If you live in a region that gets cold weather, “snow day” is a term you’re most likely familiar with. Here in northeastern Pennsylvania, we definitely get our share of snow days each winter!
All that snow, ice, and wind can be inconvenient, for sure – but it can also end up being a lot of fun.
When snow strikes and you find yourself home with your kids, there are many ways to take advantage of the day off. Here are a few of our favorite snow day activities. (Bonus: they’re all educational!)
Outdoor Snow Day Activities
1. Study Snowflakes. Use a magnifying glass to look at snowflakes. Explain that these beautiful crystals are actually frozen water droplets. Add that even though no two snowflakes are the same, they all have six sides.
2. Frozen Bubbles. Who says bubbles are only for summer? Blowing bubbles in cold weather is a great way to show kids how different substances react to freezing temperatures. It helps to blow the bubbles close to the ground or another surface, so they don’t freeze in the air and then break when they land.
3. Snow Writing. Fill a few condiment containers with water and red, yellow, and blue food coloring and use them to write words and draw pictures in the snow. This is also a great way to decorate snow people! The kids can also try different color combinations to make new colors.
4. Measure Snow. Use a ruler (or yardstick if need be – yikes!) to measure the snow. Compare measurements from different places. Why might the snow be deeper in some places than others? Discuss how the wind can cause snow to drift. You can also talk about the difference between inches and centimeters.
5. Snow Animals. Pretend to be animals that live in colder climates. Kids can act like penguins, polar bears, snow foxes, seals, etc. Discuss some of the characteristics of these animals that help them to survive in such extreme conditions.
Then, when it’s time to come inside and warm up (or if it’s just too cold to go outside in the first place), you can try some indoor snow day activities:
Indoor Snow Day Activities
6. Paper Snowflakes. Use different colored construction paper to make paper snowflakes. The kids can color the paper first to create different designs and patterns. Have the kids try to think of different ways to fold and cut to create new shapes.
7. Melting and Freezing. Have the kids scoop snow into cups or bowls and bring them inside. They can watch as the snow melts and discuss why this happens. Why do they think the snow turns into water when it’s inside? Explain that snow is made up of tiny ice crystals, and that when the temperature is above 32 degrees, those ice crystals begin to melt.
8. Hot Chocolate. Because what goes better with snow than hot chocolate? Turn mini marshmallows into a learning activity! Put the marshmallows together to form letters and words. You can also use the marshmallows to practice adding and subtracting.
Then, have the kids add the marshmallows to their hot chocolate and watch as they melt. How are the marshmallows like the melting snow? How are they different?
9. Snowscapes. Draw pictures of snowy scenes, snowmen, and snowflakes. Tell the kids to draw a picture of the backyard covered in snow or what they’d like their snowmen to look like. For something a little different, use black construction paper and chalk to make some pretty nighttime pictures!
10. Snow Poems. Write wintry acrostic poems using words like SNOW, ICE, WINTER, and COLD. Kids can also write haikus or limericks about fun in the snow.
To help your kids with their poems, you can first create a word bank with them. Write down lots of words to describe winter weather (here’s a good winter word list if you’re looking for ideas!). The kids can refer to the word bank as they write their poems.
The next time the snow keeps you home, try some of these fun and educational activities with your kids! What’s your favorite snow day activity? Tell us below!
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