Snow day fun: When the weather outside is frightful, make your child’s day delightful!

Stuck inside this winter? Check out these tips for keeping your kids engaged and entertained when the weather keeps you inside.

Pull out your favorite board or card games when the weather keeps you inside.
Pull out your favorite board or card games when the weather keeps you inside.

As the temperature drops, snow falls and winter bears down on us, it is easy for kids (and parents too!) to get cabin fever. Inside recess, snow days and a lack of outside activities can make your child feel bored, lethargic or moody. While it may be tempting to plug in and tune out with the TV or a tablet, remember that to much screen time can be harmful for your children (Read more about limiting screen time here). It’s important to keep kids stimulated and active, even if the weather keeps you inside.

Michigan State University Extension has some ideas of ways to brighten any snowy day and chase away the winter blues:

  • Get comfy – declare a family pajama day! Build a blanket fort – grab sheets, towels, blankets or anything you have on hand to create a special nook where children can play, read or do art projects.
  • Add some drama - Put on a play! Help children pick a familiar story or write their own. Don’t forget props and costumes. If you’re without a captive audience, record the performance and share with family and friends.
  • Go play– Play charades or Pictionary, make a “pin the carrot on the snowman” game, or pull out your favorite board or card games. Play hide-and-seek. If you run out of hiding spots have your child pick five household items and have your child search for them.
  • Read together – Savor your child’s favorite story, or dive into a new adventure. Talk about the story as you are reading. Invite your child to make predictions and use their imagination. Ask: How would the story be different if Peter Pan was a bear? What would you do if you had a magic wand?
  • Make a mess - Put shaving cream on the kitchen table or in the bathtub and let your kids explore. Add cars, dinosaurs or paintbrushes to extend the play. Have a cotton ball snowball fight
  • Experiment – Put on your safety goggles and try an easy home science experiment. You could try Food Science, Kitchen Chemistry or check out Pinterest for more ideas.
  • Whip up some fun – Pull out your cookbooks and empty your cupboards. Try a new recipe and involve your child in every step. (This is a great opportunity to practice math and science concepts. Fractions have never tasted so delicious!)
  • Plan ahead - Have your kids come up with ideas of things they want to do on snow days in advance and put together a snow day survival kit. Stash away new or novel toys, games, and activities and save them for a snowy day!

Remember the most important part of a snowy day inside: Hot chocolate! Spice things up with one of these tasty recipes: Peppermint Hot Chocolate, Salted Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate or Caramel Hot Chocolate. Don’t forget the marshmallows!

Happy snow day!

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