You’re getting ready to go to take your children to school but outside your kitchen window you can see that the snow is falling heavily. The children are starting to smell the possibility of a snow day in the air, waiting on the automated message. In the case of a school closing, you have a long “To Do” list and the thought of having to stay at home fills you will a little bit of trepidation. How will you get everything done and entertain your children at the same time? Then the group text message arrives confirming your suspicions – “Interstate 15 is closed today due to a winter storm. Please keep your children safe at home until further notice.” The snow showers have presented you with a beautiful opportunity to spend quality time with your little loved ones (and your teens) to make some special memories. Your brain is racing at a hundred miles an hour to find the ideal options for maximum fun.
Its great to create a snow day play kit and wish list before the day actually arrives. This means you have a storehouse of clever possibilities to haul out of the cupboard and delight your children and teens. It could look something like this…
Top 5 Activities for Younger Kids During a School Closing
Its good to start off with a few rules. Number one is that you should definitely stay in your pajama’s all day. Rule number two states that every suggestion for play be met with loud, raucous shouts of, “Yes, Let’s.” Rule three says “Let’s make a mess.”
- You can make homemade non-toxic play dough
- 2 cups flour
- 2 cups warm water
- 1 cup salt
- 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 Tablespoon cream of tartar
- food coloring (or unsweetened Kool-Aid or similar drink mix)
- scented oils like lavender to create a calm and tranquil experience
When the dough pulls away from the sides and collects in the center, remove the pan from heat and allow the dough to cool so you can handle it easily. Turn the dough out onto a clean counter and knead until it becomes silky-smooth. Divide the dough into different balls for coloring.
In the center of the ball make a divot and drop some food coloring of your choice inside. Wear some gloves and fold the dough over, working the food color into it. PLAY!
You can also transform play dough sculptures into figurines by baking them and painting them.
- Build A Fort in the Living Room
You’ve been stranded on a desert island and have to start to make your new living quarters with the debris that has washed up from the ship onto the shore.
- Flash light
- Sheets, blankets, cushions
- Clothespins or safety pins
- Story books about pirates and shipwrecks
- Watch Old Musicals and Have a Sing A Long
Haul out your musical collection like “Annie,” “The Sound of Music,” “Joseph and his Amazing Technicolor Dream coat” for a dramatic sing and dance along. You can even bring out the really old classics like “Singing in the Rain,” “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers” and “Oklahoma”. Encourage dressing up for the part you are going to play.
- Make Art Works
- You can make mosaics with torn paper
- Collages by cutting up old magazines
- Watercolor snow art using small snowballs as paintbrushes
- Draw winter wonderlands based on the Nutcracker for the fridge.
- Color free printable pages from the internet
- Make cards and decorated letters to grandparents, friends and teachers
- Make your own homemade finger paints for your masterpieces
- Have an Indoor Picnic
Lunchtime can be an indoor picnic where the children pack the picnic basket, put out the picnic blanket and invite their toy friends to the party. The children pretend to be grown ups and dress up from their parent’s cupboards. Story time will be all about great picnics like Teddy Bears’ Picnic, A Picnic with Monet, The Most Perfect Spot or The Wind in the Willows.
Top 5 Snow Day Activities for Teens During a School Closing
Before you lose your teenager to their mobile devices and social media, lure them to come out of their dens and play with some of these options:
- Encourage Their Inner “Master Chef” and get them baking cupcakes, cookies, chocolate covered pretzels or the whole dinner menu.
- Poem Marathon: Everyone curls up on the living room couches with hot chocolate and reads their favorite poems to each other. For the teens, a great poem can be the lyrics of their favorite pop songs.
- High Stakes Board Game Championships: Board games and card games can form a long tournament across many different games. The score is kept and the winner can access great prizes like not having to do chores for the week, stay up an hour later or get extra pocket money.
- Write Handwritten Letters: Encourage community engagement. Teens can write letters to organizations pledging support or writing about their concerns. They can also write letters to family members or secret admirers.
- Paris Fashion Week: Teens can dress up in outrageous outfits and model their fashion lines that can be captured in fashion photos.
Of course there is always the option for teens and tiny tots to play outside in the snow making a snowman, going sledding or having a snowball fight.
Be prepared. Snow days are always a possibility and you want to be ready. Let the fun find you willing.
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