Baby, it’s cold outside! During the winter, an arsenal of indoor activities for kids is essential. No special ingredients required here — just your imagination and a few simple household supplies make magic out of a snow day.
Transform the Living Room
Not even the sky is the limit when it comes to what you can do with a little imagination.
- Build a fort with blankets and cushions, a spaceship with cardboard boxes, or the Polar Express with dining room chairs. Have fun building and decorating your creations, then enjoy the experience of traveling to Mars or Santa’s workshop. Don’t forget the tickets and hot cocoa.
- Create a faux campsite by pitching the tent and adding sleeping bags and a “campfire” made of rolled towels. Cook up some microwave s’mores, sing campfire songs, and host a “blanket picnic” on the floor.
- Take a game of dress-up to the next level by staging a fashion show with dance music, a stuffed animal audience, and plenty of model attitude.
- Re-create a drive-in movie theater with cardboard cars the kids can color and decorate before watching the main feature.
You don’t need a closetful of special supplies to engage kids’ inner artists.
- Create mosaics by cutting small squares out of old magazines and gluing them into shapes like hearts or trees on a paper plate.
- Build a snowman while staying warm by gluing mini marshmallows or cotton balls in circles on paper. Decorate with dry pasta, raisins, buttons, ribbons, glitter, felt, stickers, or anything on hand.
- Homemade playdough is as fun to make as it is to play with. Start with 1 cup water in a large bowl. Add food coloring to create your desired shade (plenty of red and blue makes a brilliant purple), then add 4 cups flour and 1½ cups salt, followed by 2 to 4 tablespoons of oil (enough so the dough isn’t crumbly).
Snow for Snack Time
Being snowed in doesn’t mean you can’t have a little fun with the outdoors.
- Make snow treats like snow cones with fresh snow, lemon juice and sugar, or juice concentrate. Add ½ cup half-and-half or whole milk, ¼ cup sugar, and ½ teaspoon vanilla to 4 cups of clean snow. Stir until it’s the consistency of ice cream and serve in waffle cones with toppings like chocolate syrup and sprinkles.
- Entertain toddlers with a bin of snow and sand toys like pails and shovels.
Help kids burn off pent-up energy with some physical activity.
- Make an “activity jar.” On pieces of paper, write commands such as jump five times, flap your arms like a bird, hop like a frog, run from the front door to the back door, hop on one foot, do five jumping jacks, “skate” on paper plates, or spin in a circle. Put them in a jar and have kids choose one at a time.
- Another good energy buster is a dance party, which requires only some favorite tunes.
Plug into kids’ competitive spirits with some friendly contests using a gaming system, board and card games, scavenger hunts, lip syncing, or old-fashioned hide-and-seek.
Share the Love
Use downtime to connect with family and friends via video chat on Skype, Facebook, or Google. Or take pictures to create a snow day journal you can email or print to make a mini photo album.