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3 Ways to Keep Kids Busy on a Snow Day

Snow has dominated many of our lives over the past couple months.  Even in areas of the country where snow plowers are regularly used, excess snow and ice can lead schools to call it quits.  Especially on days when you were expecting the kids to be out of the house, it can be a little overwhelming to figure out what to do with them for a whole day that won’t lead to complete chaos across the house.  

Of course, there will be some differences based on ages on personalities.  You  might have a teenager who is content to read a mystery novel for eight hours straight (lucky you), but you probably have at least one kid that will binge watch a TV show instead.  Given that doctors still recommend that we limit screen time for children, On the other hand, you can only make snowman for so long, and only if you’ve got packable snow. Here are three unique alternatives to traditional snow day activities.

Treasure Hunting

Make sure you’ve got proper winter gear for this one!  Go out and hide some “treasure” in the snow, whatever nick  nacks you’ve got lying around, as long as it’s waterproof.  Take care to make sure you bury them in easily identifiable places.   Then, make a map for them to find the treasure!  Snow treasure hunting means they don’t have to dig in the dirt and get filthy fingerprints around the house.  

Alternatively, you could go actual treasure hunting with the proper equipment.  Metal detectors can be safely used in the snow; target spots where people might drop coins or trinkets, like the bottom of sled hills or parking lots.  Digging in too many inches of snow can be painful, even in the thickets of gloves, so good map making and tools like metal detectors can save valuable time and make the kids enjoy the experience.

Homemade Ice Rink

This  might seem like an insurmountable task, but with the right preparation, it can be done easily.  Yes, it will take a lot of time, but this will hang around for weeks given the right weather.  It’s something that your kids can take advantage of on further snow days or when they do get home from school!

You will need a large tarp, lots of PVC pipe, and time.   Also, make sure you have a flat piece of land.  While it doesn’t need to be completely flat, point out any lumps for your kids to avoid.  Obviously, any rolling hills are not the best choice.

Snow Art

This all depends on your kids artistic leaning.  If they’re painters, let them paint the snow.  Using food coloring and water, you can paint the snow in an environmentally safe way.  Can you imagine a bigger canvas?

Perhaps their interest are more culinary?  They can make ice cream using snow!  Make sure the snow they pick out is clean; you want freshly fallen, not days-old in the backyard.  Any particular artistic interest can be combined with snow.  You could act out Frozen, construct buildings and forts, near anything.  The only limits are your imagine and the amount of snow!

Dayton Uttinger's picture

Dayton socializes for a living and writes for fun, all while caring for her ten year old uncle. Her rarely relevant degree gives her experience in political science, writing, Spanish, rugby, theater, coding, and spreading herself too thin. She will forever be a prisoner of her family’s business, doomed to inherit responsibility despite frequent existential protests.