Snowmen and snowball fights have fun!

Traditional snowball fights and original snowmen: have fun!

Once it's past closing time for the ski lifts, you might want to hang around outside for a while; the kids will sleep even better tonight. So, whether you're having a snowball fight or building a snowman, take off your ski boots, put on your après-skis and... "kids, wait for me!".


We've got snow and that's already satisfying. And, because we're staying positive, we're already looking forward to the top of the chairlift (which will be open, yes, yes), admiring the scenery while nibbling on a chocolate bar. But before or after skiing, there's plenty to do in the snow without ski lifts.
No, I'm not going to introduce you to Yukigassen (go and have a look, it's pro practice: it's almost scary), but even (and especially) with kids, snowball fights are sport! And a complete sport, if you please: cardio, strength, precision, strategy... With the weight (the "ballast") of the ski suit, the après-skis and the coat, the runs in 30 cm of powder made me suffer more than the Trail Côte d'Opale®...
But it was all fun and laughter!


Prepare for a snowball fight!

Well, you rarely plan a snowball fight; in fact, it's more often a snowman build that gets out of hand. My little piece of advice: start with the fight to avoid tears if the snowman suffers collateral damage from the battle.

So to have a snowball fight, you need snow and a pair of gloves. Yes, you were right to come and read this tip. Sorry, I'll keep going. So, as well as snow and gloves, you'll need to bring a scarf or hood, because snow sliding down your neck is unpleasant (sorry to bring back this good memory). A little tip for encouraging kids to wrap up warm: tell them that their ski suit and jacket will cushion the impact of the balls coming their way.

Then you need some land. You know what I mean: big enough, with snow that's not too hard, no gravel or pebbles, and a few hiding places. And if you have an abundance of snow, you can even improvise building defensive snow walls.

Finally, a few rules are in order. Saying that, the only one you'll manage to get heard at first is "NOT THE HEEEEEEEEEEEAAAD!". Then you can suggest others. But first...


Here's how to make a great snowball

I asked Fiona, product engineer for ball sports (yes, we take this very seriously). The secret: sphericity and a "heavier" core.

Sphericity is what keeps your shot accurate and your projectile on course. If the ball is more ovoid, it will curve and inevitably miss your target... Or maybe you did it on purpose to hit your opponent by going around the tree they were hiding behind. But in this case, we're no longer playing for the same side... And we’d love a video.

Next, the "heavier" core (and I stand by the inverted commas: no, don't put a pebble in the middle of your ball): you can pack the snow into the centre of the ball which will give it a little more speed while keeping a "softer" overlay to make it easier to grip.

And as with a handball, be careful with the size: avoid snowballs that are too big and impossible to throw accurately.


And how do you throw a snowball?

To advise us, our expert Fiona invites us to take inspiration from the different handball shots.


The "free kick"

To do this, cock your arm and build up momentum like a catapult. This is the most precise shot. You can add a jump before the shot to impress your opponent, but in that case, think about your support foot (yes, it's technical).

The lob

The lob is very useful if you're trying to hit an opponent hiding behind a low wall. You lose precision, and speed too, but the surprise will have its effect. And if you're a (future) handball pro, replace a direct shot at an unarmed opponent with a chabala; it'll be an even bigger surprise and you'll come out all the better for it.

The hip shot

The hip shot, on the other hand, is unexpected. It's also very effective because it's so quick. Master it, and you'll become the master of the game!

The spin shot

Finally, the spin shot lets you hit your opponent hidden behind a tree by applying an effect to the ball as it bounces off the ground... Oh, no, sorry, it's impossible to do that (yes, this point is a poorly-concealed challenge. Want to volunteer?).


Some examples of snowball fights and their rules

Before we go into the rules for each game, there's one golden rule that applies when you pick up your snowball: the head is forbidden. Strictly forbidden. In fact, if you hit your head, you'll lose one point or be banned from shooting back for 1 minute. It's all there in black and white, so there's no point trying to confuse the referee with made-up rules: you've been warned and will be unstoppable! Cheaters and bad players, the end of corruption has come!


The fight

The good old fight? You've probably heard of it. Yes you have, two teams (or even more) go head to head. Hiding places are allowed (but sometimes you have to get out), and players try to hit each other... But don't forget, we said “not the head”!

The death match

The death match (geeks and gamers go to the next paragraph, you know about this already). The aim of the game is simple: each player plays for themself, in other words, no team, no alliance, each player for themself! The match also promises to be intense as every six minutes (but it can be more) it will be decided which attacker has hit the most players... Referee, you're going to have to count fast.

Capture the flag

Capture the flag is a game of skill and strategy in which you are both attacker and defender: two opposing camps are separated by a central line drawn in the snow to demarcate their respective ground. When you are in your camp, you are safe.

Each clan has a flag that the opposing team must try to take. When an opponent crosses the border and enters your camp, you can start aiming your snowballs at them. If you hit them, they become your prisoners. To free them, a member of their team must tap their hand without being hit, otherwise they become prisoners in their turn. If a player manages to take the opposing flag, they must then take it back to their camp without being hit. If a snowball hits them on the way, they have to leave the flag where they were hit and become a prisoner of the enemy clan!

In short, you’ve understood, you've got to grab the opposing team's flag and take it back to your own army to win the game, while saving your own flag. Attack!

Duel match

Duel match is the game for small groups because it's played by two players. The two players face off with snowballs (the head remains forbidden), and the player who is hit four times loses the game.

Target shooting

Target shooting is the perfect game when everyone's tired of getting snowballs in the head (although we did say "not the head", didn't we?). The rule: count the number of time each player hits the target. What target? Doesn't matter: a tree, a wall, grandpa... No, not the dog.


Have the kids run out of energy to throw even a pine cone at each other? Now's the time to get to work making a pyramid of snowballs (you could always try a tower, but hey...): we trust you to make it as tall and majestic as possible.
And now that you're all warmed up and to calm everyone down, we've got a snowman activity for you! Yes, it's better at the end... There'll be less energy to face little sister in an unwanted game of “Bouli” catch.


How about making the most stylish snowman in the resort?

No, we're not going to teach you how to make a snowman (we wouldn't dare question your talent). But we did wonder how we could change the way we make snowmen, to make them even more unique... So we asked Vitor and Laura to share some of their inspiration with us.

Vitor’s Baby Yoda snowman

Vitor is the father of a "little otter", as he calls her. He's also communications manager at Pongori, and comes to us straight from Brazil, so he knows a thing or two about snow (!). A Lucas fan, he's also very fond of the Star Wars series. You'll have guessed it after a quick look at the snowmen he's invented.

First there's Baby Yoda, on the left, lovingly made from snow (that is), two big green leaves to make cute ears, seeds for eyes and a scarf, because "without a scarf, you'll be cold".

The second character is inspired by The Mandalorian, a series that Vitor got through in a week! His snowman, aka Snowdalorian, is made from a bucket for his helmet and a metal tray placed on his chest, to which he has glued a red pot lid, a yellow bottle cap, a remote control (stolen from his parents, preferably broken) and seeds or buttons. On the bucket, Vitor used a black marker to draw the slot for the helmet, and a cotton bud for the antenna.


without a scarf, you’ll be cold, Snowdalorian.

Laura’s Totobrrr snowman

Laura is artistic director and unicorn at Nature Hiking: she loves looking at the clouds, enjoying good food and doing sport.

For her snowman, she chose Totoro, "because it's a character from my childhood, and you need a round character for a snowman, so it works well". For her snowy Totoro, renamed Totobrrrr, Laura has used two buttons for the eyes and another for the mouth, two matches for the nose, six twigs for the little whiskers, a scarf to keep out the cold, and a touch of greenery (like a big cabbage leaf, for example) on which you can even put some seeds to attract the birds.

Which snowman will inspire you?


You need a round character for a snowman, so it works well.


With snowball fights, projectile making, throwing techniques, special rules and a good dose of snowman inspiration, you'll be better prepared than ever to have fun in the snow!
And writing all this down has made me want to get started too! Ski lifts or not, I can't wait!

Snowmen and snowball fights have fun!

Thomas schouteeten

Target and father of two snow warriors, and comms manager between two snowball fights.


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