Snow day: they can be a beautiful thing and a scary thing. We love staying in our pajamas, skipping our commute to work and having that second (or third) cup of coffee. But it can also prove difficult to keep your littles ones occupied.

At least for my son, the novelty of a snow day seems to wear off around 10 a.m. When I report that there’s a snow day, he jumps up and down, never goes back to sleep and darts out of his room. He’s excited, happy, over the moon—until he’s bored. Suddenly, his toys aren’t appealing, he doesn’t like any of his video games and there are no “good shows” on television. How is this possible?

If it’s too cold or snowing too hard to go outside, you have to get creative with ways to keep your kids entertained and happy during snow days—and to help keep you sane!

Crafts

Crafts are a great activity for any day, but especially for a snow day. They allow children to explore their creativity, make their own choices about colors, design, and materials, and have a finished product to save or display when they’re done. Here are just a few awesome crafts you and your kids can enjoy doing together.

Rainbow Looms

Mine can’t be the only child who jumped on the rainbow loom bandwagon. They were all the rage a few years ago and are still popular today. The great thing about them is that they’re appropriate for children of all ages. Younger kids can make the basic fishtail bracelet designs, whereas older kids (and adults) can make more complicated and involved pieces. The color options are endless and since you’re using rubber bands, this craft is mess-free! As an additional bonus, your child will hone his or her fine motor skills.

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Paper Projects

Who knew that simple paper could lend itself to so many fun and creative crafts? One of the most well-known paper crafts is the ancient art of origami. Even if you’ve never tried making a bird, flower, or other animal, don’t worry! There are plenty of books and how-to guides available for this fun past time.

Grab some paper and scissors and get cutting! You can make chains of people, snowflakes, or even rings to make necklaces and bracelets. Of course, you can keep it simple and break out paints, markers and crayons to simply draw, make cards or create different scenes from movies and TV shows. Make coloring more interactive and turn it into a game of Pictionary!

Do you have old magazines laying around? These are perfect for making mosiacs. Allow your child to cut out all types of pictures and words and glue them onto a large piece of paper. You’ll be amazed at the beautiful and different masterpieces your child will create. You can also hunt for specific items on the pages. See who can find a cheeseburger, dog or sneaker first. It’s like a mini-scavenger hunt!

Get Active

If crafts just aren’t cutting it for your kids, there are plenty of fun games and activities you can do as a family. This will help everyone get moving and burn off some of that pent-up snow day energy!

Hide-and-Seek

Hide-and-seek is a classic and fun game that you can play virtually anywhere. Be sure to discuss safe hide-and-seek places to hide. Your child can practice their counting and problem solving skills.

If your child is too young to hide themsleves, you can hid items instead of people. Take a small stuffed animal or toy and hide it somewhere in the house. Then, help your child find it by giving hints or guiding them using “hot” and “cold” directions.

Build a Fort

This might not be coined as a game per say, but who doesn’t love building an indoor fort? Whether it’s in your child’s room or in your living room, forts can create hours of entertainment. Grab blankets, chairs, pillows and large sheets and start brainstorming ways to keep your fort up and secure. This is another great problem-solving activity.

The best part is, once the fort is constructed, it gives your child a special place to relax, explore, and hang out for the remainder of the day. They can bring all of their special things inside—stuffed animals, toys and even snacks. Certain companies even make fort-building kits that include clips, suction cups and ropes for easier construction.

Look to the Kitchen

If the weatherman is predicting a snow day, stock up on some ingredients for the kitchen. Your child will love helping you cook and they’ll be learning at the same time. Why not bake some cookies, or banana bread? Baking will warm up the home and leave it smelling delicious. Not to mention, you’ll have a yummy snack to enjoy later in the day once things cool off.

Another fun kitchen activity is making mini-pizzas. Whether you use bagels, dough or premade pizza shells, lay out all the ingredients and allow your child to do it themselves. You can provide sauce, cheese, vegetables, meats and other topping choices.

Cooking and baking provide children with so many great lessons. They can practice their math skills while measuring and counting ingredients. Reading the recipe is great practice for older children. Mixing, pouring, kneading and even decorating help with fine and gross motor skills. The benefits to spending time in the kitchen with your children are endless.

Another non-edible kitchen creation is play dough! Whip up a batch with your child and then have fun playing with it. Just remind them that this mixture is not edible.

Make Snow Day a Fun Day

These are just a few ideas to help you create a fun and interactive snow day. With a little forethought and preparation, you’ll never hear your kids lamenting about being bored again!

Featured Photo Courtesy: Marco/Flickr