Each winter, children of all ages sit around the TV in the evening as the snow falls out side. They wait, with unbreakable focus, for the name of their school to scroll across the "CLOSINGS AND DELAYS" slider at the bottom of the screen. When a snow day is issued, there's Jumping. There's screaming. Sometimes there are tears of joy. This kind of excitement is unmatched by anything short of a Disney vacation. Once the kids have exhausted themselves, they're ready to go to bed, thrilled that they don't have to set an alarm for the morning to follow. When they wake up, the excitement lingers, in a much reduced state. Though, still full of wonder, the kids glance out the window into the Winter Wonderland that awaits them. They quickly bundle up in six layers of clothes, which will come to their inevitable end in a cold, crumpled, wet pile on the floor in roughly one hour, or as soon as the kids realizes that playing in the snow gets pretty cold pretty fast.
So, at roughly 9-9:30 a.m., the kids are already bored. They look to you for ideas of what to do, and you're stumped, too.
It's happened to nearly all of us, but you can make this year different. Check out these (mostly) indoor activities that are sure to help you survive the snow days to come!
Traditional Snow Day Activities
This includes sledding, snowball fights, making snowmen and snow angles, and painting the snow with spray bottles filled with water and food coloring. Likely, the summation of these activities will last an hour or less, and you'll still have a full day to enjoy. Don't worry, there are plenty of activities that are much warmer to fill your calendar for the day!
Bake a Favorite Snack
After playing in the snow, warm up with your favorite cookies, brownies, or cake! Bake your favorite snack together for a fun family activity!
Build a Blanket Fort
Nothing beats a good, old fashioned blanket fort, especially on a cold day! Stay warm in your fort, which you can stock with your favorite snacks and games! This activity also works in conjuction with the next activity!
Marathon Your Favorite Movie Series
A movie marathon is perfect for a cold day, and it's a perfect way to pass the time in your blanket fort! Whether you favorite series is Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, or High School Musical, snow days create the perfect excuse to watch them all!
Perfect a Pinterest Project
Pinterest is full of cool crafts and projects, and you've probably got a couple pinned that you'd like to try. Use your snow day crafting the things you wouldn't otherwise have time to. With this activity, not only do you have a day well spent, but likely something tangible to show for it!
Reminisce with Home Videos and Photo Albums
Use your free time to dig out those old photos and videos of your family. Maybe you'll even find documentation of past snow day fun!
Bring the Snow Inside
Make the inside of you house match the outside by crafting hand-cut- snowflake creations out of paper or coffee filters!
Pretend the Floor is Lava
Beat the cold with its natural enemy, heat. Arrange your furniture, couch cushions and pillows so that it is easy to jump from one to the next without touching the lava floor. If it's too easy, spread them out a little! Anyone who touches the floor is out! You can get creative, too! Don't just avoid the lava, but make it an obstacle course!
Play an Indoor Game
Snow days are great for playing fun indoor games, like hide and seek, Simon says, or charades!
Read a Favorite Story
Whether you read a story aloud together or each read your own favorites silently, a good book lets you trade the cold for a different place entirely without ever leaving your home!
Color to Your Heart's Content
Get out your crayons, colored pencils and markers and go to town on your coloring books! Whether you're using children's coloring books or the immensely popular adult coloring book, you're set! If you don't have a coloring book, you can print coloring pages off of the Internet!
Put Together a Puzzle (Or Just Play a Game)
Dig out that old puzzle in the back of the game closet and get to work! If puzzles aren't your thing, or if you started the puzzle and worked on it until you got so frustrated that you gave up on it, take a crack at one of the board games you had to pull out of the closet in order to get to the puzzle in the first place. (Note: playing Monopoly will not improve levels of frustration.)
Play Cards, Then Build Houses With Them
Play Poker, Spades, Crazy 8's, Old Maid, you name it. Or, if you are a card game enthusiast you can play them all! When you're done playing with the cards, use them to build card houses! For extra fun, make it a contest to see who can build the biggest card house!
Play Balloon Volleyball
Okay, so maybe "volleyball" is a bit of an overstatement. Basically, use your snow day to teach your kids to play that game you loved as a kid where the balloon can't touch the ground. There are pretty much no rules, you know that. So, this game should not require much actual teaching. All you need is a balloon, and at least one person who can tie it shut.
Set Up a Scavenger Hunt
Leave a series of clues that lead to a surprise for the kids! The surprise can be as simple as a cup of hot chocolate, and the kids will have a great time trying to find it! You could even use a scavengers hunt to plan the ultimate snow day, where each clue leads to part of the surprise and another clue. You could do this with blankets, popcorn and a movie if you plan to have a snow day marathon, for example.
Make Your Own Salt Dough or Moon Sand
To make salt dough, all you need are flour, salt, and warm water. When mixed, the combination forms a moldable dough that will dry hard. This allows you to make long-lasting snow day memories! To make moon sand, all you need are baby oil and flour! this will give you a powdery, shapable sand that you can play with, and it even looks like the snow!
Have a Spa or Makeover Day
If you've got a day at home with the girls, have a spa or makeover day! Whether you're painting your nails and relaxing with cucumber slices on your eyes, or playing with makeup and doing your hair, you're sure to have a great snow day!
Make Snow Ice Cream
If you already enjoyed playing n the snow, but you aren't quite done enjoying it, use it to make snow ice cream! You need a cup of milk, ⅓ cup of granulated sugar, a teaspoon of vanilla extract, a pinch of salt, and eight cups of clean snow! Mix these ingredients together and enjoy!