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Most kids love snow days, but it can be a challenge for working parents to keep the unexpected time together enjoyable and productive. Being a mom who works outside of the home full time, I can attest to the fact that it is definitely a change in routine! When our kids wake up to find out it’s a snow day, the best thing we can do is take a breath and prepare for the snow day activities!
After all, as much as we, as parents, may scoff at the idea of cold messy snow that is preventing us from getting to work or important appointments, try to remember how it felt as a child!
Remember Your Favorite Snow Day Activities
If there’s a winter storm in your forecast, try out some of your old favorites from childhood or try these ideas for keeping the kids entertained while enjoying the time together as a family!
Indoor Snow Day Activities
1. Make A Fun Breakfast
If you’re always rushing around in the morning to get to work and school on time, this is a great time to sit down and enjoy breakfast together. Try making some old-fashioned oatmeal. Or break out the waffle iron and let the kids help prepare the batter for homemade waffles. Teach them the tricks of squeezing fresh orange juice.
You can get extra creative and make snowmen donuts or sprinkle your waffles with powdered sugar and call it snow, in the spirit of the snow day!
2. Make Snow Day Hot Cocoa
Nothing quite sets the mood for a cold winter’s day like a nice cup of hot cocoa. The trick to making this really special though is to make your own! Forget about the instant packets with all those chemicals.
Use fresh milk or non-dairy milk. Add unsweetened cocoa and vanilla and sweeten to taste. You can add fresh marshmallows on top for extra fun!
3. Make Comfort Foods
I am a firm believer that most comfort foods are perfectly designed for snow days. Make up a big batch of homemade chicken noodle soup that can cook all day long. Bake your family’s favorite lasagna and freeze half for a fast and delicious meal some other evening!
I often even take these opportunities to bake cookies or cupcakes with the kids and let them help out in the kitchen! One of my kids’ favorite snow day activities is decorating cookies and cupcakes!
4. Play A Board Game
Believe it or not, board games aren’t just that thing you use to do with your family as a kid years ago. There are so many fun board games and we often forget how much we enjoy them!
If you’ve got an afternoon free, gather everyone around the table for a friendly board game. Let your kids pick their favorite and try to make everyone feel like a winner.
5. Watch A Movie Together
It’s hard to deny that cold, boring snow days make for perfect cuddling weather! I happen to think kids make pretty great snuggle partners.
Grab some soft blankets, pop some popcorn, and flip on Netflix. Let the kids pick out their favorite movie and curl up for a couple hours of warm, cozy, downtime on this cold day!
6. Make Some Snow Day Crafts
Get in touch with your creative side. Set out some craft supplies and join your kids in building their design skills. You can find tons of ideas online for easy to make crafts with lots of fun winter and/or holiday themes!
From DIY snow globes to various types of ornaments. Clear off some space and get ready to make memories AND projects together!
7. Go Through Photos Of Past Snow Day Activities
There’s a good chance you have old pictures of your children from when they were babies that they have never even seen. Or, even pictures of you when you were younger!
These can be really neat for your kids to see and hear stories about since our memories from when we are very young are often hard to recall. Reinforcing our family memories by looking through old pictures is a great way to grow closer as a family.
Outdoor Snow Day Activities
1. Dress Warmly
Kids tend to get overly excited on snow days, ready to run outside and dive into the snow. It’s not uncommon for them to underestimate how cold that snow truly is once it hits them! Make sure the kiddos (and parents!) dress warmly so that everyone can properly enjoy the snow.
Dress in layers, starting with long underwear. Remember your hat, mittens, and boots. It’s best to try to make your outer layer something waterproof, such as snow pants or a snowsuit.
2. Shovel the Sidewalk
Or, better yet, let the kids shovel the sidewalk! We actually bought a small youth snow shovel a few years back and it gets a ton of use each time it snows! While mom or dad shovel the driveway, the kiddo is able to shovel the walkway and help out.
It’s fun for him to play around with the snow plus he feels like he is helping out the adults, which he is. It’s a benefit for everyone involved and actually doubles as a fun snow day activity!
Related: DIY Christmas Grinch Slime
3. Make Snow Angels
Snow angels are the classic snow day fun for all ages! If you have never made a snow angel, it’s quite simple. You just lie on your back and sweep your arms and legs back and forth, to make what looks like angel wings and an angel “gown”. Then, you try to stand up without wrecking your creation!
4. Take A Nature Walk
Unless the snow is extremely deep, you may be able to take a tour on foot across the neighborhood or at least around your backyard. Watch your children’s surprise at how different everything looks under a layer of snow. Pay attention to animal tracks and snowdrifts.
5. Build A Snowman
Building a snowman is a rite of passage as a kid! This is one of the most important parts of a snow day in our family. We try to make our snowman as big as we can, and typically, although it’s completely unspoken, it seems like all of the neighbors are in competition to make the biggest!
You will want to put together your snowman while the snow is still clean and white. You can give him a carrot nose and button eyes. We usually give him sticks for arms and put some extra gloves on the ends as well as add on a sock hat and a scarf!
6. Help Out Wildlife
You can help your children develop compassion by showing them how to help animals. Explain that frozen water is difficult for them to drink, so you’re going to put out warm buckets periodically for the birds to use.
Snow day activities can be a ton of fun when you put a bit of creativity and forward thinking into them! Instead of being stressed out by the weather, look at the snow day as a chance to spend extra time enjoying your family together. Get outdoors for some fresh air or enjoy the fun and educational indoor activities as a family!
Do you and your kids have snow day activities you partake in year after year? What are your favorite ways to spend those unexpected snow days? I’d love to hear them in the comments!