Winter Activities for Kids
There comes a day in every parent’s life when we must accept the inner wisdom of our children. We may grin as they tuck a silver spoon under their pillows, or wear their PJs inside out, or flush a perfectly good ice cube down the toilet — all with the hopeful wish of conjuring up a Snow Day.
But sometimes… just sometimes… the magic works. And on the morning of a miraculous snow day, it can almost seem that our children made a deal with the Moon the night before. So don’t be surprised if their chores are done in record speed for the next month.
In the meantime, you’ll need some fun new activities to fill up their unplanned day indoors. Here are just a few.
Start a Family Tradition
Whether the tradition you start today is having a warm, home-cooked meal around the dinner table, or taking a snowy drive around the neighborhood for ice cream, use this time together to start a tradition that’ll continue long after the snow has melted away. Here are some more ideas that could stick around ‘till spring: baking together once a week, coming up with a secret family recipe, volunteering at a local nonprofit, or simply coming together to name your “highs and lows” of the day.
Form a Joint Venture
First, explain to your children what a joint venture is. Then, launch your neighborhood’s first and only family-owned Hot Chocolate Stand. But why is this business, created purposefully for a snowy day, so lucrative? Here’s why: whenever the line at Starbucks or Bigby is out the door, your neighbors will have no other option but to step forward. Some could call this a monopoly. Others could call it an airtight business strategy. This could even be your child’s first internship! Start them young, right? And, you’ll always be a good reference, no matter how many cups they sell.
Go On an Expedition
Whether your neighborhood is reminiscent of a botanical garden, or the closest thing to nature around you is the patch of grass next to the subway station, don’t be afraid to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if you cannot learn what it has to teach. In layman’s terms, explore the world outside your front door this winter. When the summer returns, you’ll wish you took advantage of the calm, cool temperatures when you could. Bring a camera, or your smartphone, and capture your corner of all the beauty that stretches across our beautiful country. Or, bring mittens and a sketch pad and have your children make notes and drawings of all that catches their eye. This is an amazing opportunity for your children to disconnect from their devices, practice mindfulness, and spend quality time together.
Take a Cozy Adventure
Though snow will probably ground some flights this winter, adventure is just a book away. Travel back or forward in time by reading together. You’ll stay connected as winter howls outside. Ask your kids about their thoughts on each chapter of their book to add a layer of closeness to this activity. Be sure to hang onto at least one of your books for safekeeping, so they’ll be able to read to their children one day. And reminisce on how the novel first unfolded in the comfort of their parent’s presence.
Dabble in Interior Design
Use more time spent indoors to tackle tasks around the home that you’ve been putting off since last winter. I’ll make it even easier for you. Say this simple phrase to your children and watch as their energy and your priorities find a perfect middle ground: “Whoever can fill up three baskets of toys, clothes, and books to donate the fastest gets to pick the Holiday movie tonight. Go!” At the end of it, you’ll look around to a less cluttered home and mind.
Bring Broadway to Your Living Room
Not everyone has the vocal range to sing beneath the dazzling stage lights of New York City. But as parents, we always believe our children deserve to have the spotlight. Bring Broadway to your living room by hosting a competition-free open mic night and let your kids show off their comedy, artistic, athletic, or creative talent for the most important members of the audience – us! Here’s what you’ll need: a couple chairs and your undivided attention.
Winter weather making the local pizza delivery at least a two-hour wait? Use the snowy conditions as an excuse to get competitive! Allow each family member to whip up their favorite creation and have everyone judge their delicious ensemble. Winner doesn’t have to clean the dishes! Even better, you’ll have an abundance of leftovers for when the snow doesn’t stop falling well into tomorrow.
Discover the Theory of Everything
Legendary astrophysicist Stephen Hawking once contended that the theory of the universe, why it is and where we’re headed, can be discovered by piecing together the secrets of the night sky. And while this feat will likely be discovered by someone much more scientifically sophisticated than you or me, it is up to our children to look up and to possess this passion for discovery for the next generation. According to astronomers, winter is the perfect time for stargazing. Less humid air and clearer skies provide the perfect conditions to stare deep into a past that harbors the secrets to our future. Carry on this rite of human curiosity by moseying out your front door to see if you could spot some popular constellations like Orion, the Big Dipper, or the Andromeda Galaxy on a Winter’s night.
Embrace the Magic Together
When that unknowable, childhood magic does come to fruition, and the weatherman delivers the headline to children with faces pressed to the TV screen–SCHOOL CLOSED DUE TO SNOW–who’s to say whether this blessing was bestowed by the silver spoon or a winter weather cell moving in from the Northeast. Because that’s no matter. It’s a Snow Day – and even us parents can thank our lucky stars for more time with our children.