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Snow Day Activities

Winter is not my favorite. (Neither is summer - I prefer spring & fall for sure!) I grew up in coastal South Carolina & rarely had to worry about snow or ice. I didn't know there was such a thing as snow boots or snow pants. The heaviest jacket I had was a wind breaker. I wore flip-flops year-round because it was warm enough to do so.

My husband, on the other hand, was born & raised in New Hampshire. In case you need a geography refresher, it's one of the stated that borders Canada. He remembers snow so deep that they couldn't open their front door. He grew up skiing every week with his school.

Now, we live in Maryland & our winters aren't too bad, but we do get a lot of rainy winter days. Being a mom of 4 kids, I've had to stay creative & flexible in order to make those stuck-inside days not turn into marathon movie days every time.

I feel for those of you who are working form home, especially on the snow days (or other winter holidays from school). And that number of parents juggling full-time remote work & full-time parenting has grown during COVID!

I am here to help! Here are some activity ideas I've gathered over the years that might help you & your kids stay sane during those long snow days.

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Get Active

If you've been around children at all, you know that they have LOTS of energy. When they're stuck inside, that energy seems to multiply at an exponential rate. And we all know that once kids get all bundled up to go out in the snow, they stay out for 20 minutes tops! So, what do we do to help them use up some of that energy? Here are some ideas...

Obstacle Course

We did this one time, & the kids loved it. We used throw pillows for stepping stones. We used masking tape to make ones of those laser web things that you see on spy movies for them to crawl through. We had them weave between books set up in a zigzag pattern. We made a tunnel out of dining room chairs for them to crawl through. The possibilities are endless! If you have older kids, give them some ideas & have them set up their own. You can even time them to see who makes it through the fastest. Such a good gross motor activity for babies & toddlers, too.

Dance Party

My kids love to do dance parties. Their GiGi (my Mom) got them a little disco ball that they like to use. This is a great time to introduce them to some of your old favorites & let them see the popular dances from your days. Or pump up the Disney songs & sing along as you dance.

Here are some silly songs to get them moving:

Exercise

Just some good, old-fashioned exercise is always a good option. You can find all kinds of helpful recommendations for exercises that kids can do easily. I'll gather a few on a Pinterest board to help you out.

You can also find some great workout videos that are geared toward kids. My daughter likes to do Cosmic Kids yoga videos, but we've also done some other really good ones. Here are some we liked...

Get Creative

After they've burned some energy, they might be ready to stretch their brain in another way. Creativity can be so helpful in getting kids to feel calm & productive, in my experience. The creativity might not last super long, but it can be a great outlet. And maybe it will spark some interest or uncover a hidden talent!

  • Make cards for patients at senior living facilities or for senior members of your church.
  • Dress up for a poetry tea party. Sip your "tea" as you read poems for kids by A.A. Milne or Shel Silverstein or anyone else in between. (Libraries have lots of books of poetry for every season. And some poetry is in the public domain & is free to access online.)
  • Pretend you're one of the great artists. Paint while lying on your backs like Michelangelo. Drip paint like Jackson Pollack. Draw a self-portrait like Frida Kahlo. Paint flowers like Georgia O'Keefe or sunflowers like Van Gogh or water lilies like Monet. The possibilities are endless!
  • Charlotte Mason homeschoolers know that another great creative outlet is handicrafts. The word pretty much encompasses any creative thing that a child can do with their hands that results in a useful or beautiful finished product. Crochet, macrame, embroidery, finger knitting, cooking, baking, whittling, carving, wood burning, soap making - there are so many options. My kids haven't latched on to anything yet, but I plan to see what they're interested in learning & help them get started!

Get Academic

It doesn't have to be boring to be academic.

  • Let's start with the easiest one - watch a nature documentary or an educational show. Disney+ has all kinds of fun documentaries - my kids have liked the one about penguins with Ed Helms narrating. Or, depending on their age, you can do Wild Kratts, Magic School Bus, Super Why!, etc.
  • Read aloud -- even to the ones who can already read independently. You can pick the books or let them pick. Make a special cozy spot & go for it. On a particularly grumpy day, I pushed our 2 couches together so it formed a comfy little reading nook & told the kids to bring me any book they wanted me to read. We sat there for an hour & it worked like magic to clear the grouchy moods - including mine!
  • If all else fails, find some free worksheets to keep them busy! My favorite place for educational worksheets is TeachersPayTeachers.com. They have plenty of free & paid resources to help you get a few minutes of work done in the middle of a snow day. You can even look up snow or winter-themed pages. Or find ones that reinforce what they're learning in school.

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So, when the forecast is snowy & your work schedule is full, gather your supplies & keep those kids busy! They'll be so excited to see what you've come up with for them to do, especially if you're excited, too!

Here's a board I've been using to gather ideas for snow day activities.

Cheering you on!

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And just in case you want a little wintertime gift for yourself, here's a little tote from my Zazzle shop. (This is an affiliate link & I earn a small percentage if you buy through this link. Thanks!)

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