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February 28, 2013

Newspaper Snowball Fight - Homemade Gross Motor Game for Kids

Living in San Diego we don't get to experience snow in the winter.  I'm not complaining.  I don't like cold weather.  My boys love to play outside every day and stay active.  They love running around and playing, and I love knowing that they are developing gross motor skills and staying healthy.

Before spring arrives signally winter's end, I decided to create some homemade snowballs to give my boys a little fake snow play without having to get cold.  

Newspaper snowballs are so easy to make!  I spent less than an hour on the couch watching TV while scrunching newspaper into ball shapes.  My mom made these in her classroom when she taught Motor Development for preschool and kindergarten.  Since she used the snowballs over and over, she used a strip of masking tape around each ball to keep it secure.  I didn't take the extra step, since I knew we wouldn't keep them for long.

For added fun I set up a couple of barricades for the kids to hide behind.  I covered our soccer goal with a dollar tree shower curtain.

I covered our sensory bin table with a comforter.  

The complete set up looked like this:

I knew my boys (ages 5, 3, and 19 month old twins) would love this activity, and I was sure many of our friends would as well!  I invited our playgroup over to join in the fun.

The kids didn't need much prompting to jump in and start throwing newspaper snowballs!

Some of the parents joined in the fun, too!  (I didn't get any photos of the parents.  I was too busy capturing the adorable expressions of the kids.)

There weren't any rules other than having a designated snowball fight area and a designated snowball free zone for kids who didn't want to get hit.  Other than that, the kids were free to play as they desired.  The newspaper snowballs are soft and don't hurt upon contact.

I loved watching the little guys get involved, too.  Peanut (19 months) just plopped down in the middle of the snowball fight.  He loved watching and being close, but he didn't try to throw any snowballs.

This little guy played the longest.  As fast as him mom could gather snowballs he threw them.

JZ (5) was really in his element.  He always asks us to wrestle and chase him, and this gross motor game was his ideal kind of fun.

This sweet girl was so adorable, gathering as many snowballs as her little arms could hold.

For more ideas for keeping kids active and gross motor development, follow my Motor Development board on Pinterest.

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When the playdate was over, clean up was a breeze!  All four of my boys helped toss the newspaper snowballs into the recycle bin.

Other gross motor fun we've had:

Click the images below for more ideas for play dates:

Play Dates with Pool Noodles   Play Dates with Kool Aid


  1. This actually looks like more fun than playing with real snow - which I am tired of! :)

  2. Looks like a lot of fun for everyone, thanks for adding this to the outdoor play party this week too.

  3. I love this, it would make a great birthday party game too and I am looking at some fun crafty afternoon games for our holiday guests, this would be perfect using the recycling bins. Thanks for a great idea!

  4. This looks like so much fun! and without all the bundling up for freezing weather! Thanks for sharing at the After School Link Up.

  5. I LOVE this idea especially because we don't have snow either here in Central TX. I might have to steal some newspapers out of a neighbors' recycling bin for this. ;)

    And so great that you got this idea from your mom.

  6. This is brilliant! We still have lots of snow so we'll have to wait for summer to give this a go.

  7. Looks like they had an absolute ball! Featuring this on Tuesday tOTS this week :D

  8. This is so so so so so our kind of play! I'll be featuring your post as part of my Ways To Have Happy Kids roundup from the Weekly Kids' Co-op. Thanks for sharing. xoxo P

  9. you just get regular newspaper and scrunch them up in balls? Nothing in the center?

  10. This is a real reminder of how popular the simplest ideas are with little ones. I have never thought to do this, but I remember how my boys loved scrunching and throwing wrapping paper around at Christmas and birthdays. They would have loved this!


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