SNOW DAYS … MAYBE THEY AREN’T SO BAD
It’s that time of year again! That’s right, winter is here and for most of us, that means cold weather and, of course, snow. And what does snow bring? School closings and snow days!
Make the most out of your day at home with your child. If you are worried about your children’s education being hurt by snow days, I have a few suggestions for educational things to do (in addition to Abacus homework. LOL).
If you just want them to have some fun, I’ve got those too. And there are even some that qualify as both educational and fun!
Here is a just a small list of fun things to do on a snow day. It’s not just all about shoveling, unless you want it to be!
As a parent, there are probably a lot of things you have been meaning to do … like clean out your child’s closet. A great way to get them involved in purging their wardrobe is to get them to play dress-up.
Have them try on the clothes that you aren’t too sure about and get rid of those that do not fit anymore.
If you need to entice them a bit, offer up some of your jewelry or fancy clothes for them to play in as well. Or make it into a fashion shoot!
Pull out your photo albums and gather the kids around. Depending on their ages, they might be interested in seeing their own and other family members’ old photos.
Better yet, let them feast their eyes on your personal albums from when you were around their age.
You can make this educational by putting together a family tree.
Have a Party
Let the kids feel like they are doing something very adult by attending a party. Come up with a theme to keep creative juices flowing. Some ideas include:
1. Tea party: Everyone gets into their Sunday best for tea and finger sandwiches.
2. Dance party: Crank up their favorite tunes and let them go wild.
3. Summer in winter party: Raise the heat and let the kids get into their swim trunks.
Bundle everyone up and make your snow angels, snowmen, or snowballs.
Another fun idea is to have the kids look for animal footprints in the snow. Take photos and then bring your evidence inside and try to figure out what animal each one came from while enjoying hot chocolate.
Whether you are brave enough to build one from snow or would rather cozy up to a blanket-made one inside, forts are always a good time for kids. They can bring in snacks and books and pretend they are somewhere else for a few hours.
Gather up the blankets and popcorn and put on a good movie or let them “binge” watch something for a couple of hours.
Aside from showing kids how liquids become solids based upon the cold temps, you can also teach them about gases. All you need is a balloon.
Blow it up and secure it closed. Put the balloon outside and watch how quickly it deflates. Take that same balloon into the house and see how it inflates again.
The kids will think it’s magic; you’ll know it’s due to how the volume of a gas varies by temperature. You’ve created a teachable moment!
So it’s snowing where you live. But what about other places in your state? What about other places in the U.S.? Or in North America? The world, even?
Get kids interested in and wanting to learn more about other places by looking up weather all over the globe. Further the discussion by explaining how and why these other places do or do not get snow.
Get in the Kitchen
Whether it’s a savory snack and something a bit sweeter, being stuck at home on a snow day is a perfect excuse to do a cooking project with the kids.
You can put together something brand new for fun, or prepare the kids’ favorite meals and teach them how you do it.
For something really fun and most likely new to your kids, make snow ice cream. All you need is some milk, vanilla, sugar, and of course, snow!
Reach Out to Relatives
Trouble syncing up schedules for the kids to talk to relatives? Since you’ve got pretty much all day, make a date to have a phone or even video chat with extended family members like aunts, uncles, and grandparents.
Curl up in the living room with your makeup, nail polishes, face masks, and hairstyling tools and treat the kids (and yourself) to some TLC. While this may not tickle the fancy of every kid in your household, there’s a good chance that many of them will be ready to be pampered.
A Little Competition
Whether it’s board games, cards, or a game for multiple players on a gaming system, get everyone together for a little fun and games. Sweeten the pot by offering rewards (like sitting out on shoveling duties for a round) to winners and good sports.
We are constantly told that no two snowflakes are alike. Well, let’s prove that theory.
Have the kids collect snowflakes on a piece of dark, durable paper or cardboard (something that allows you to see the flake clearly and also will not melt it immediately).
Take a magnifying glass and have the children compare and contrast. What are their similarities and differences?
Are there other kids in the neighborhood? Consider inviting them and their parents over to make it a real party.
You probably limit the time your children sit in front of screens during the week. Let them have a treat on their snow day by increasing their screen time just a bit. Just make sure that it’s half educational websites and half fun.
Hide and Seek
This is always a crowd-pleaser. You can even spice it up a bit by making it a scavenger hunt for various things within the house (someone is bound to find that missing black sock from last week’s laundry if they try hard enough).
Or set up an obstacle course for the kids throughout the rooms. You can add in some exercise or even chores to do if you want to get crafty with it!
Snow days don’t have to be wasted days for anyone. Between snow day activities for kids and the opportunity to spend more precious time together, snow days can be some of the best days!
For more inspiration, check out:
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JAMS is proud to be the only Abacus math school in Portland and in the State of Oregon certified by the League of Soroban of Americas. Since 2001, we have dedicated to Abacus & Anzan instruction and to building a strong foundation of Mental Mathematics along with lifelong skills. JAMS empowers children to achieve academic success, so they will grow in areas that go well beyond the classroom. JAMS parents can expect their child to improve in 5 different areas: concentration, discipline, problem-solving, time management, and confidence. This is the teaching approach at JAMS since opening its doors.