Early Learning

16 Snow Day Activities

2 Comments 28 January 2014

Having the little ones home for inclement winter weather days, whether heavy snow or potential ice, can allow much needed quiet family time. With little time and resources for parent preparation, the key is putting together simple activities that spark the mind and prevent restlessness.

Quiet days indoors can be an opportunity to help young children learn how to live at a slower pace with less stimulation and greater appreciation for simple pursuits.

Here are 16 quiet yet fun indoor projects that emphasize creativity, thoughtfulness, discovery, preparation, clean up, and observation.

Cutting Snowflakes

Paint a Natural Collection

If you can allow the children a few minutes outside, explore and gather a few natural items, such as rocks, leaves, and sticks. When you return inside, decorate your collection with a variety of acrylic paints and glitter. Create a special place for artwork to dry.

Part of the artistic process is patience, including the time to set up a work space, clean up, and wait for the finished pieces to dry.

Natural Collection

 

Press Flower Petals

Gather petals from a flower arrangement. Press them between two sheets of plastic wrap or wax paper. Lead the children around the house to find a place that is heavy, flat, and safe to press the flower petals for several days.

While developing the important value of delayed gratification, children will be delightfully curious and excited as they anticipate the big reveal.

Press Flower Petals

 

Simple Science

Talk with your children about the three states of water—solid, liquid, and gas. Discuss possible changes that might occur when placing liquid water or ice in different temperature conditions. Design your own experiment to answer the questions your children pose.

For instance, Baby #1 and Baby #2 wanted to know what would happen to water in the cold outside. For variation, we placed tepid water in two large Ziplock bags, as well as two small Ziplock bags. We expanded the question to determine what would happen to frozen water in the cold outside. We placed bowls of ice in the same location.

Keep a science journal to log results every 15 minutes.

Rather than worrying about the sophistication or the outcome, the emphasis of the experiment should focus mostly on the process of asking questions, making hypotheses, and observing results.

Simple Science

Sochi Coloring Book

Search online for Sochi printable coloring and activity sheets. Staple the pages in a small book. Discuss the upcoming winter Olympic games, including the location, athletes and sporting events, Olympic rings and symbols, torch relay, and ceremonies, including the opening, medal, and closing ceremonies.

Expand the activity to create your own paper torch. Play indoor Olympic sporting events, such as hallway hockey.

Sochi Coloring

Sochi Coloring Book

Make Play Dough

Follow this simple recipe to make your own soft play dough.

2 cups flour

1 cup salt

2 cups water

2 tablespoons oil

4 teaspoons cream of tartar

few drops of food coloring

Stir all ingredients in a sauce pan on low heat. Continue stirring until the mixture becomes slightly firm. Remove the pan from the heat when the dough easily pulls away from the side of the pan. Knead dough by hand until completely cool. Now play!

 

Think Simple, Creative, Homemade

Enjoy any of these simple, hands-on activities:

  • Choose a wordless picture book and write the story
  • Play pizzeria and make homemade pizza (Try the Pioneer Woman’s Perfect Pizza Crust!)
  • Write sight words on index cards or foam shapes; then match puzzle pieces and toys to the words
  • Do floor puzzles
  • Dance to songs on the radio or Wii Just Dance
  • Use left over glass Christmas bulbs to make keepsake handprint snowman ornaments
  • Play dress up and put on a play or pageant of your favorite story
  • Bake cookies and make an extra batch for a neighbor or the local fire department
  • Update a scrapbook for this school year
  • Play card games with a regular 52-card deck, such as Go Fish, War, Crazy Eights, and Old Maid
  • Play pen and paper games, such as tic-tac-toe, hang man, bingo, and the dot game

 

Happy snow day!

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2 Comments so far

  1. Lori says:

    Sounds like you’ve had some fun-filled hours!


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