As you look out into the darkness and watch the cascading snow continue to accumulate, a voice from the television set states the obvious: “Well parents, it’s another snow day!” Though you can relate the excitement you know your kids feel when they wake up to a free day, you cringe at the idea of eight hours filled with television, movies and video games. But what can you do to detach them from electronics and engage their minds and their imaginations?
Here are a few snow day ideas that are fun and entertaining…and might even teach your kids a few things!
-Shovel and salt your walkway and driveway. The physical exertion provides a great outlet for their energy. It’s also a great science experiment as they see, firsthand, the effect of salt on snow and ice. And nothing beats that feeling of accomplishment. Maybe they’ll even be inspired to do some shoveling for their neighbors!
-Bake cookies! If the kids are old enough, let them look through cookbooks and choose a recipe. Have them assemble the ingredients, bowls, measuring utensils and pans. This is a great exercise in following instructions and measurement…with a built-in reward for a job well done.
-Make a movie. They can act it out themselves or use dolls, stuffed animals, or action figures as the starts of the show. They can brainstorm ideas, write a script, record the movie, download it on the computer and add some finishing touches. This is great practice in collaboration and compromise as well as a fantastic exercise in creative writing.
-If some down time is required and the kids (and adults) are ready for some TV, try a new show with an educational component. The Discovery Channel’s “How It’s Made” and National Geographic’s “Brain Games” are fun and interesting shows that engage kids and adults alike. Animal Planet also has a number of programs to engage and excite your kids. Record some shows in advance or look at the “On Demand” selections.
-Read! Whether reading aloud to all the kids, or everyone reads on their own while snuggling on the couch, make the time for a good book.
Enjoy the snow and stay warm!