If you’re a parent, you’re allowed to have mixed feelings about snow days.
Nostalgia and your own kids’ excitement give the wintry occurrence a rosy glow, but you know there’s more to the story. Behind every Instagram snow angel is a toddler whose gloves won’t stay on, spilled hot chocolate, power outages, salt-covered cars, icy sidewalks, and sometimes even boredom.
As the likelihood of snow days increases, so does the importance of having a few snow day activities on hand to keep youngsters safe, busy, and happy. Here are five things to do with kids at home when local news says you’re snowed in.
1. Start with the Classic Snow Play
You can’t get away with staying inside the whole day, so reinvent classic snow day activities to be more comfortable and enjoyable than ever. Here’s how:
Upgrade your outerwear to enable the customary snowman building ritual. One quick idea is to simply retire your old beanie in favor of the Yukon Tracks Alaskan Fur Hat from Bass Pro Shops.
Brush up on your shutterbug skills. Skim this brilliant list of ways to use your smartphone to take awesome pictures and capture the snowy day of fun with your children.
2. Cook Comfort Foods
For generations, families have connected in the kitchen. And when you’re homebound, cooking can be the best way to cozy up together. Download a mobile app like Allrecipe’s Dinner Spinner, which lets you search by ingredient. Have each family member contribute one dish to the meal, and see what kind of tasty hodgepodge you end up with.
3. Hire a Digital Tutor
Your kids’ teachers may get a break when it snows, but there’s no reason your kids should stop learning. Continue the education even when the weather doesn’t cooperate. How? With the help of a digital tutor.
A LeapFrog LeapPad Ultra XDi, Newegg’s best-selling learning tablet, is the best candidate for the job. Have your child earn or “unlock” their choice of activities by first completing pre-loaded games relevant to their least favorite academic subject. For example, give your young reader incentives to complete a few math puzzles before accessing the tablet’s age-appropriate e-books.
This is one of the best low-key things to do with kids at home. You get to cuddle and learn at the same time.
4. Connect Offline
The best snow day activities are memorable. Take this opportunity to slow down and write some good, old-fashioned letters together. Distant relatives, elders, deployed troops, or even old pen pals from across the world would love to receive a handwritten letter from you and your child. This activity is perfect to organize ahead of time. To get started, simply assemble a small bag of blank note cards like the Seasons of Life set of 24 from Walmart, stickers, colored pencils, and addresses of those who could use a heartfelt message. Oh, and don’t forget postage stamps!
5. Bring the Outside in
Invite some snow into your home. Hand children a few spatulas and a plastic tub, and have them fill the tub with snow from the yard. Once indoors, use food coloring, watercolor paints, small action figures, marbles, toy earth movers, and spray bottles to manipulate the snow in the ultimate sensory activity.
Reclaim the nostalgia of the iconic “snow day” of your childhood memories. All it takes is a little preparation and flexibility. Which one (or two) of these snow day activities will you have prepped and ready for the first flake?