Like it or not, Old Man Winter is going to visit us sooner or later.
Instead of spending the inevitable snowstorm sitting in front of the television or have their nose in their phones, try one or more of our ideas for keeping kids busy while being stuck indoors.
- Make dinner. A cold pasta salad is a great dish for kids of all ages to pull together. For the younger ones just pull out a variety of different ingredients that could go into the dish and let them pick and choose which ones to use. You could also do the same thing with a pizza crust and let them design their own.
- Get board. Snow days are the perfect time to dig out some of the old board games from the back of the closet. Challenge the kiddos to a game of Monopoly or prove your super-sleuth skills in a game of Clue.
- Be puzzled. Those old jigsaw puzzles are probably right next to the board games in the back of the closet and even a puzzle finished ages ago can present a new challenge on a day you are nestled inside.
- Feel the burn. Have the kids put on whatever sports-type clothes they have and encourage them to dance to music and do different exercise moves while you record their routine on your phone. Play it back on the TV for some extra fun.
- Pick a card. Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and whether they need cards to send to the grandparents or notes to give out to classmates, the next snow day could be the perfect time to have your little ones design their own Valentine’s Day card masterpieces. Print out black and white Valentine’s-themed coloring sheets. Or keep it simple and just trace hearts on construction paper and cut them out. If you are in the mood, break out the glitter and glue and go wild.
- Build a skyscraper. Using whatever safe items you have in the recycling bin, like old newspapers, paper towel tubes and tissue boxes, along with whatever other materials you want to throw in, and a couple of roles of masking tape, encourage the kids to start building. You could have contests for who could make the tallest structure or turn things sideways and see who can create the longest bridge.
- Write a letter. Let the kids choose a family member and have them draft a note about what’s been going on in their lives. Younger kids can dictate their thoughts to a parent or older sibling or even just draw a picture. Help them to address the envelope and get it all ready for the mailbox.
- Tap your inner bard. Try your hand at some basic poetry and see if you can get the kids to write a poem or song coming up with rhyming lines for a word or topic that you give them. Name poems are also good. Help your child write his or her name one letter at a time vertically down the edge of a piece of paper and then come up with a word that describes him or her that starts with each of the letters. You can end by decorating the paper.
- Plant a tree. Draw the outline of a tree or print out a black and white coloring book-style drawing of a tree from the internet and cut out some simple leaf shapes. Write the names of different family members on the leaves and glue them to the tree. Spend some time telling favorite stories about the family members while working on the project.
- Erupt a volcano. The internet is filled with recipes for making snow volcanoes and they all use items you should have around the house like baking soda, dish soap, vinegar and a little food coloring. Check out these instructions from Scholastic.