It’s snowing in Seattle, and my kids are so excited! They can’t wait to zip up their ski bibs and romp around in the falling flakes. For about five minutes, anyway. They’ll inevitably be cold by the third sled run and exclaim: “It’s freezing! Can we have hot chocolate now?” (Answer: Yes, you can!)
With snowmageddon on its way, I’ve been on the hunt for creative snow play activities that will – fingers crossed – keep my kids happily entertained in the winter weather for longer than it takes me to suit them up.
Here’s what’s on my snow play list:
Snow painting: Grab a few spray bottles, fill them with water and food coloring, and go paint the snow! We actually tried this during the snowfall earlier this week and ran into a couple of issues: 1) don’t use red food coloring, unless you want your neighbors to ask what died in your front yard! 2) Spray bottles are tricky for little kids to operate with gloved hands. This time, I think we’ll try squirt bottles.
Ice Age dinosaur excavation: Fill a cake tin with water and some small toy dinosaurs and freeze. Pop the ice block out the tray and go hide it in your yard. Then equip your kids with a bucket of warm salt water, paintbrushes (for applying salt water), and hammers and chisels (and safety glasses). They’ll have a great time excavating their frozen dinos!
Snow tracking: Going for a walk through the neighborhood while it’s blanketed in snow is one of my favorite things. It’s so peaceful and quiet, and it seems rare to hear even a bird chirping. Where does all the wildlife go during snowstorms? This weekend I’ll be giving my kids laminated copies of animal snow tracks, so they can bring them along on our walks. Maybe we’ll be able to identify a few footprints (our pesky alley cat’s prints, at least) and find out where the animals have all gone to keep warm.
Summer fun in the snow: Get out the slide, the basketball hoop and the soccer balls (or head to the neighborhood playground) and have some summertime fun in the middle of winter. It’ll be hilarious to watch your kids shoot down the slide into a huge pile of snow. Just be a cautious when climbing icy playground equipment.
Snow castles: When the kids get tired of building snowmen, dig out the sandbox toys and build a snow castle instead. Here at our house, we’ll be donning our Elsa costumes over our parkas, playing the “Frozen” soundtrack, and pretending we live in an ice castle.
Note: Originally published in February 2019