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Fact—nobody gets more excited about snowfall than kids (especially when it snows so much that schools are closed). And while parents may be less thrilled about the white powdery blanket outside (the front porch is not going to clean itself after all), a fresh layer of snow doesn’t mean you have to spend the day indoors. On the contrary.
Snowy days can be a lot of fun, both for kids and adults. They are a great opportunity to bond while building a snowman or snowshoeing and just spend some quality time with your little ones.
So don’t let the cold weather discourage you from going outside—there is nothing better for kids than taking in some fresh air, exploring the environment, and doing something fun with mom and dad that, years down the road, they will look back on with joy and gratitude.
From sledding to making snow graffiti, read on for ten great ideas for things to do in the snow when your kids have the day off from school.
Build Snow Sculptures
Encourage your children to channel their creativity into building a snow sculpture. Start with something easy such as a snowman, a Lego piece, or an animal (like a worm made out of snowballs). If that’s not challenging enough, try something harder such as a favorite cartoon character (Minions, for example).
If the snow outside is too powdery and doesn’t hold up shape very well, spray it with some water—wet snow is always better for building sculptures. When you’re done just lay down in the snow and make snow angels.
Ok, that may not sound like fun to you but your kids may think otherwise. Ask your offspring to help you clear the snow in the backyard and don’t forget to provide them with some fun tools to do so—buckets, small shovels, and a mini wheelbarrow.
Then use all of the snow to build snow sculptures in the afternoon—that way nothing gets lost and your children will look forward to your next shoveling session.
If your kids like rollerblading then they will definitely love ice-skating. Most cities and even smaller towns have ice-skating rinks in the winter where you can rent ice skates and have tons of fun. If you’re not a pro or don’t feel like you’ll be the best teacher, sign your kids up (and yourself) for a class with an instructor. You never know, your winter ice-skating sessions now may turn out to be a lifelong passion for your children—or maybe even their professional path.
Check out the Local Christmas Market
Christmas markets and winter festivals are one of the reasons we love winter so much. They are so joyful and full of energy. And the first snow makes them look like they belong in a fairy tale with their twinkling lights and gingerbread treats.
Exploring an open-air Christmas market, whether a local one or one in a neighboring town, is the perfect activity to share with your kids because markets are incredibly family-friendly. Most of them usually feel like amusement parks and have rides and games, which your little ones will love. They may even get to see Santa. And don’t forget to finish off the day with a cup of hot chocolate.
We haven’t met a child (or an adult, for that matter) who doesn’t enjoy sliding downhill in the snow. As long as you keep it safe—a winter helmet is always a good idea—we can guarantee you that your kids will have a blast. And speaking of safety, make sure there are no rocks, bumps, or anything else on the hill that may cause an accident. Investing in a sled with brakes will also give you peace of mind.
Dog sledding is a bucket-list-worthy winter activity for kids and adults alike. Your children will not just have a blast sitting in the sled that’s being pulled by the dogs but they will also love cuddling the dogs and taking photos with them. Different companies have different age restrictions (usually six years old), so make sure you ask about those in advance.
Hiking With a Twist
Sure, hiking is fun, but you know what’s more fun? Snowshoeing. Taking a walk in a nearby forest or even in your local park with snowshoes on will completely transform the experience for your children from ordinary to cool and adventurous. Before you hit the trails, make sure you practice at home (in your backyard, for example) so your kids are comfortable walking with snowshoes.
If your backyard is covered in fresh snow, then that’s the perfect opportunity for you and the kids to make some snow graffiti. Fill up a few spray bottles with water and about seven to ten drops of food dye and start creating.
Teach Them Photography
If your children are old enough to handle a camera and are curious about it, you can spend an afternoon outside teaching them all about how to use it. Snowy landscapes make for the prettiest photos so even if you and the kids are not pros you are bound to snap a few good shots (hello, to Instagram). That way, your child can pick up a creative hobby that he or she will practice for years.
Play Snow Darts
As soon as the first snow settles in, kids usually can’t wait to go outside and start throwing snowballs at each other. But we don’t have to tell you that this activity, as fun as it may sound, can also lead to some serious injuries. Instead, DIY a large target out of a carton and attach it to a tree. Now your kids have a safer way to play—they can throw snowballs at the target and not at each other.