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5 Snow Day Activities for Kids

As a child, we all rejoiced when school was cancelled due to hazardous weather, but an excessive number of snow days can give anyone cabin fever, including the most patient of parents. Never fear! There are plenty of activities you can employ to take advantage of this weather while engaging and educating  you children for hours.

Remember: you won’t have the same opportunities during summer break, so you might as well take advantage of winter’s wonders!

Preserving Snowflakes
Capturing snowflakes on your tongue is fun for a few minutes, but there are a number of ways to make them last longer for further examination. Now, there are more technical methods for preserving unique flakes on glass slides, which would allow a person to compare shapes and designs of collected flakes, however this requires some precise timing and delicate hands (superglue, chilled tweezers, 48 hour wait time). For children, there is a more simplified version.

Look around your home for the following: flour, a paper or plastic plate, a flour sifter, a ruler.

Lightly spread a layer of flour on a plate, about a centimeter thick. Instruct the children to stand outside and hold the paper plates above their heads while it is snowing. After a few minutes, the wet snowflakes will make contact with the flour and be preserved into little balls. The child can bring the paper plate back indoors and sift the loose flour away from the captured snowflakes. You can hold the snowflakes in your hand and measure them. Have a contest to see who has captured the largest snowflake!

You can also use a piece of black fabric and a magnifying glass to show the kids how all snowflakes are different, though you have to be fast because they won’t last long!

Sock Snowman
It is incredibly easy to create a personalized snowman sock buddy with your children; all you need is a white tube sock (the bigger, the better), a smaller colorful sock, rice, rubber bands, buttons and beads, scissors, glue (a hot glue gun works best–every crafty parent should keep one of these handy for a variety of projects).

Fill the sock full of rice and use a rubber band to secure the end of the sock (to keep rice from falling out). Use another rubber band somewhere in the middle of the sock to create a separated head and body. Cut a strip from your colorful sock and use it to tie around the middle rubber band as a scarf. Use the remainder of the colorful sock as the snowman’s hat (which will hide the other ‘end’ rubber band). Finally, you can decorate your snowman by gluing on buttons and beads to create a face and other festive touches. Children can reshape the snowman to make it tall and thin or short and squat.

Indoor Picnic or ‘Toothpick Dinner’
Kids are often impressed when you take a simple deviation from the normal routine to create a special meal experience. Spread a large blanket on the floor and make some finger-foods and small sandwiches for lunch. Kids can even bring a special ‘guest’ to lunch in the form of a favorite stuffed animal friend. Add to the ambiance by playing ‘nature sounds’ such as birds or crickets chirping and frogs croaking on your computer.

‘Toothpick Dinner’ involves you creating a ‘fancy’ dining experience for children by identifying leftovers and other tidbits in the refrigerator that can be chopped up into bite-sized pieces and served on a tray with toothpicks shoved through them. Look for blocks of cheese, vegetables and fruit, meatloaf from two nights ago, pickles…you get the idea. Kids will love this alternative way to eat dinner (or a snack) and you will love the opportunity to clear out some items from your fridge!

Alternative Snow Creatures
If the weather cooperates and the snow is the right consistency for building a snowman, by all means, head outside! However, instead of creating the traditional snowman, try to make something new, such as an animal, house, or car! You can even look online before going outside to get some ideas. Mix up some food coloring in squirt bottles beforehand so you can ‘paint’ your creatures when they are finished. Add stripes to a zebra, paint a funny face on a monster, or add color to snow ‘flowers’ you’ve made. This will keep the kids busy for a long time and will make for great photo opportunity when you’re finished.

As a reminder to parents–this (and other activities) work best when you are involved and enthused. Telling the kids to go outside and ‘play’ can leave them feeling a bit bereft and confused. It’s always best if you put on your ‘play clothes’ to go outside with them to get started.

Masking Tape Games
This sounds a bit lame, but will seriously keep kids entertained for a long time. Depending on the interests and abilities of the children involved, you can do a number of fun things with masking tape. Create racetracks and obstacle courses that can inspire some imaginative play using toy cars or action figures. Tape circles and shapes of various sizes and practice throwing bean bags into the ‘target’. You can simulate ‘balance beams’ and long jump with tape, as well as hopscotch, tic-tac-toe, and bowling. Really, the possibilities are endless if you use a bit of creativity (and some quick internet searching). Also, clean-up is simple and quick, which is always a plus!

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