Emily Buckley, editor in chief
School is cancelled across Cache Valley today because of the extreme winter conditions. If your kids are like mine, they are probably celebrating. I love when my kids are home, but when it is too cold to send them out to play and burn their never-ending energy, things can get chaotic fast. Often times this leads to them planted in front of the TV or iPad so I can regain my sanity.
To avoid a day of brain-sucking screen time or bored kids, here are 10 ideas of fun and memorable things to do with your kids on this snow day.
- Bring the snow inside! Fill a large bowl, cookie sheet or plastic container (or even the bathtub to contain the mess), and let the kids play with it. You can put a towel under the container to absorb any extra mess. Then collected various household objects that may be fun to play with in the snow: spoons, measuring cups, toy cars, sand toys, plastic dolls and so on. Kids will get creative fast building roads for their cars and ice castles for their dolls. If their hands get too cold, go ahead and put their mittens on.
My kids also enjoy using watercolor paints to color snow.
- Make snow ice cream. This is a yummy treat to make with real snow after a fresh snowfall. It is a classic winter tradition that you should try at least once, but chances are, you’ll love it so much, it will become an annual, winter tradition for your family. Here is a great 3-ingredient recipe from Happy Hooligans for snow cream.
- Build a fort. Too cold to build a fort in the snow? These kinds of days are pajama days at our house, and nothing is more fun on a pajama day than building a blanket fort. Campout inside your fort and read stories like The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats or have an indoor picnic. This simple activity creates magical memories for kids.
- Have a spa day. I have five daughters, so this is always a hit in our house. Pull out the nail polish, stake out a place by the fireplace and paint all the little piggies. My kids love when I let them have a turn painting my nails.
- Make paper snowflakes. This keeps my kids busy for hours and is simple to do. All you need are scissors and some printer or construction paper cut into squares. We like to display our indoor snowstorm by hanging our snowflakes with butcher’s twine along the frame of our dining room window.
Follow these simple steps:
- Get a square piece of paper or trim a piece of paper so that it is square.
- Fold your square in half diagonally.
- Fold your triangle in half – again diagonally.
- Fold paper in thirds…one side to the front, the other to the back.
- Trim the extra piece of paper off the end of your small triangle.
- Around the outside of your triangle, cut some fun designs — circles, squares, triangles, squiggles … anything goes, but be sure not to but the bottom.
- Unfold your paper and look at your masterpiece.
- Feed the birds! When the earth is covered with snow, the birds have a harder time finding food. Now’s your chance to help out and have the interesting experience of watching birds eat right outside your window.To do it, cover a cardboard toilet paper or paper towel roll with a thick layer of peanut butter and then roll it in popcorn (or bird seed if you have some). Use string or a pipe cleaner to create a hanger for your bird feeder, and then place it on a tree branch outside your window so you can watch the birds enjoy the treat you have prepared.
- Make cookies! Most kids enjoy helping in the kitchen, especially when a yummy treat is the end result. Here is a great recipe for Lemon Sugar Cookies. If you decide to go the extra effort of decorating your cookies, here are some tips to keep it simple.
- Make play dough. This activity opens kids’ imaginations. From the actual process of making the play dough, to coloring it and then make shapes, building roads and playing “restaurant” with cookie cutters and other kitchen tools, this will keep your children busy for quite some time. Click here for a simple recipe.
- Write letters. Kids love writing and receiving letters. Pull out some stationary, colored pencils and crayons, stickers and envelopes and let the kids write letters to grandparents, cousins and friends who live out of town. If you haven’t done it yet, you could encourage your kids to use some of their free time today to write thank you notes for gifts received at Christmas.
- Have a fashion show. Play dress up with old Halloween costumes, hats, old work uniforms and anything else from your dress-up box. Take photos, crank up the dance music and have fun on the hallway runway.