As beautiful as the snow is, at some point, the kids decide that they’ve had enough of being cooped up inside. With the winter storms that have hit much of the country, kids all over are antsy to work off energy, and parents are anxious to find a distraction for them.
TV often becomes the fall back option as parents fight their way through the winter months, but there are other activities that kids can do which are just as fun and much better for their minds. Check out these five non-technology ideas to fill a snow day, and watch your kids blossom in spite of the cold!
1. Sensory Bins
If you’ve spent any time at all on Pinterest, you’ve seen these sensory bins floating around. I didn’t believe how entertaining they would be until I gave them a try with my own kiddos! You don’t need any fancy tutorial to make a sensory bin. Just rifle through your pantry and pull out some beans, rice, or some combination of both. Dump them in a bin, and add some kitchen implements like tongs, cups, spoons, and maybe a few toys. Then, just let your kids play! The bins are highly entertaining and great for exploring. Using them over a sheet makes clean up a breeze. For some extra sensory bin activity inspiration, click here.
These blocks are so fun! I actually store our blocks in our garage and bring them in on “special” occasions to keep them new and exciting. How about building a castle with these large blocks? Or better yet, an indoor igloo! An indoor igloo made out of blocks on a snowy day is the perfect spot to enjoy a cup of hot chocolate when the kids are ready for a break. For more ideas on what to do with the blocks, click here.
3. Blanket Fort
It doesn’t get any more classic than a blanket fort, but oftentimes parents forget that the simplest activities are the ones that brought them the most joy as kids. On a snowy day, the blankets are already out anyway. Why not help your kids build a fort with them, and then set their stuffed animals and books inside for a snuggly story time?
Another classic, puzzles encourage all sorts of brain development while still being fun! Try setting out several puzzles and then have a race to see who can finish first. Or use puzzle pieces to inspire a drawing. Have your kids draw the habitat of a Zoo Animal Puzzle piece, or an appropriate location for one of the pieces from the Transportation Peg Puzzle.
5. I Spy
If your kids are still wiggly, maybe they need to go on a treasure hunt. Quickly jot down 10-15 items, colors, or numbers and ask your kids to take the list and find something that matches each bullet point. Maybe they will find five pairs of socks for “five identical objects”, and your red scarf for “something red.” And when they are done? Send them to start the list over with the rule that their found objects can’t be a repeat of anything from the first time!
With a few ideas tucked in the back of your mind, you don’t need to worry about snow days any longer. In fact, snow days just might become as exciting for you and they are for your kids!
Rebecca Ishum lives with her husband, Sean, and their two-year-old quadruplets in Kansas City. She writes a parenting/lifestyle blog about raising her unique family at abeautifulruckus.com and is a freelance writer for local parenting magazines. She loves documenting as many little moments about her kids, motherhood, and marriage as possible: the good, the bad, and the silly!