There’s nothing quite like a snow day. Whether you live somewhere where they are plentiful or somewhere where they’re rare, there’s something very special about a surprise day off.
Kids are usually the most excited. As schools close, their imaginations open up wide to all the possibilities the day has in store.
It isn’t always easy for parents, however. In today’s world, it’s easier to work from home than ever before. That means a day off for the kids may not be one for you, even if you don’t have to head into the office. Therefore, you’re presented with a challenge. Do you surrender to an all-day screen fest in the name of getting something done?
Do you try to get things done knowing you’ll be interrupted time and time again with declarations of boredom? The answers aren’t always easy and depend entirely on your kids.
Luckily, we’re here to help. We’ve rounded up some of the best ideas to keep your kids busy during a snow day. If it’s really ugly out and they’re stuck inside, there are ways to keep them occupied. If the snow is fit for playing, send them out to the yard with some ideas on how to have fun. Either way, we’ve got you all prepared to have the most peaceful and productive snow day you’ve ever had.
The second you break out big paper, kids of all ages get intrigued. My Poppet Makes offers some great guidelines for how to make this happen. The cool thing is that it’s pretty simple to adjust the activity to be more or less complex, depending on your kid’s age.
Build an Igloo
OK, so we all know building an igloo is a pretty tall task. It’s an interesting challenge to level at your kids, however. No matter how old they are or what their interests are, they’ll each have a different approach. It’s fun to see what they come up with!
DIY Snow Globes
When you can’t play outside in the snow, the next best thing is playing with snow inside. Make these tiny snow universes that kids will adore by following some simple steps. They’re great as keepsakes, but they make awesome gifts, too!
There are a couple of fun ways to make works of art in the snow. Some people like the tie-dye style of painting the snow using spray bottles filled with colored cold water, as seen on The Spruce. Other moms like mixing up tempera powder paints and sending the kids outside with some paintbrushes, like Happy Hooligans.
Whether your kids navigate through it with their own bodies or with toys, a maze can put their little minds to work. You can use washi tape, masking tape, or painter’s tape to create a maze on the ground. Kids can challenge each other with mazes that force them to think creatively and analytically.
Snow Ice Cream
Admit it: The idea sounds nuts. Still, people all over the internet rant and rave about how good snow ice cream is. To make it, just used sweetened condensed milk and a little bit of something to flavor it. Happy Hooligans uses vanilla extract to make a rich, creamy winter treat.
Laundry Basket Skee-Ball
Get together some ball-pit balls or any lightweight balls that won’t break your favorite stuff. Then get the laundry baskets empty (bonus if you get the kids to empty them and put things away!). Build a ramp from cardboard to put it all together. The setup, as shown by Frugal Fun for Boys and Girls, is easy enough that school-aged kids can put it together themselves.
Blow Frozen Bubbles
Bubble mix is both cheap to make and cheap to buy. Chances are you have some left over from summer shenanigans. When temperatures dip below freezing, the bubbles will actually freeze, which is fun for the kids as they try to get the bubbles off the wand before they turn solid.
Upcycle some square boxes to create unique movement dice that are as easy or complicated as your kids can handle. You can cover the box in just about any type of paper. Then write directions on each side!
There are a number of spring and summer sports that can be adapted for winter. Embed some tin cans in the snow and use sticks to make golf holes, Push2Play suggests. Grab some pool floats and make your own sledding hill. Getting creative with what you have can lead to a lot of fun.
Plastic Cup Towers
Build towers out of your classic Solo cups and some sturdy card stock. You’ll be surprised how easy it is to build up high with the added support of the card stock. It’s another simple way to encourage the kids to think smartly and creatively at the same time.
Snow Scavenger Hunt
Scavenger hunts are fun because you can set up something yourself or work with what nature has to offer. There are templates for lists all over the internet to give your creativity a jump start. This one from The Crazy Outdoor Mama is especially fun for older kids, who can venture a little farther away from the house, where allowed.
You can create some snow-themed salt painting with little mess. Just grab some wintery stencils if you aren’t confident in your freehand abilities. Then you’ll just need glue, salt, and food coloring. Check out Little Bins for Little Hands for a full tutorial.
Pin the Parts on a Snowman
Building a snowman can be easy enough if you’re creative with your supplies. Bring a blindfold into the mix for an added challenge. If there’s more than one snowman, it’s even more challenging and fun.
Giant Floor Puzzle
Keeping a secret giant floor puzzle somewhere hidden in the house is a great idea for a snow day. You can bust it out when the kids least expect it, and it’s instant fun for hours. Plus, it’s great for brain development and teamwork!