Well, we have started off the new year with our first big snowstorm and freezing weather here on the Northeast. It has been termed, “Bomb Cyclone” and while we all love a good snow storm once in a while, there are lots of parents (ahem, me) that just want to get these kids back to school since many have been off for weeks with the holiday breaks. But the kids totally feel another way and I love their excitement when they hear they have off. There is nothing better than to not have to go to school as a kid but as a parent, sometimes the days are really long unless you have a list of easy things to do on a snow day with kids in your back pocket. My four kids are in and out of their snow gear about 15 times a day, it seems. I like to encourage other things to do that are not so labor intensive on me too. Here are some obvious and not so obvious ideas for fun things to do with the kids on a snow day and you too.
50 Things to Do on a Snow Day with Kids:
- Make a Snowman(always a fan favorite). Sometimes they turn out great and other times not so much but they are always fun to make. We have a snowman kit like this which makes it easy.
- Slime. Want to make your kid happy in 2018, let them play with slime? This is all the craze with my 8 year old. Homemade slime, slime kits, slime games. You will be their best friend when you say yes to slime.
- Hot Chocolate. Extra whipped cream please.
- Indoor Forts. They love doing this and if you can just not mind the mess and enjoy the peace and quiet, it works for everyone. My rule is that they have to put all the blankets and pillows away when they are finished.
- Fun with Boxes. If you have any old boxes around, pull them out. My kids always love to play with boxes. Depending on their age, give them so markers or other supplies. They build forts, decorate them, hide in them, etc. Its great to see them using their imaginations.
- Play video games with your kids. I’m not usually one that will do this but once in a while, I surprise my kids and ask them to play. I’m old school, I like the Wii and they find it fun (and novel) too.
- A Bake Off or a Cook Off. This is something my older kids have fun with. In the past, we’ve played Iron Chef where they get limited ingredients which is always fun. When they were younger, they would do cake or cupcake challenges and then we would have to be the judges. Sometimes, the output was delicious, other times not so much! I usually just let them do it entirely on their own (even my youngest) and it is always interesting how they go about it but they sure love their independence in the kitchen. They get to crack eggs all on their own without me looking over them, pick their bowls, utensils, etc.
- Go Ice Skating. We go ice skating once a year and my kids love it. Even if you are not an ice skater, do not fear, as you can always hold onto the wall, if you want. They also offer chairs or walkers for newbies. No need to have skates (you can rent them) and it is a relatively inexpensive fun outing with the family. It is a great thing to do on a snow day home with the kids. The place we go is wheelchair friendly so we love it as a family fun activity.
- Skype Family Members. My parents are in Florida for the winter and now they are getting somewhat tech savvy and love skyping with the kids. It’s free too.
- Make a Snow Fort (with or without adults).
- Make Cookie in a Mug. I learned about this idea from my teenager and all the kids love this. Here’s one recipe to try but there are lots out there.
- Curl up on the couch and watch movies. (Enough said). I love this one, selfishly.
- Shovel the Snow (the kids, I mean). It’s painful, I know and some kids are better than others but we try to make it mandatory (at least for a little bit). Instilling a work ethic in our kids in painful at times but I believe in the long run, it will serve them well. Teach a man to fish….
- Encourage them to Work the Neighborhood. Do you have a budding entrepreneur who likes hard work? This is the perfect time to make a few bucks. You don’t see many kids offering to do this anymore and I’m always impressed when I do see a kid doing this.
- Play outside with your dog.
- Take pictures. Pictures of babies first day in the snow, pictures of your house in the snow, the kids in action, etc.
- Post the snow pictures on Facebook. Even if you are not a Facebook Fan, you’ll love to look back on the memories as the years go by. Our families love seeing the kids in their element and what they are up to since they are not local. Go ahead, do it!
- Make Homemade Play Doh. This is for all the fun and brave parents out there. Here’s a link for some easy recipes. But I will indulge my daughter if she wants to play with Play Doh.
- Go Sledding. If you can find the biggest hill around, that’s even better.
- Look at Old Photos. They all love to look at pictures of themselves, especially when they were little. I can hear my little one saying, “Oh, I was so cute.”
This activity can keep them busy for hours on a snow day. Also, it’s fun to bring out old photo albums of Mom and Dad from our younger years together and apart and nights out with adults only. Just be careful which ones you show them. LOL! I have to be sure to not have all my high school, college and adult fun
albums for full display because they don’t need to know everything now.
- Go Skiing. If you can get to a mountain, go for it as it may not be too crowded. I know other people love to cross country ski around the neighborhood too.
- Encourage Your Kids to Write a Book. Age Appropriate, of course, but you’d be amazed at what they come up with and years later, they love to read them back. If you are so inspired, you can have it bound and printed as a special surprise for the future. It’s pretty cool seeing their very own book on a book shelf as a young kiddo. My kids have written tons of little books made with printer paper over the years and illustrated them too. It’s fun to see their writing develop.
- Watch TED Talks together. My husband, Brad, was listening to a TED like talk on risk taking and failure (or opportunity) and Delaney (6) decided to join him. She’s laughing and learning & doesn’t quite understand why people are afraid. I sure hope that she can keep that mentality. Sadly, as we age, we all start thinking twice and sometimes allow fear to stop us from moving forward. We need to remember our child-like ways of embracing life and taking risks!! Sorry for my diversion but remember that there are some great TED talks out there that would be applicable to both kids and adults. Start them young!!
- If They Say They Are Bored…… Oh, I have a job, you tell them. Somehow, they are no longer bored. You can clean your room, put your laundry away, clean up that stain, sweep the floor, etc. They’ll quickly get out of your sight and probably won’t say that again. Score!
- Play Pie Face with the Kids. I never really understood this game until I saw it posted on Facebook (see the many benefits of Facebook). We played it with family before and loved it. Again, since you probably have whipped cream around for hot chocolate, you are all set. I promise, you will laugh and make memories. You can get the game, Pie Face, here.
- Sing your heart out with Karoke. It’s good for all of us. Singing makes you happy –try it. Our Karoke Machine which is more old school but is perfect for us (no subscription service). It’s old school, you buy cd’s with the songs you want. I think we only have 3 cds total but it’s perfect for our limited karoke a few times a year and for parties. Ha!
- Exercise. If my kids have too much energy, I send them down in the gym or outside to play.
- Pretend you are on Food Network. Sometimes my girls will pretend they are on Food Network as they make a smoothie or a cake. They can also do this with a bake-off but for me, I’ve found this works better with just one kiddo. If they are so inspired, they can post it on YouTube if they want. My oldest has a YouTube channel so she was probably doing this video for that. It encourages their creativity, planning and execution skills.
- Let them Play with what they Want Where They Want. Some days, I just don’t care about the mess and just want my daughter to play independently and for hours. I will bring up all the bigger toys and let her play in her sister’s room which is on the main floor so she can be near me. We will put everything away later but for now, peace.
- Make Vision Boards together. It is really fun to do this with your kids. If you don’t have one for yourself, do it too or update yours if you have one. I love to get a bulletin board, some magazines and clip away.
- Pillow Fight Time. Just once in a while but today’s a good day. They’ll think you are a cool mom. Once in a while, I need to let them know that I really am fun.
- Make Chocolate Chip Cookies. This is something I often suggest to my kids. Who wants to make chocolate chip cookies? There is nothing better than unlimited warm chocolate chip cookies on a cold snow day. Yum.
- Games and Legos and Things That Take Patience. I am usually an impatient person so I’m not usually the one to go to for reading directions but a snow day is a perfect day for indulging the kids with these things. And if Dad is home, bonus, as he’s much much better than me with this stuff and he likes to read directions.
- Have a Dance Party. My kids love when we turn on dance music and just have fun. My daughter, Ellie, with special needs especially loves it. She laughs and loves to get spun around.
- Encourage them to Make Tutorials of their Passions:
- Write “Open When” Letters. My daughter did this for me and to this day, I think it is one of my favorite gifts. They can do these for a friend, a grandparent, a loved one or even for Mom and Dad for Mother’s Day or Father’s Day. Nothing like planting a seed. Want some more Motivation for Moms, check out that blog post which was inspired by my “Open When” Letters
- If They are Driving You Crazy, Mom, Sign them up for camp. Now is the perfect time to think about camps and get it done while you are home. You may or may not want their input.
- Play Non-Video Games. You know all those games they promised you they loved and would play with All.The.Time. Tell them now’s the time to play with them. Once I get my kids to actually play them, they do indeed have fun.
- Play Dress Up. Pull out the dress up and the old Halloween costumes and I’m sure this will keep the little ones busy for about 15 minutes. Ha! Seriously, they do like this when they get into it.
- Make a DIY Photo studio. Get a plain colored sheet, hang it up on the wall and give them your phone or a digital camera, some props and their imagination. Dress up box comes in handy with this one. When they are a little older, they love raiding my closet too for fancy shoes, etc.
- Watch old home movies. The BEST!!
- Have a Tea Party.
- PJ Day. Everyone loves to stay in their pajamas all day long. Mom included. Even after the snow, back in the warm pj’s.
- Headstand Contest. Always fun and interesting to see who comes out on top of this fun little competition. My brother, Frankie, is still the reigning champ. He’s proud to still be the big winner of his 15 nieces and nephews when it comes to headstands. He can even beat my gymnast daughter. We gotta let him win at something. LOL Seriously, he is good though..not bad for an old man.
- Sign up for a Fun Run like a Color Run or a Family 5k. This will motivate you to get outside and get moving once the weather improves. A family that exercises together….
- Write thank you notes. I’m sure there are some outstanding ones that need to be done. Tell your child that you’ll set the timer for 15 minutes and to see how many “good” (I mean thoughtful) they can get done. Chances are they will want to continue so they can knock them off so they are no longer hanging over them (or maybe not).
- Sensory Play with Whipped Cream. So, you already again have that whipped cream for hot chocolate and to play pie face, now you can be a cool mom, yet again. I started doing this for my daughter, Ellie, for sensory play.
- Let Them Ride Their Bikes Inside. I did this a lot when my kids were little (even in my little house) and I always did when they had to come to work with me at Baby Be Hip.
- Let Them Jump on Your Bed. Mine would always say, “Really, we can?” when I’d say this.
- If they are little, hold them and hug them as much as you can. Before you know it, they won’t have much time for that. Anytime my older ones ask me to snuggle now, I try to always say yes (unless if it is past their bedtime and they are only using me to stay up late) but even then sometimes I say yes.
Hopefully, you found a few good ideas to keep the kids busy on a snow day. Congrats to you for surviving the snow day with the kids. Hopefully, you can get some relaxing on the couch and snuggling with them for a bit of a reprieve too.
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