“SNOW DAY!” scream your children as they run down the stairs. “No school! No school!” Yes, a snow day is arguably one of a student’s favorite things. (And some teachers, too.)
Now the real challenge begins. All of a sudden your children are at home with you (or a sitter) all day. How do you keep them occupied for the whole day? Sure, there are plenty of easy options, like spending the day watching TV, playing video games, or going out to see a movie. But does education have to stop just because school is closed? No way!
I was inspired to write this post by my cousin, who has two adorable boys under the age of 10. During this past Monday’s snow day, she got together with a neighbor to entertain all of their kids who had the day off. Her neighbor posted pictures of the kids and I had to chuckle at the caption: “It’s amazing what you can come up with on a snow day with a little painter’s tape and Pinterest.”
It’s true. Pinterest has become a fabulous resource for ideas and inspiration. In fact, I found these 5 Fun (and Educational) Snow Day Activities by searching boards on Pinterest. Enjoy!
SCIENCE: Borax Crystal Snowflakes
Here is a simple science project from Come Together Kids that can quickly become a favorite craft – homemade snowflakes! Mix Borax cleaning solution and water in a drinking glass. Make decorative shapes out of leftover pipe cleaners and suspend them in the glass using a pencil. Let it sit there for the whole day and watch as real crystals start to form. You can take them out of the glass in 24 hours and use them as a decoration. Who knew science could be so pretty? (For an explanation of how the experiment works, visit http://www.education.com/activity/article/borax-sparklers-growing-crystals/.)
MATH: Frosty the Paint Stick
Pink and Green Mama shares a fun 2-in-1 project for art and measurement fun. Using paint, a free stir stick, and a ruler, your child can create their very own “Frosty the Paint Stick”. After he dries, stick him outside in the snow to measure the snowfall. (Depending on where you live, you may want to invest in a longer ruler instead of a paint stick – I had over a foot of snow at my place on Monday!) To extend the activity, decide on four times a day to check the snow (ex. morning, lunch time, dinner time, before bed) and have your child keep track of the measurements in a small notebook.
ART: Snow Paint, Scented Snow Paint, and “Magic Snow”
For a fun art project, try creating some snow paint! Growing a Jeweled Rose has simple recipes for various types of snow paint made with natural ingredients. You’ll need to pick up a few squirt bottles at the dollar store, but the rest of the ingredients may already be in your kitchen. Food coloring makes simple snow paint, adding Kool-Aid gives it a fun scent, and you can even hunt for “magic snow” with vinegar and baking soda. The possibilities are endless!
READING: Hot Chocolate Spoons and a Favorite Book
Encourage your children to read by letting them help you in the kitchen. Alpha Mom has a simple recipe for homemade hot chocolate spoons that will tantalize and delight even your high school students. Melt chocolate chips in the microwave, dip spoons, and decorate them. (Make sure you’re there to supervise – the chocolate can get very hot!) After they dry, stir them into classic hot chocolate for a flavor explosion. You can even pick out one of your children’s favorite books and read it together while sipping the hot chocolate. Or, if the weather is nice enough, make a special trip to the library to pick out a new book.
MUSIC: Rain Sticks
If all the snow is getting you down, start thinking of spring! Homemade rain sticks are simple rhythm instruments and a fun craft project. Plus, this is a great excuse to talk to your kids about recycling. A rain stick is essentially a long tube that mimics the sound of the rain using grains and nails or tacks. Here is a simple tutorial from The Imagination Tree. Make sure you supervise (or help) your children with hammering the nails and/or tacks. Your kids will have so much fun adding the grains and decorating the tube. The end sound is beautiful. Make sure to tape over your nails and seal the edges, unless you want rice all over your living room.
But, wait! There’s one more!
BONUS: Sticky Spider-Web
Here is the activity that inspired the post. My cousin’s neighbor found the link to this Hands On As We Grow activity from Pinterest. Using painter’s tape, create a spider web in a doorway. Have your kids crumble up old magazines or newspapers and throw them at the web to make them stick. Set a timer and make a game out of it to see who can get the most pieces stuck in 30 seconds. You can even make a tape line on the floor as a starting place. This is a great gross motor activity if it’s too cold to go outside.
How do you entertain your kids during a snow day? Share your activities in the comments and make sure to follow our blog to see the responses!
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