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Top Ten Snow Games

There's a distinctly frosty feel to the weather, and some parts of Britain have already experienced their first flurries of snow. If you haven't already bought a toboggan, check out our buyer's guide to sledges.

Here at Wicken we love to play outdoors no matter what the weather, so here's our top tips for playing in the white stuff.

1. Capture The Flag The aim of the game is to capture the opposing team's flag while defending your own. It's a lot like paintball, but without the need for protective goggles, or the brief shooting agony of being struck by a tiny colour-loaded pellet.

Split into two teams. Each team needs to build a snow wall / fortress to protect their flag within a specified time. If you don't have a flag, an old brightly coloured t-shirt or towel will suffice. When battle commences players need to knock their opponents out of the game by hitting them with a snow ball, while trying to capture their flag from their fortress.

2. Snow Slide Simple, fun, but very, very cold. Pile the snow up at the bottom of your garden slide and plough straight into it.

3. Snow House Use a rectangular washing-up bowl to make snow bricks, then stack them to make a snow house.

4. Indoor Snow Fun Little ones may not enjoy being out in the cold for long, so bring the snow indoors. Fill a water play table with snow for making miniature snowmen.

5. Snow Castles Anything you can do with sand is also possible with snow. Dig out your summer buckets and spades and build a town of snow castles.

6. Snow Art Add some food colouring or non-toxic water based paint to a sports water bottle, and you can paint pictures in the snow. Great for writing names, drawing pictures and decorating snowmen.

7. Treasure Hunt Make sure your 'treasure'is something that will be easily retrieved when the snow melts, just in case the children are unable to discover the buried treasure. Hide some trinkets in the garden, under the snow, then draw up a treasure map to help the children find it.

8. Target Practice Use some chalk to draw a target on your wall, allocate each circle with a points value, then throw snowballs to see who has got the best aim.

9. Add Water Beads Water beads are tiny pellets that absorb water to form gel-like balls. They are used by gardeners as the beads slowly release their retained water back into the soil. They are non-toxic and safe to leave scattered all over the garden, making them perfect for adding to the snow in your back garden. Make trails to follow, hide them, or even make pictures from them. They take a few hours to grow, so it's best to soak a packet overnight.

10. Tobogganing Of course no play session in the snow would be complete without a toboggan race, or sledging down a hill.

The best thing about playing in the cold snow, is warming up afterwards. Leave blankets to warm on the radiator, and enjoy snuggling up with a mug of hot chocolate to thaw out.

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