To your kids, a snow day is like winning the lottery. They went to bed the night before and woke up with an entire day off. No school, no classes and no extra homework. That’s right – your little ones will be home ALL day, wired with excitement and itching for something to do. But before you panic about the potential mayhem of bored children, check out these fun snow day activities.
From impromptu games to creative crafts, this list will help you minimize the no-school madness with a little bit of organized fun. Your kids are guaranteed to stay busy and entertained for hours.
Here are our favorite things to do on a snow day.
Outdoor snow day activities
A crisp, white blanket of untouched snow is one of the most magical sights in the world for a child. Weather permitting, get those kiddies bundled up and let them loose in the backyard. That snow isn’t going to throw itself!
Have a snowball fight
There’s nothing wrong with a little sibling rivalry. So why not let the fluffy snow be a safe terrain for a day of friendly family feuds? Boys against girls, oldest versus youngest, three against one – no matter the teams, your kids will have a blast. Just remind them: No throwing ice and no face shots!
You can supervise from the warmth of your house or brave the cold and join the fun. A kids-against-parents snowball fight will be an event to remember.
Build a snowman
Another classic for our list of snow day activities: building a snowman. Your kids will love accessorizing their real-life versions of Frosty. Let them work together to create one giant masterpiece or incite some friendly competition with a snowman building contest. You can choose winners for categories like Best Smile and Most Creative, and even include fun prizes like their favorite candy.
Check out this post from parenting blog Momtastic for great snowman building tips and design ideas.
Want to spice things up even more? Encourage your kids to use their imagination and build snow monsters. You’ll be surprised at what they create.
Construct an igloo
If your kids are older and a little more dexterous, let them try building an igloo. While this snow dome is harder to build than a snowman, the reward is so much better. This little project will become a winter hideout the kids can enjoy all season long (if the cold weather holds up). There’s only one rule: No parents allowed!
Make snow graffiti
This winter activity is great for younger kids. Just fill a few spray bottles with water and food coloring and send the children into the backyard for a fun afternoon of snow graffiti. The white canvas of blank snow will be splashed with bright greens and blues and purples. Get ready for some abstract expressionism.
Did you know that bubbles can freeze? When temperatures drop below 32 degrees, that shimmering liquid will do some pretty neat stuff. So send your kids out into the backyard for a wintertime experiment. They’ll be amazed as tiny bubbles freeze into awesome crystal balls and shatter right before their eyes. If you’ve never seen a bubble freeze before, make sure to watch. Not even parents are immune to the mesmerizing sight.
Whether your kids want to enjoy one or all of these snow day activities, it’s important to keep the little rascals warm. Hats, scarves, waterproof gloves and snow suits will all help maximize play time outdoors, as will frequent breaks indoors.
Indoor snow day activities
Too cold to go outside? These indoor snow day activities will help fend off boredom and minimize cabin fever. Your kids will be thoroughly entertained all day, even if they don’t get a chance to play in the snow.
Since the kids can’t build a snow fort, a blanket fort is an equally fun alternative. Use blankets, pillows and chairs to create a cool hideout for the kids. And be sure to fill the space with fun activities like puzzles, handheld video games and books. They will have fun all day hiding out in their secret cave.
Hot cocoa and a movie
Your kids may never want to leave their blanket fort, but hot cocoa and a movie is a great incentive. Put on one of their favorite films or pick a movie they’ve never seen before. They can wrap up in blankets and sip on hot cocoa as they enjoy some unexpected TV time. Join them on the couch with your own warm beverage, or get some work done as you enjoy the magical silence of thoroughly entertained children.
And if the kids are in the mood for a treat with a little more fluff, cupcakes and brownies are another great option.
Arts and crafts
Arts and crafts can get a bit messy, so be sure to dress the little ones in some clothes you don’t mind getting dirty. And to help minimize your worry over accidents and spills, put a layer of plastic over the floor (a garbage bag will do just fine). Now that setup is complete, unleash the glitter and paint for some fun arts and crafts. You can even let the kids help make some homemade finger paint.
If you’re looking for some arts and crafts options that are a little less involved and messy, print out some free coloring book pages.
Uno, Trouble, Sorry and Hungry Hungry Hippos – and new classics like Pie Face – are multi-player games the whole family will love. So gather everyone together for a fun game tournament. It will keep the older kids from spending hours playing video games and make sure the younger ones are entertained and excited. Games are a great way to get some family bonding done on the next snow day.
You’ve reached the age where snow equals inconvenience – cold weather, constant shoveling, disastrous roads and horrible traffic. But try and remember that for your kids, a snow day is one of the most exciting things that will happen all year. And these snow day activities will help make the special day a memorable one.
Does your family have favorite things to do on a snow day for those unplanned winter breaks? Let us know in the comments!