Friday, March 31, 2023

How to keep your kids busy — and happy — during snow days

Williamsburg has a habit of being hit with a snow and ice storm right after winter break. The kiddos have already been home for nearly two weeks and, now, they’re back. Though, this time, you may be stuck inside due to the bitter cold, wind chill and snow accumulation.

Here are some activities certain to curb the crankiness and boredom, for both kids and parents.

  • The neighborhood activity train: Set-up activity rotations with willing neighbors that last about an hour each.
  • Treasure hunts: Hide fun items around the house and the kiddos will have a blast searching for them. Tip: Older kids can help by drawing pictures or writing clues they read to their siblings.
  • Sledding: Even if you don’t have an actual sled there are household items you can use to still enjoy the outdoor fun. Some items include: baby pools, vinyl outdoor cushions, large plastic lid tops, cardboard, tarps, inner tubes, and laundry baskets. Be sure to check the weather to ensure it’s safe for kids to be outside. Click here for tips on dressing for outdoor play and safety.
  • Declutter & Donate: Great fun for parents and can be turned into a fun activity for the kids also. Have your child hold their toys and clothes and decide to love it or thank it. Make it even more fun by giving them a “thank it” basket to toss their donation items into. This idea is based on the book, “The life-changing magic of tidying up” by Marie Kondo.
  • Get started on your Valentine’s cards. It isn’t too soon to start thinking of the February holiday. The stores have been ready since Dec. 26th!
  • Board games & puzzles: Drag out the games from your closet, even the ones missing pieces, and enjoy some healthy competition with the kiddos.
  • Family movie time: Pick a fun movie, pop some popcorn, and snuggle in for one of your favorite movies.
  • Make books and open communication with your kids: These 14 questions result in smiles and sweet cherished moments. Add an extra step and turn them into books for your kiddos to draw pictures and practice writing. Click here for the list.
  • Indoor snowball fight: All you need is paper; even those pesky fliers in your mailbox will work nicely.
  • Snow painting and snow gems: Click here for are some easy DIY options to paint outside and how to make ice gems.
  • Build forts with leftover gift boxes: We all know Amazon sends a huge box for a pair of gloves, and perhaps the recycling truck hasn’t come yet, or you’ve just realized you missed it. Don’t fret, the kids can use those leftover boxes to build and decorate forts.
  • Enjoy a story podcast: Click here for a fun list of story podcasts to listen to with the whole family.
  • Indoor bowling: All you need is a ball and empty water bottles or containers you have around the house. Set-up the containers in a triangle shape and have kiddos take turns rolling the ball to knock them down. If the bottles tip over easily, add a little water to them and replac the cap.
  • Easy science experiments: Check out this list of cool and easy experiments for the budding scientists in your family. Click here for the full list.
  • Dance & Freeze dance: Get your playlist ready! Join the kids for some fun and great exercise. Click here for freeze dance links on Pinterest. 
  • Play with their new holiday loot: Timing may be perfect in this case. They’ve just gotten some new toys and gifts, so tell them to enjoy.
  • DEAR time: Drop everything and read.
  • Learn how to code: With technology as a way of life, learning some basic coding is important. Click here for free sites. 
  • Balloon ball: Blow up some balloons and tell kids to keep them from touching the floor.
  • Other indoor exercise games for kids: Click here for a list of other fun indoor games to help kids get the wiggles out.

Thank you to Samantha’s parent and neighbor friends for some amazing ideas. Stay warm and please share your snow day ideas with us in the comments.

This story was published in partnership with our sister publication, Southside Daily. 

Sarah Fearing
Sarah Fearing
Sarah Fearing is the Assistant Editor at WYDaily. Sarah was born in the state of Maine, grew up along the coast, and attended college at the University of Maine at Orono. Sarah left Maine in October 2015 when she was offered a job at a newspaper in West Point, Va. Courts, crime, public safety and civil rights are among Sarah’s favorite topics to cover. She currently covers those topics in Williamsburg, James City County and York County. Sarah has been recognized by other news organizations, state agencies and civic groups for her coverage of a failing fire-rescue system, an aging agriculture industry and lack of oversight in horse rescue groups. In her free time, Sarah enjoys lazing around with her two cats, Salazar and Ruth, drinking copious amounts of coffee and driving places in her white truck.

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