen science for this very purpose!

There are many resources to use as you go on birding adventures. You could invest in a guidebook, or explore the activities, lesson plans, and citizen science opportunities for schools at Bird Canada.

Teaching virtually? Check out the Cornell Lab’s live bird cams to watch a variety of species across North America.

Follow up questions to explore with students:

  1. Why do some birds migrate, while others stay in cold climates?
  2. What do these non-migratory birds need to survive in cold weather? 
  3. How might climate change affect the migratory patterns of birds?

Additional resources:

❄️Thurs Feb 17th

Cheer on the Canadian Athletes at the Winter Olympics

Remember when we interviewed a panel of Olympic athletes for TMO Day in October 2021? TWO of those athletes have been competing in the 2022 Winter Olympics: Megan Bankes and Mark Arendz!

Go back and check it out to get into the competitive spirit while understanding the importance of mental and physical health. Click here to watch.

Follow up questions: 

  • Who did you relate the most to and why?
  • How do the athletes practice mental health? Give examples.
  • What was their experience like in the Olympics?
  • Which winter sport is your favourite and why?

Next, create a class encouragement or congratulatory video or picture collage for the 2022 Olympic athletes! Use the hashtag #TMOWinterChallenge if you would like to post this on social media. We would love to see what you create! If you would like to create a collage without student faces involved, try using signs only.

Additional resources:

❄️Fri Feb 18th

Winteresque Drawings

What do you like most, or find most beautiful, about being outdoors in the winter? Draw a “winteresque” picture of the outdoors with students! Encourage participants to use all of their senses and focus on what makes winter special compared to the other seasons.

Go for a walk outside or repeat the sit spot activity from the beginning of the week (what has changed?), then return to class to create! Use crayons, pencil crayons, paint, or any other medium that inspires you. 

And while you’re at it, send in your art to our postcard contest for a chance to win a prize and a free set for your class!

Additional ideas:

❄️Mon Feb 21st

Family Day Activities

We expect most of you won’t be in class on the stat holiday today! Leading up to family day,  students can explore the outdoors and forage items that make them think of the idea of family.

Ask students to participate in a show and tell, or simply have them write a reflection on how that item represents “family” to them.

Guiding Ideas:

  • Look for an item that has a hard exterior to represent strength (eg. rock)
  • Look for an item that has multiple layers to represent complexity (eg. pinecone)
  • Look for an item that is simple to represent relaxation (eg. icicle) 
  • Look for items grouped together to represent a collective (eg. plant seed head)

Additional resources:

❄️Tues Feb 22nd

The Olympics are Over, but the Games Continue!

Did you know there is also an event called the Arctic Winter Games? This biennial competition, which began in 1970, is similar to the Olympic Games in promoting sport, social exchange, and cultures across many different nationalities, which generally border the Arctic Ocean to participate.

Although the 2022 Arctic Winter Games have been rescheduled to 2023, that won’t stop us from sharing some of the sports featured there!

Dene Games, which are part of the Arctic Winter Games, were originally used to prepare Dene people for hunting and fishing seasons, as well as for entertainment.

Head outside, and try some of the Dene games out with your class! Choose from Stick Pull, Snow Snake, Pole Push, Hand Games, or Finger Pull.

Additional resources:

❄️Wed Feb 23rd

Footprints in the Snow

The snow provides a great opportunity to notice who we share our space with, even if we don’t actually see them! By simply looking at the footprints they leave, we can tell which animals are around us. Take time to get acquainted with local animal’s footprints before going outside on a scavenger hunt.

You can either create a checklist of the various footprints you may find in your area, or go outside to document what you find, and solve the mystery later! It could be anything from raccoons, deer, foxes or more domesticated animals like cats and dogs… let us know what you find!

And don’t forget to include “footprints” of ice, leaves, or other non living objects on your checklist too.

Additional resources:

❄️Thurs Feb 24th

Animal Olympics

Create a competition between winter animals. Which adaptions would make them the most resilient in the outdoors? Who would you award the gold medal to and why?

Try compiling a list winter animals and evaluate their resiliency to the cold. An example list could be:

  • Polar bear
  • Black-faced Chickadee
  • Caribou
  • Lynx
  • Wood frog
  • Arctic fox


  • Where do they live?
  • Do they have fur, hair, feathers…?
  • What do they eat? And who eats them?
  • Do they hibernate?

Now play the survival game! Players are separated into categories such as herbivore, omnivore, and carnivore, and given a certain number of lives. Who will persevere?!

Additional resources:

❄️Fri Feb 25th

International Games

The Olympics bring together competitors from around the globe, showing off their elite athletic skills on the world stage. But which games are being left out?

We felt inspired by the free International Games resource developed by Active for Life, and want to encourage all students to share games from their own culture – or research somewhere new! And after learning more, head outside to try them all out! There are so many ways people around the world have fun, compete, and stay active.

Additional resource: Another free offering from Active for Life to keep you moving: “Move and Play Through Winter, Eh?

❄️Mon Feb 28th


Thank you for participating in Take Me Outside’s 2022 Winter Challenge! Make sure to upload any photos or videos you haven’t yet onto social media using the hashtag #TMOWinterChallenge. Alternatively, you can use our photo upload form on the challenge webpage or email us at

Today, we suggest heading back to your sit spot (remember that activity way back on Feb 14th?) and take some time to reflect on the past couple of weeks. March begins tomorrow, and along with that comes the promise of spring. What signs do you notice that the seasons are changing?

One practice of reflection you can try is called “Rose, Thorn, and Bud“. Roses are highlights, successes, or notes of positivity. Thorns are challenges, hurdles to overcome, or areas where one needs support. Buds are things to look forward to, and areas of excitement.

Lastly, we’ll be launching a feedback survey (stay tuned) and would greatly appreciate your contribution in helping improve the Winter Challenge for years to come. Those who complete the form will be entered to win a prize, and we hope this extends our feelings of gratitude towards your participation, enthusiasm, and dedication to outdoor learning in your community.