Snow finally arrived in Southern Indiana this past weekend and it is sticking around too. As beautiful as it was to watch it fall, there is only so much time kids will handle being indoors without being bored. Today I am going to give you some ideas for activities to do with your kids during, what seems like, the never-ending snow days.
Playing with Snow Activities
We all know the routine...spend 20 minutes putting on all three layers of warm clothes, hats, scarves, gloves (gloves take 10 minutes alone!), boots....gotta go potty...do it all again, just for them to be outside for 10 minutes. Well the good news is snow doesn't have to stay outside! Bring a container of snow inside to play. I like to use a deep dish baking pan, but you can use a tray with deep edges, a bucket, or an empty storage container. Once you have the snow inside you have a lot of options for play. Painting is a fun idea and your kids will love to paint on something different than paper. Grab a paint brush and paint the snow with water colors, tempera paint, or even food coloring.
Another way to play with your indoor snow is to use cars and trucks to drive through the snow or fill the truck up and dump it. Use kitchen utensils to scoop, dump, or pretend they are making snow muffins. If you have a Mr. Potato Head at your house, a great activity is to have your kids make snowballs with the snow you brought in and use the Mr. Potato Head pieces to create a Mr. Snowball. The kids will love this and think it's pretty funny too.
Snow ice cream is a great activity to do with preschool age kids also. Be sure to grab some fresh snow for this activity. I have added the recipe below:
Fun Indoor Activities
By using some items you most likely already have around your house, your kids can have fun entertainment that will keep them thinking and moving. One of my favorite quick and easy activities is Solo cup building. All you need is a stack of Solo cups from your pantry and have your kids build with them. Solo cups are different than plain o'blocks and this alone will keep their attention for a longer amount of time.
A maze is an idea that will keep your kids active and they will be learning to problem solve too. For this activity take some toilet paper from your bathroom or some leftover crepe paper from your last birthday party to make a maze down a hallway in your house. Simply tape pieces to the wall and tell your kids they have to get through the maze without breaking it.
You can do several activities indoors with painters tape or masking tape. You can tape a "road" to the floor and have your child drive his or her cars and trucks on the road. Grab some Legos from the toy bin to create a city along your roadways. Another great tape activity is to tape some lines measuring about a foot apart on the floor. Have your kids use the lines to jump, hop, crawl, or crab walk over the lines, then have them try to do it backwards too. You could also play long jump to see who can jump the farthest. To add a little math to your day, have them lay on the ground to measure the length of their body. Then mom and dad lay down next and compare the difference.
Balloons are always a perfect thing to take out on a long-boring day. Blow up a couple of balloons and tell your kids the balloons are not allowed to touch the ground. Watch as they tap and concentrate on the balloons. They think it is all just for fun, but this is a perfect activity to strengthen their hand-eye coordination. Another activity is to have your kids stick a balloon in between their knees have them "waddle like penguins" around the house. Or grab a straw and have a balloon race by blowing in the straw to make the balloon move across a table or down a hallway
Snow days are a perfect time to practice the skills your child has been working on at school. Play a game of Go Find It. Tell your child to find something in your house that starts with the letter, the color, or the shape they have been working on at school and bring it to you. To work on writing their name, pour some salt (flour, sugar, bread crumbs, or corn meal work too) in a shallow container and have them write it with their finger. If they are still in the beginning stages of writing their name, write their name on a piece of paper and add it to your tray before the salt so they can trace their name with their finger. You could also do this with the snow you brought in too. A fun activity that my own kids enjoy is using a washable marker or crayon to write on a big window or on a glass front door. They think it is awesome to write on a window and it only takes a little Windex and a paper towel to wipe it off.
Lastly, I wouldn't be a teacher if I didn't have on my activity list to read. Read their favorite book. Yes, the one you have read a million times and they know all the words by heart. Read a new book they've never heard before. Ask them questions throughout the book about what the characters are doing, what do they think is going to happen next, and at the end of the story ask them if they can tell the story back to you in their own words.
I hope these activities help you survive the snow day ahead. If you have more snow day ideas I would love to hear them too!