Snow Day Activities: Outdoor & Indoor Exploration

Some of my favorite childhood memories of growing up are riding on our toboggan through the snow… but I grew up on a sheep farm in the country. Where do you get a toboggan, let alone the horse to pull it in the city? Snow day activities can be tricky if you’re limited to a small yard, deck or patio.

But with a little creativity, you don’t need a horse or even that much room for some fabulous snow day activities with your kiddos.  With the help of some of my favorite creative play bloggers, here are 5 of my favorite recipes for snow day fun! Plus,“why it’s good for your little one” so you can feel both warm and solid in your parenting and as a playmate when it’s snowing outside!

(1) Take Inside Toys Outside 

How cool would it be to load a dump truck with snow…even better, take plastic dinosaurs outside for an arctic adventure!

Grab your trucks, dinosaurs, small animal or action figures, plastic dolls, or any toy you don’t mind getting wet and take them outside! Putting pretend play toys in new environments challenges developing imaginations. It opens up opportunities for new story-lines and adventures. If you take your trucks outside, your little one is also being exposed to cause and effect by seeing the tire marks in the snow.

  • You can also sneak a little preschool science in there by taking a bottle of warm water out with the toys. Pack a little snow around a small toy and then use the water to melt the toy free. So much cause-&-effect fun!

(2) Make Outside Snow Art

Mix a little food color with water and paint the snow!

Put a little food coloring into a cup of water, grab your coats and some paintbrushes and turn the white snow into a colorful wonderland! Your child is working fine motor skills every time he/she holds a paintbrush. Since you’re working outside, try grabbing house-painting brushes too. You’re challenging their muscles by giving them different tools to hold.

  • Plus with all this snow, your canvas is unlimited! It’s a wide opportunity to make your snowman stand out from on the block by making him a rainbow-man! Again you can sneak some science in by making the water warm and watching it melt the snow as you paint.
  • If you’re feeling ambitious, try out these coloured ice sculptures from Happy Hooligans.

(3) Bring the Snow Inside

Too cold out there? Just grab a bucket and bring some snow in the house for indoor melting fun!   

To keep the snow from melting all over, you can use a low plastic tub, baking sheets on towels, or even put down a couple of trash bags in the kitchen.

Build a snowman and see how fast he melts. To speed up the process and with adult supervision, try getting out a hair dryer and melting your snowman. You can use cups or last summer’s sand toys to build a snow castle in your house!

  • You’ll be able to play longer while in the comfort of your own home. Ice cream scoops, spoons, and simple plastic cups are great for filling/dumping exploration! The heat inside the house expedites the melting; making cause and effect more obvious as they snow melts.

Snow Day Activities(4) Make an Art Project to Remember

Use the snow to make a gorgeous window decoration!

Instead of painting the snow, use the snow to paint! Scoop some snow onto a tray and then drip food coloring all over the snow. Stir the paint around until you have a fun swirly rainbow snow! Cut a simple snowflake cut out of a coffee filter and then press it into the snow. The filter absorbs all the colors beautifully!

They look really beautiful glued on a plain piece of paper or hung in a window to catch the winter sun. Bubble Step: Gentle Separation class students were very engaged in this project!

(5) Make Snowmen that won’t melt!

These cute little guys will stay with you all the way to summer!

You just need a little paint and a dark sheet of paper to make the cutest little fingerprint snowmen as a part of your snow day activities! Check out the how-to from I Heart Crafty Things! 

  • I recommend doing step 1 (making the fingerprints) before nap or mealtime, and then they’ll have something to do after! If you’re little one is too little you can always help them with the fingerprints before nap and then enjoy a little art therapy yourself by adding the embellishments while they are sleeping.
  • Snowmen are great for teaching big, medium and small. You can also use fingerprinting to practice finger and body part identification.

6. Two Words: Hot Chocolate!

Stir up some hot chocolate; grab your favorite book and head straight to the couch.

  • You can make your hot chocolate as simple or fancy as you like. If you have leftover candy canes from the holiday season, use them to stir! Keep your hot chocolate to yourself or share the warmth with your neighbors by setting up a cute hot cocoa stand like this one shown on Giggles Galore.

Let it snow but not blow away your active and imaginative filled playtime. Share your favorite snow day activities below and/or tweet at us (@BubblesAcademy).

Miss BeccaBecca Drew Emmerich is the Artistic & Curriculum Director of Bubbles Academy. With a dynamic background in youth theatre, Becca leads the development and teaching of our curriculum.

Snow Day Activities
Bubble Step students decorated their session placemats with coffee filter snowflakes — painted with a mixture of snow and food coloring.
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