Barneblad: Winter sports… Inside

Photo: Dave Parker / Flickr This is what the store-bought version of Candyland looks like. If you make your own it can be something you like even better!

Photo: Dave Parker / Flickr
This is what the store-bought version of Candyland looks like. If you make your own it can be something you like even better!

Heidi Håvan Grosch
Sparbu, Norway

Imagine that it is cold and the wind is blowing. There’s a snowstorm outside and you can’t see very far. Inside it is warm and cozy. Perhaps you’re sitting in front of a fireplace or under a blanket with a cup of hot chocolate. It is winter in the North.

There is nothing better on a winter day than going outside and making snow forts, snowmen, or having snowball fights. Our cheeks get rosy red and our noses may sparkle like Rudolph’s. We slide and slip and roll around in the cold wetness. Maybe you even like to go sledding or skiing.

Sometimes it is nice to stay inside and play. There is a great game called “Candyland.” You follow a path, moving in colored squares by choosing a card with that same color. Sometimes you move one colored square, and sometimes you move two, depending on what the card tells you to do. If you meet a ladder or a bridge along the way connecting two squares on different parts of the board, you get to move up. If you meet a slide or an arrow connecting two squares, you need to move down. That’s it. The first one to the end of the path wins.

My Norwegian nephew is six, and he loves to play this game. In fact, he loves it so much he made his own! So now it is your turn.

For the board you need a piece of stiff paper or a piece of wood (we used an old white laminate shelf). Draw two squiggly lines next two each other. Draw straight lines between the squiggly lines and color the spaces different colors. Make cards with the same colors as the colors on the board.

You can choose a theme for your game, so how about winter sports instead of candy? Find pictures of different winter scenes or sports on the internet or in magazines and glue them onto your board. You can even glue pictures onto some of the squares, but make sure you glue the same picture onto one of the cards that the players will select. When you play your game, if you select a card with that picture, you have to move to that square on the board even if it means moving backwards.

For game pieces, we used old Lego characters from last year’s Lego Advent calendar. They are just the right size and fit in with the theme of winter sports. A homemade game would even be a great present for a grandparent to give a grandchild or a grandchild to give a grandparent this Christmas! Maybe you could even use winter scenes or winter sports from Norway to decorate your game.


Hot and Cold (Tampen brenner)
This is a fun game to play and would be a good way for you to practice your Norwegian. It’s a game often played in the winter in many parts of the world.

Hide an object somewhere in the room (no peeking by the other player!). Make sure everyone playing the game knows what you are hiding. When you are ready, the players start moving around the room. You say “varmere” (warmer) when the players are close to the object. You say “kaldere” (colder) when the players are getting farther away from the hidden object.


Another Norwegian version goes like this. One person hides an object (the person is called the hider or gjemmeren) while the others look away. Gjemmeren calls out “klart” (ready), and the players ask, “fugl, fisk eller midt i mellom?” (bird, fish, or right in the middle?). If the object is up high, the hider says “bird” or “fugl;” if it is down low, he or she says “fish” or “fisk.” If the object is hidden somewhere in between, the hider says “right in the middle” or “midt i mellom.” This version is then played the same way as the one above, with the players looking for the object and the hider saying they are warmer or colder. If the players are really close, the hider can say “very warm” or “kjempevarmt,” or “dere brenner dere nesten,” which means “you are almost on fire.”

Have fun with these indoor sports this winter!

This article is a part of Barneblad, a monthly feature by Heidi Håvan Grosch to share with kids and grandkids.

This article originally appeared in the Oct. 21, 2016, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.

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The Norwegian American is North America's oldest and only Norwegian newspaper, published since May 17, 1889.