While no one can argue with the fun of traditional activities such as building snowmen or snow angels; keeping your kiddo occupied throughout an entire snow day while confined to your house might require a few more tricks up your sleeve.
Consider the unique opportunities the snow can provide for you and your kiddo to explore different language concepts, social skills, academic tasks, and leisure activities. Think about bringing what winter has to offer indoors where it is warm for a unique way to learn and play together.
Just to get you started, grab a few safe bowls (think plastic Tupperware), some pots, a muffin tin, and a few spoons of different sizes. Fill one bowl with cold water, and another with hot water. Throw a big beach towel out on the floor and grab up some of that white, powdery stuff!
- Let your child explore, figure out what he likes about the activity, and add to what he finds fun. If he is watching you and waiting for what you are going to do next, you’ve got it right!
- In the beginning, don’t demand, just show him some fun ideas you might have of how to play with the snow and “kitchen junk” and talk about what is happening, “Wow you smashed the snow!” “Did you see it melt in the hot water?” “You got more snow!” “Stir, stir, stir, good job stirring!”
- Language Concepts: Once you’ve gotten the activity going, use the snow to start talking about fun, related language concepts like hot/cold, wet/dry, melting/frozen.
- Social Skills: Take turns with the spoons, stirring, and playing. Encourage and model commenting about the activity and what you or your child enjoy. “Watch it melt!”, “Wow that is cold!”, “I like playing in the snow!”.
- Academic Tasks: Discuss weather, precipitation, seasons, and states of matter (solid, liquid, gas). Use your muffin tin and practice counting as you fill each cup.
- Leisure Skills: Feel free to step away from the activity and let your child dig in on his own. Sustaining a play activity and incorporating newly learned play skills modeled by an adult plays a crucial role in learning.
- Be sure to set boundaries about where the snow must stay. We suggest prompting all snow activity back to the area of the beach towel.
Most importantly, have fun and enjoy this new experience!