“What kind of traditional snowshoes are slightly oval, offering good maneuverability around objects but lacking good tracking ability? A) Alaskan B) Ojibwa, C) Michigan, D) Bearpaw.” As kids huddle to discuss the question, they finally deliver the answer with confidence and vigor. “It’s D, Bearpaw!” I respond, “Correct; move ahead to your next color.”
Many years ago, while planning a family snowshoeing weekend course at a recreation facility, I had to create an indoor snowshoe activity to fill an evening program slot. Since most children (and many adults) enjoy board games, I made an indoor live snow game called the Snowshoe Shuffle. The game had a snowshoeing theme and assessed knowledge of snowshoeing learned earlier in the course.
To my surprise, children ages 5 to 10 were having loads of fun while evidencing mastery of snowshoeing terminology, concepts, and techniques as they answered multiple-choice questions with an exceedingly high degree of accuracy. But, this game doesn’t need to be just for kids. It can be for the whole family!
Snowshoe Shuffle Rules
Here is how this indoor snow game, the Snowshoe Shuffle, is played.
Fifty snowshoes (or cutouts in the shape of snowshoes) are laid out on the floor of a large room in the form of an “S.” Spaced between each of the snowshoes are two colored sheets of construction paper.
Then, create three to five teams. Each team has three or four members, depending on the number of kids playing. They select a team color. Colored sheets on the game floor are the same colors the teams chose. One of the kids carries a snowshoe with the team color attached, making that member a live game piece. Another team member rolls a large homemade die.
The game-piece child physically moves to the number of colored spaces indicated by the die. If landing on their team’s color, they draw a card and read a multiple-choice snowshoeing question. Then, after a discussion between all the kids on the team, they verbally answer.
If the question is correct, they move forward to their next team color and wait until their turn to roll the die again. If the answer is incorrect, the team moves back by one space. Should the rolling team land on a color other than their team’s color at any time during the game, they are not given a question and will remain there until it is their turn to roll the die again. The first team to cross the finish line and correctly answer one last question wins.
Read More: Let the Snowshoeing Games Begin! Ways to Play Games on Snowshoes
Materials for the Snowshoe Shuffle
Materials that are needed to make the Snowshoe Shuffle indoor snow game include:
- Fifty snowshoes – As an alternative, consider drawing a snowshoe on paper, making 50 copies, and cutting them out. In a good size room, form an “S” by placing the snowshoes about two feet apart (see photo);
- 100 sheets of 3 or 4 different colored 8 ½ X 11 construction paper – Place two sheets in between each snowshoe for live game-piece kids to stand during the game; The number of different colored sheets depends on the number of teams.
- Four sheets of white or black construction paper – Place two sheets together on each end of the “S” to identify a start and finish.
- 1 very large homemade die – Use a one-foot square box wrapped in white paper and glue 2-inch black dots on the box resembling dice.
- 25 or 30 3×5 cards – Have multiple-choice snowshoe and snowshoeing questions typed or printed on them. If you need inspiration for questions, check out our comprehensive First-Timer’s Guide.
- A single snowshoe for each live game-piece team member – Tape a colored sheet of construction paper onto the snowshoe representing the team’s color and have that person carry the snowshoe throughout the game.
Read More: Play Ball! On Snowshoes
Let’s Do The Snowshoe Shuffle
The sound of children cheering, laughing, and having fun is always music to my ears. But, if those sounds are a consequence of a meaningful learning activity related to my most enjoyed recreation of snowshoeing, I’d be happy.
Consider making the Snowshoe Shuffle an activity the next time you are looking for something exciting to do with a group of children indoors. Or make your own indoor snow game with some variation to the shuffle.
Indoor snowshoe games can provide educational value while offering a fun activity for children. In addition, it can enhance teamwork skills and create excitement for the sport, enticing them to get outdoors on snowshoes.
Go a step further with the Snowshoe Shuffle, create questions for teens and adults and play the game with an older population. It can be loads of fun.
“In what sport can you enjoy the outdoors during winter that involves a relaxing walk on snow? A) Skydiving, B) Deep Sea Fishing, C) Snowmobiling, or D) Snowshoeing.” Well, you get the picture.
Enjoy the game!
Would you play the Snowshoe Shuffle? Are there other indoor snow games that you enjoy? Please share your insights with us in the comments below.
This article was first published on December 18, 2005, and was most recently updated on January 20, 2022.
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