Faced with a snow day and it’s too cold and icky to actually have your children play outside? What’s a mama to do after watching all the princess videos and Dinosaur Train episodes? Whether you or a caregiver stays with your pre-school and early elementary aged kids, food must be prepared and activities must be accomplished!
The following activities coincide with popular books that you can easily find in your library (or YouTube) if you don’t already have them on your shelves.
“The Snowy Day” by Ezra Jack Keats
(Don’t have the book? Watch a video by clicking here.)
Make your own snowflakes.
Borax Snowflake Crystals
This will make one snowflake crystal.
Hot water – (the hotter the water, the better the borax will dissolve) enough to fill one pint sized mason jar
1/3 cup borax – you can find this in the laundry aisle
pint mason jar
- Form your pipe cleaners into a snowflake shape while you heat water.
- Add water to your mason jar.
- Mix in borax. Stir it but don’t worry if it isn’t completely dissolved.
- Attach your pipe cleaner shape to the string and suspend it from the pen/pencil while submerging it in your jar. Your pencil will lay across the mouth of the jar.
- Leave it overnight. In the morning you will have a pretty crystallized “snowflake.”
You may find crystals that have formed at the top, bottom or sides of the jar. No problem, just take a utensil and slowly work it around the jar to free the snowflake.
(Are you more of a visual learner? You can watch a handy YouTube video of this craft by clicking here.)
Please make your children aware that this is not food. Borax can be toxic if ingested. This is a great time to teach delayed gratification and that some things are to be seen and not touched. Obviously, you are the best judge of the appropriateness of any activity with your children.
In “The Snowy Day” Peter makes different kinds of tracks in the snow by pointing his feet in and out and also by dragging his feet and a stick along side of him. You can have your child mimic his footprints with Snow Paint.
1 cup of salt
1 cup of flour
1 cup of water
Mix ingredients together.
Use heavy paper or cardstock and kid friendly paint brushes. After painting a patch of snow, allow your child to carve into the “snow” with a Popsicle stick or even the blunt end of his paint brush.
When dried, the paint will have a gritty texture.
Rumbly tummies need snacks. This is a quick and easily prepared snack.
butter flavored spray oil
edible toppings of your choice
- Heat oven to 400*.
- Microwave tortillas for about 10-15 seconds until they are warm.
- Fold each tortilla as if you were folding paper to make a snowflake. Cut shapes.
- Unfold the tortilla and place it onto a cookie sheet lightly sprayed with oil.
- Spray snowflake with oil and sprinkle granulated sugar on top.
- Bake for about 5 minutes until lightly browned and crisp.
- Remove from oven and then sprinkle with confectioner’s sugar or any other toppings you enjoy.
“White Snow, Bright Snow” by Alvin Tresselt
(Find the video here.)
Build a Village
Lay down butcher paper, cotton batting or stretch out cotton balls to simulate snow. Have your child consult the book and duplicate the buildings and the village using wooden blocks. Add in toy vehicles and you have yourself a bright, snowy day for sure.
Indoor Snowball Fight
You’ve probably seen the kits to make your own indoor snowballs. They come wrapped brightly and set into a glistening galvanized bucket. Why spend the money on that when you can just as easily create your own? Ball up pairs of white socks (folding one into the other and wrapping the outside sock over both socks), place into a sand bucket or large plastic bowl and viola! These snowballs are soft enough to toss at each other or even back into the bucket a few feet away from your child. Stack up your red Solo cups in a pyramid shape and have your child knock down as many as he can. Print off a bullseye target to hang on the bedroom door and count how many times they hit the middle target. Make sure the cat is hidden, well out of the line of fire!
If you have some white tempera paints and wagon wheel pasta shapes, you are well on your way to a fun way to paint a snow scene. Just dip the pasta shapes into the paint and “stamp” onto heavy blue paper or card stock. An empty thread spool or pencil eraser will do nicely also! All make fun shapes to decorate the page.
“Bear Snores On” by Karma Wilson and illustrated by Jane Chapman
(Find the video of some very adorable children reading “Bear Snores On” by clicking here.)
Make Bear Claw Cookies.
Click for the recipe here.
Play-doh Wildlife Tracks
An activity that may surprise you with the fun it generates, is simply pulling out your play-doh supply and your children’s plastic animal figures. Spread out a mound of playdoh and let your children make tracks of their favorite animals – don’t forget the bear! Get out the trusty old magnifying glass (we got ours at the dollar store), and your kids can “investigate” wild animal tracks.
Sleepy Bear, Sleepy Bear
You can make your own sleepy bear with this simple, age appropriate paper craft. All it takes is two different colors of brown paper, and black paper and the ability to draw circles and rectangles. Easy Peasy. You can find templates by clicking here.
Gummy Bear Game
On a piece of paper, free hand several circles, about four inches in diameter. Allow your child to color each circle, directing them to correspond to the colors of the gummy bears in your package. Open your package of gummy bears and have your child put each gummy bear in the circle with the matching color. Then eat!
I hope you have found a fun new story or two and activities that celebrate a love for reading and for winter that you can try with your kiddos.