I’m sure you were among the thousands of Ohioans who rejoiced when it hit 60 degrees in mid-December. Like me, you probably crossed your fingers thinking, “Maybe it won’t snow this year.” “Maybe winter will pass over us and give us a break.”
Well, welcome to Northeast Ohio! (My city received nearly two feet of snow in the past two days.)
Snow days are upon us again as parents frantically search for ways to amuse their children. Whether you are staying home with your kids or sending them to a sitter, rest assured that there are plenty good ideas out there!
Last year, I wrote a post for our blog entitled 5 Fun (and Educational) Snow Day Activities, inspired by my cousin and her two young boys. I was overjoyed to see the response the post received! As soon as December arrived, I noticed how many people were finding ideas on our blog.
Well, I have decided to continue the tradition for 2016. So, for your (children’s) enjoyment, NCES presents:
5 More Fun (and Educational) Snow Day Activities
Science — Animal Track Visual Guide
One of the joys of winter is being outside in the snow. As adults, we tend to feel differently when we see the condition of the roads. Still, there is something magical about a winter scene.
On your next snow day, take your kids outside for an animal track scavenger hunt. Use the visual guide above to see what animals have been visiting your home. Younger children will have fun deciphering deer tracks from those of a squirrel. Older learners can speculate what types of winter environment attract certain animals.
(Take this activity one step further and take pictures of the tracks so you can create your own visual guide!)
Math — Don’t Slip Off the Snowflake!
I love this simple indoor game because it combines learning with gross motor movement. (The last thing you want is for your kids to get cabin fever during a blizzard.) Plus, it’s easily adaptable for advanced learners.
The concept of the game is that a player rolls the dice and then must walk on the snowflake to find the matching number and bring it back. Sounds easy, but don’t slip off the snowflake or step on a snow bomb. Once all of the numbers have been obtained, you can bring back the heart of the snowflake, located in the center. The one who brings back the heart wins.
Preschoolers could also play this game with numbers. You could easily change this game to practice math facts. But why stop at match? Try this game with your vocabulary words, spelling words, history dates, or science facts. There is no end to the creativity!
Art — Paint the Snow
As a child, I remember the awful feeling of being home on a snow day and not being able to play outside. Sometimes the weather conditions are just too severe. Thankfully, there are snowy activities you can do indoors.
Fill a large plastic storage bin with snow, bring it into the house, and set it on a tiled surface. Mix up a few cups of colored water, grab some paint brushes, and let the fun begin. You could also try spray bottles.
If you have toddlers at home, skip the paint supplies and opt for sandbox toys. They work just as well in the snow!
Music — DIY Kazoos
Encourage your child’s creativity by introducing them to music. Music and other fine arts help build confidence and teaches the benefits of hard work.
Kazoos are a simple instrument to make at home because it requires very few materials. Grab a paper towel tube, a piece of wax paper, and a rubber band and you have a musical instrument! Experiment by using different size tubes and poking multiple holes in your tube. Let your child decorate them and start a family band!
Reading & Writing — Winter Writing Prompts
Courtesy of your friends at North Coast Education Services, here are some fun winter themed writing prompts! Experienced writers can go on for pages, while emerging writers will need some guidance. Start with one simple sentence and then add on details. Where did you go get ice cream? Who joined you? What were you wearing?
But wait! There’s one more!
Bonus — Paper Airplane Flight School
Paper airplanes are a wonderful snow day activity because all you need is a piece of paper. There are hundreds of paper airplane templates online to set your imagination soaring! (Pun intended.)
Once you have created a fleet of paper airplanes, it’s time to go to flight school. First, help your pilot perfect the perfect landing.
This simple landing strip can be made anywhere in your home. Even though paper airplanes are unlikely to knock over a vase, you may still want to designate a clear space. Create your own landing strip and record which planes made the longest flights.
Once your rookie pilots have some experience under their belts, it’s time for the final exam:
With a piece of butcher paper or a poster board, you can easily make your own obstacle course. Place the circles anywhere you’d like and assign points accordingly. (Smaller circles are worth more points!) Your pilots must earn at least 100 points to receive their pilot’s license — which they can design and you can sign.
Enjoy these snow day activities and stay warm!