Winter

Snow Day—Enjoy Staying Indoors with these Cabin-Fever Beaters

Whether you joined your kids in doing “the snow dance” or you’re silently cursing county officials for canceling school, here you are with the kids at home for a full day. If it’s not too cold and your kids are old enough, sledding, snowmen and snowball fights could take up a lot of the day. But, kids are bound to get cold, bored, tired, hungry, or just sick of snow and they will come inside looking for entertainment. With a little forethought and planning, staying inside on a snow day can be fun.


Here are our top picks for snow day fun inside the house.

ThinkstockPhotos 863114768lrGet Cooking

When all else fails, feed them. Stick with the snow theme and involve the kids in creating the treats to keep them entertained.

Snowman Sugar Cookies—Use store-bought sugar cookies, or make your own. Then decorate as snowmen: Frost with white frosting, use M&Ms for eyes, chocolate chips or other candy for nose and mouth. Gummy lifesavers attached to each ear by a licorice strand work for earmuffs.

Marshmallow Snowmen—Stack marshmallows and connect them with toothpicks or a lollipop/cake-pop stick. Decorate with icing, chocolate chips or candies.

Maryland Snowballs—Use fresh, clean snow and combine with juice or another flavoring in homage to the snowballs of summertime.

 

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It’s Science

Schools are closed, but that doesn’t mean kids have to take a vacation from learning. Snow naturally lends itself to science, but the type of experiments you can perform will depend on the age of the children and the amount of mess you’re willing to make.

Melting/Evaporation—Because the stovetop is involved, parents need to take center stage for this experiment. Kids in elementary school and older will be especially interested in determining how long it takes for snow to melt, and eventually evaporate. First, get a cup of snow (or a measurement of your choosing), then heat a frying pan on the stove on high heat. Once the pan is hot, place the snow in the frying pan. Set a stopwatch to determine how long it takes the snow to melt and evaporate. Experiment with different stovetop settings. How much longer does it take the snow to melt and evaporate when on medium and low settings versus a high setting?

Colorful Ice Balloons—This project is a mix of art and science. Fill balloons with water, and add a few drops of food coloring. Put them in a container so they stay upright, then place in the freezer. When the balloons are frozen solid, cut away the balloon and you’ll find colorful ice balls. These are fun to place outside for decoration. Encourage the kids to measure around the ice ball each day and document how long it takes before the balloons melt.

 

ThinkstockPhotos 178269130lrIndoor Snowball Fight

Of course there’s plenty of the white stuff to stage the real thing. But sometimes it’s too cold outside or maybe it’s time to take a break. Surprise the kids with an indoor snowball attack. Ball up a lot of socks—the more the better—and start winging them at the kids. They will love this impromptu snowball fight. Everyone stays warm. No one gets hurt (crossing fingers), and cleanup is minimal. They will probably ask for this every snow day.

Lights, Camera, Action!

Drama queens in the house? Put that theatrical flair to work. If they’re old enough, encourage the kids to write their own script. Then, get as elaborate as you like. Make scenery from poster board. Round up some props and throw together costumes from old Halloween getups, or search the closets for whatever might work. Record the little actresses and actors and replay for added entertainment. With any luck, you’ll at least get a few takes for the family gag reel.

 

Get Artsy

After burning off some energy, craft projects are the perfect way to calm kids and keep them entertained.

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Sock Snowmen—
You’ll need rice, crew-length white socks, shorter colorful socks, buttons, map pins, rubber bands, old shirts or rags, and a hot glue gun. Stuff the crew socks with rice to make the snowmen as plump as you like. Tie the top and secure with rubber bands. Then secure another rubber band about three-quarters of the way from the top to make the head. Cut rags or old shirts to make scarves for the snowmen, use the buttons on his mid-section, and use map pins for eyes. Cut down the colorful socks to create fun hats.

Snow Slime—Slime has been all the rage this year. When stuck inside on a snowy day, why not make snow slime? It’s pretty much like the regular stuff with the addition of fake snow. If you don't have fake snow on hand, white glitter or cotton balls cut into tiny pieces will do: 

Recipe: Mix one-half cup of white glue with one-half cup of liquid starch. Then add as much artificial snow or glitter as you like. Knead until it’s formed and does not stick to your hands. If it’s too sticky, add more liquid starch.

by Kristy MacKaben

For more snow day fun, both indoors and out, check out these snowy day activities.