Snow days are fun for kids, but for parents, they can be anxiety-producing. Often, parents have to call in to work last minute to take the day off and then figure out how they’re going to keep everyone entertained for the entire day. Luckily, there are a number of ways that the whole family can get out of the house and enjoy a snow day together.
1. Blow Bubbles
Kids will love this one – when the weather is below 32 degrees, bubbles will freeze right away. Bring bubbles outside, take turns blowing them through the wand and then watch as they turn into ice right before your eyes.
If there’s a hill within walking distance from your house and you have some sleds at home, spend an hour or so sledding! Don’t have any sleds? Blow up tubes that you usually use in your pool during the summer. To make sure everyone stays safe while sledding, make sure to pick a hill that has a gentle slope and plenty of flat area at the end. Never go on a hill that leads to a road, train tracks, river, fence or parking lot. You should also choose a hill that doesn’t have any holes, trees or big rocks. Once the sun starts setting, head back home – you should only go sledding in the daylight.
3. Have a Hula Hoop Contest
Hula hooping is especially fun and challenging when you’re bundled up in winter clothing. Have a hula hoop contest to see who can keep it going for the longest. Remember, not all outdoor activities have to deal directly with the snow. There are several outdoor activities that are fun year-round.
Snowshoeing is a great sport to do together as a family and it’s an excellent way to get your kids to appreciate nature. Find out if your area park lets people snowshoe during the winter. This is a great sport for beginners because it doesn’t require a lot of coordination. You can find snowshoes for children as young as two years old, too. If you’re going snowshoeing for the first time, pick a relatively flat area. As everyone gets more used to snowshoeing, you can begin to pick trails with inclines.
5. Play in the Snow
When you don’t have any sleds or snowshoes at your disposal, just have fun playing in the snow! Let your kids lead the way – children are great at making a game out of seemingly nothing. Have a snowball fight, build a snowman or a fort, make snow angels, grab beach toys from your summer stash and build a snow castle, make snow cakes using pans from the kitchen as molds…The snow itself is a great toy! A good rule of thumb is to save the snow angels for last. Everyone will want to go inside and warm up after laying down in the snow.
6. Snow Graffiti
Fill spray bottles with water that’s been tinted with food colors. Decorate the white snow with your own colorful design. There’s no better canvas than a blanket of fresh snow and the cleanup is a cinch, since you just have to wait until it melts!
7. Tic-Tac-Toe in the Snow
Play an enormous game of Tic-Tac-Toe in the snow. Either draw directly into the snow with a stick or use pine cones for the “O” and crossed sticks for the “X.”
8. Scavenger Hunt
Dye water with food coloring and then freeze the water in an ice cube tray. Once frozen, hide the ice cubes around your property. Send everyone on a winter scavenger hunt! If you miss picking up a few cubes, it won’t matter because they’ll just stay frozen and then melt with the rest of the snow.
9. Snowball Throwing Contest
Instead of lobbing snowballs at one another, draw a target in the snow and then make a game out of trying to get close to the target with a snowball. You can also paint a bull’s-eye on cardboard and hang it from a tree as a target.