The words ‘’snow day” are music to a kid’s ears. However, cabin fever can set in quickly, leaving parents (and kids) feeling stir crazy, dreaming of warmer days ahead. Rather than squandering the afternoon away on mindless TV programs or video games, check out these worthwhile activities on how to “seize the (snow) day” and make it a memorable one.
Bust out the baking pans. Let the kids help out in the kitchen. Make a batch of warm cookies or a comforting pot of soup to hit the spot on your cold day off. Keep essential baking ingredients on hand in case you get snowed in. Sweet cinnamon rolls or muffins are the perfect way to warm up on a snowy morning.
2. Get Outside
Braving the elements makes the day at home on a snow day more enjoyable. Head for the nearest hill for sledding or simply take a winter walk around the neighborhood.
3. Winter Scavenger Hunt
Make a winter scavenger hunt for your little ones to explore outside. The thrill of the hunt will motivate your little ones to get outside.
4. Build a Snow Fort
Dig out those beach toys! Sand buckets and shovels are perfect tools for building forts and castles on a snow day.
5. Build a Fort Indoors:
Temperatures too frigid? Grab some blankets, pillows, and chairs and construct your own fort inside. Perfect for snuggling in with a good book.
6. Have an Indoor Picnic
Who says picnics are just for sunny days? Make some sandwiches, lay a blanket out on your living room floor and gather round for a picnic lunch.
7. Suds Up
Bubble baths are the perfect way to entertain and contain little ones on days stuck inside. Whip up a batch of bath paint and let their inner artist out. Mix kid-friendly soap and cornstarch (2:1) in a large bowl. Portion out into smaller bowls and add food dye and stir. Grab some paint brushes and let your kid’s inner artist come out (while also getting them cleaned up). Everyone wins!
8. Paint Snow
After throwing snowballs and building snowmen have lost their luster, snow painting is a creative way to keep kids happy in the snow. Mix water and food coloring in a few different spray bottles and let the snow be their tapestry. Make a snowman and take it to the next level by painting him.
9. Create An Indoor Obstacle Course
Set up an indoor obstacle course to sneak in some exercise. They will love the challenge of having to complete each task (while burning some energy in the process). Get silly with your ideas (balance a book on your head, pretend to be a certain animal, do 5 jumping jacks, crab walk from one station to the next, balance a ball on a spoon). You get the idea. Change up difficulty depending on the age and level of your child.
10. Science Experiments
Just because school is closed, doesn’t mean they can’t learn. There are endless simple science experiments you can do with materials just in your kitchen. You know you want to make baking soda and vinegar volcanoes again! Try some of these ideas!
11. Go Camping
Pitch a tent and set up some sleeping bags and a lantern in your living room. This is sure to entertain them for a while.
12. Play Games
Dust off those board games for an afternoon of family fun.
13. Hold A Dance Party
Put on your favorite tunes and dance your sillies out.
14. Have A Special Storytime
Fill a basket of your favorite books and cozy up for story hour.
15. Catch Snowflakes
Catch snowflakes on a piece of dark construction paper and stick them in the freezer to save them.
16. Make A Snow-Cream Treat
Make a batch of delicious vanilla “snow” cream with two ingredients and a big bowl of freshly-fallen snow. Fill a large bowl with about 10-12 cups of snow. Spoon one teaspoon of vanilla onto the snow then drizzle a 10 ounce can of sweetened condensed milk over top. Mix (a wooden spoon works well) until combined. Add more snow if necessary until you get your desired consistency. Serve it up with your favorite ice cream toppings and pop leftovers in your freezer to save for later.
17. Make Maple Syrup Snow Candy
If snow ice cream was a hit in your household, try your hand at this tasty treat on a bed of freshly fallen snow. If temperatures are too frigid, you can bring a batch of snow inside. First pack down an area of snow. It needs to be nice and firm. Pour about a half cup of 100% pure maple syrup (not the artificial type) into a small pot and heat until boiling (it will start to bubble). If you have a candy thermometer, it should read 235-240 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove the pot from the heat and pour the syrup in lines on the snow. An adult should do this, as it is VERY hot. Press a popsicle stick or chopstick into the syrup and then as the syrup is cooling, roll it up around the stick. No sticks? You can also pour small puddles of syrup in the snow to make small bite-sized candies. Your little ones will love these maple syrup candy pops.
18. Make A Treat For the Birds
Your feathered friends will also much appreciate a tasty snack on snowy days. Make DIY bird treats or simply string cranberries, popcorn, and cereal on to fishing line for a garland to hang on trees to attract birds. Your kids will delight in some bird watching as they nibble on their homemade treat.
19. Blow Some Bubbles
Bubbles aren’t just for summer. Try your hand at a little frozen science fun. When the temperatures are freezing, bubbles freeze. What kid doesn’t love some frozen science fun?
20. Make DIY Handwarmers
Make the good times last longer outside by keeping hands and feet warm on a snow day. Fill kid’s socks (infant socks work well) with dry, uncooked rice, tie the end with a ribbon, and heat in the microwave for 30 seconds. These tiny handwarmers will keep warm in your kid’s pockets for 20 minutes.
What’s your favorite way to keep a snow day fun? Share your ideas with us in the comments below!
Natalie LaVolpe is a freelance writer and former special education teacher. She is dedicated to healthy living through body and mind. She currently resides on Long Island, New York, with her husband, children, and dog.