It's a snow day! The kids are excited, but the real question is... what are some fun things to do on a snow day? Snow day activities for kids need to include ideas to burn off energy indoors, quiet time to give parents a break, a few outdoor activities just in case the weather cooperates, and–last but not least–one or two snow day traditions that give families a bit of structure in an otherwise free-for-all day.
Below you will find all parents need to keep from going stir-crazy while the kids are home from school!
Indoor Snow Day Activities
Just because it's snowing outside doesn't mean kids don't have energy to burn! Whether you have a lot of space or only a little, one of these ideas is sure to work.
Make a dozen sock balls. Here's what you can do with them:
- play sock bowling with empty plastic bottles
- have an indoor snow ball fight
- toss them into a basket set on the floor or up high on a shelf
- cut a hole (or holes) in a cardboard box to toss the socks into
- play sock ball soccer/baseball/dodgeball/broom hockey/catch
Set up an indoor obstacle course for toy cars. Use blocks, stacks of books, a propped up cookie sheet for a ramp, and anything else the imagination inspires.
Put shapes of painter's tape on the floor. Have kids navigate the room by only jumping from shape to shape, à la "the floor is lava." Alternatively, tell them they can't step in the shapes. Or, using Nerf or ping pong balls, bounce balls only in the squares.
Invent a game. Give your kids 3-5 random objects and challenge them to use their imaginations to invent an active game. My kids once invented this crazy magnetic number fishing and obstacle course game.
Need more ideas: Check out our giant list of indoor activities for kids.
Quiet Time Ideas
When parents are exhausted, but children are still revved up, the right quiet time activity can settle everyone down.
Cut paper snowflakes. A personal favorite. Watch this how to video and then cut, cut, cut!
Have an indoor snow traffic jam! Bring in a tray full of snow, add a few construction toys and your child will be busy until the snow melts.
Put on an audiobook. Here is a list favorite classic audiobooks for the whole family.
Work on a brain teaser. Print out one of our brain teasers for the kids to solve. Here are three options that kids love:
Try a new craft. For sure, parents will want to share one of these groovy retro crafts with their kids.
Outdoor Activities for a Snow Day
If weather permits, be sure to get outside! In addition to the classic outdoor winter activities like the must-build snowpeople and obligatory snow angels, try these out-of-the-box ideas.
Make a snow volcano! Place a glass jar in the snow. Tightly pack snow around it in the shape of a volcano. Add a few tablespoons, a squeeze of dish soap, a few drops of food coloring to the jar. Now, slowly pour white vinegar into the cavity and watch it erupt!
Paint in the snow. Fill spray or squirt bottle with water and head outside to color the snow. A few drops of food coloring in water will do the trick.
Build a snow obstacle course. Designate a starting line and an ending point. Between the two set up a few tasks to be completed. Some ideas are: build a mini snowman, throw snowballs at a target, shovel a pile of snow, make a snow angel, draw circles in the snow and jump from one to another, and more!
Make ice wreaths. Ice wreaths will make the neighbors smile, too! Fill a cake pan with a hole in the middle with water and drop in nature items like berries and small pine cones. Set outside to freeze, or place in the freezer. Hang up with a ribbon.
Snow Day Traditions
Start a new snow day tradition with your kids! Having a set activity or series of activities gives children something specific to look forward to and gives them a bit of structure on a day when most plans have to be thrown on the window. Plus, having a snow day tradition will create great childhood memories.
Watch a silent film. Here are five favorite silent movies kids will enjoy.
Read and recite winter poetry. Here are some family-friendly classic and contemporary winter poems.
Decorate postcards and write letters to grandparents.
Have hot cocoa and bake cookies. Don't forget the marshmallows!
Happy snow day!