When the snow starts falling outside, there’s always the possibility for a fun at-home snow day. Roads can be slippery, and schools might be canceled or switched to remote learning, but have no fear, there are so many fun snow day activities that can be enjoyed without leaving your yard. We’ve pulled together a list of all the fun things you can do both inside and outside on a snow day.
Save this list so you can easily access it the next time the flakes are flying outside your window, and you have the opportunity to play and enjoy the beautiful winter weather. There are plenty of these activities that work for sunny days or rainy days as well.
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Outdoor Activities for a Snow Day
Some fun outdoor winter activities are perfect for snow days. Get the family outside to take in some fresh air and burn up some energy while having fun together. Bundle up and head outside!
Sledding is one of the best ways for kids of all ages (and adults too) to enjoy a few inches of snow. From the classic wooden toboggans to the neon-colored saucers, there are many different types of sleds to try out on your neighborhood hill. Take turns flying down the hill on the snow. The steeper the hill, the faster you’ll fly. Just remember that you have to climb back up when you’re done unless you’re lucky enough to have access to a tow rope. If you aren’t lucky enough to have a hill, take turns pulling each other through the snow on the sleds.
Igloos are structures built completely out of packed snow blocks and if you have enough snow falling, you can create one in your yard. Packed snow sticks together and provides a great building material for a fort. Utilize plastic storage bins or anything that you can pack snow into and create bricks or blocks of snow. This will make the building process go much smoother.
Get the whole family involved with shovels, warm mittens, and some creativity. If you want a bit of a shortcut (because igloos can take hours), you can use a playground, picnic table, or other structure in your yard or garage and pack snow on top of it. Make some hot soup and enjoy your lunch or dinner in your cool snow fort. If the weather stays cold in your location, you can use the fort all winter long.
The white, clean look of fresh snow offers a perfect canvas for some colorful yard art. Snow painting is a fun and simple activity for kids (and adults) on a snow day. You can purchase snow paint from most major retailers, but it’s really easy to make your own at home as well. Grab some empty squirt bottles or spray bottles. Add two tablespoons of cornstarch, 2 cups of water, and food coloring to the bottles. Use a funnel to help keep the mess to a minimum.
Once you’ve got some color options, head outside and create some masterpieces in the snow. If the temperature outside is frigid, you could also fill a plastic bin with snow from outside and paint it inside. Try different methods like paint brushes and stencils. Create colorful flowers in your snowy yard or leave messages of love and support for anyone walking by on this snowy day. Use the paints on any snow creations you make in your yard.
A classic snowball fight is the perfect snow day activity to get the whole family outside. Split up into teams and toss packed snowballs toward your opponents. If you’re worried about someone getting hurt with a packed snowball throw, there are tons of other games you can play using snowballs. Create targets in the yard and see who can get the most points. Play catch with one snowball and see which team can keep theirs together the longest. Play bocce ball in the snow and work to see who can get their snowball closest to the jack.
There are tools you can purchase now to help make snowballs, but a good pair of mittens or gloves should do the trick. All you have to do is grab a handful of snow and pack it together so it sticks. The tools seem unnecessary unless you’re wanting to keep your hands completely dry and warm. Use the snow paint to color your snowballs if you want to keep track of who gets closer to a target.
Take your snowballs to the next level by creating a sculpture out of snow. Putting together a snow person is simple. Roll the snow to create multiple large round balls and stack them on top of each other to create a body and a head. The standard number is three, but you can get as creative as you want.
Once you have a body and head, you can start to accessorize and give your creation a bit of personality. Find items in the yard to create facial features. The traditional song calls for a carrot nose and two eyes made out of coal, but many options will work just as well. Pinecones, sticks, rocks, leaves, fruit, and items from your kitchen inside will work as well. Do you have a Mr. Potato Head toy set inside? Those pieces are made to bring something to life.
Snow paint is a fun way to dress up your snow people. You can paint the body different colors, or even try to create a tie-dye outfit. Add funny hats or glasses, or borrow some from your family members if you’re creating a replica of your family in the yard. Just make sure to bring anything inside that you don’t want to get lost or carried away by a curious animal visiting overnight.
As you can see from the other options on this list, snow can be molded and shaped in so many unique ways. Use this to your advantage and create an obstacle course in your yard using the fresh snow. You can shovel out a special snow maze with tons of dead ends and challenge the kids to race to the end and see who gets the best time.
Think of fun ways to use the snow you have cleared from your sidewalk and driveways to create obstacles that the kids will have to climb over, crawl through, or get around. The more challenging, the better. Add a balance beam, hoops, or even cones to give participants some fun and tricky obstacles to maneuver. The snow will add a little extra cushion (and so will the snowsuits they are wearing). Use sleds to have them pull each other to add extra work if you want to help wear them out and burn up some energy. Just make sure to celebrate their accomplishments afterward with a little medal ceremony. It will feel just like the Winter Olympics.
One of the first things that young children want to do in fresh snow is jump into it. Snow angels are a fun creation that’s made by laying on your back and moving your arms and legs back and forth until you’ve cleared a section of the snow that resembles an angel. Your arms create wing-like shapes and the movement of your legs creates the bottom of a gown. This activity takes just a few minutes, but kids can immediately see the shapes they made with their bodies and it gives them an excuse to jump right in. See how creative they can get with shapes in the snow once they’ve made their first one.
One great snow day activity that also helps to improve your children’s motor skills is ice skating. It’s a fun and active way to get outside on a cold winter’s day and move your body. Head to a local skating rink if the roads aren’t too bad and rent skates for an hour or two. If it’s the first time for anyone in your family, you can use a chair, a cone, or anything lightweight and large to assist with balance on the ice. Pushing those items around the ice helps new skaters learn to move their feet without being constantly afraid of falling.
Frozen bodies of water make great skating rinks if you don’t have access to a public rink. Just make sure to check the ice thickness before heading out on the ice. You can bring along hockey sticks and play a game of puck, or just enjoy gliding around on skates and getting some fresh air. It’s a fantastic winter activity for the whole family.
Do a good deed on a snow day by heading out into the neighborhood and completing the shoveling work for others. Most cities require residents to clear the public sidewalks and paths to mailboxes and there is a timeframe for that clearing to be completed. If you finish your driveway and sidewalk, consider helping someone else on the street clear their walkways.
This is a great way to get your kids involved with giving back. This small act of kindness helps get everyone outside and moving their bodies, plus it helps your neighbors check something off their to-do list. Spread the love.
Indoor Snow Day Activities
If the temperatures outside are just too cold or the wind is howling, there are plenty of fun indoor activities for a snow day that the whole family can enjoy as well. Avoid going stir-crazy by keeping everyone entertained. These are also perfect to sandwich between the outdoor fun while everyone is warming up or after the sun goes down and it’s dark outside.
Snow Ice Cream
You’ve probably all heard of ice cream, but have you ever tried snow cream? It’s made using fresh snow, milk, sugar, and a splash of flavor. It’s a fun way to turn the snow into a tasty snack. Use maple syrup or vanilla extract to add some extra flavor. With food coloring, you can turn the snow cream into a colorful treat. Once you’ve mixed a large bowl of snow cream, split it out into individual bowls for each member of the family. Bring out all the sundae toppings as well and enjoy it like ice cream. Add chocolate syrup, sprinkles, or even a cherry for the full effect.
In the winter, every day that falls under freezing temperatures might have you dreaming of a tropical getaway. Whether you have one on the calendar or not, you can spend your next snow day pretending. Turn the heat up on the thermometer a few degrees and pull out your favorite hot weather outfits.
Once you’re dressed the part, you can embrace the theme with a playlist filled with summer anthems and tropical beats. Have a dance party with the family and enjoy some of your favorite hot weather treats. Make frozen fruit smoothies to drink through colorful straws, put on a movie that is set in Hawaii or another tropical destination, and let your mind escape to somewhere with no snow on the ground. If you want to play some games, consider limbo or hula hooping, just like you’re poolside at a resort. Get creative with what you have. This might just become a new family tradition for the first big snow of the year.
Nothing feels as warm and cozy as a kitchen that smells like warm cookies or your favorite desserts. See what ingredients you have in your pantry (or stock up when you see the weather report) and pick out a few recipes that you can bake with the family. Get the kids involved and take your time measuring things out and mixing everything up. It’s not too often that you get an uninterrupted day, so take advantage and get ambitious with your baking.
If you make too much, you can always deliver some to your neighbors or friends nearby. Everyone loves a warm dessert on a cold, snowy day. Turn up the music, put on your aprons, and have a great day mixing and decorating some quality goodies.
Bring the beauty of the falling snow inside without all the cold and sloppy mess by doing a little DIY project and making paper snowflakes. It’s a simple process that just requires scissors and some scratch paper (or any white paper.) Fold the paper a few times and then make some cuts in the paper. Use triangles, squares, rectangles, and other shapes. Once you unfold the paper, you’ll have beautiful snowflakes with fascinating patterns.
If you want to add something extra special, bring out a paintbrush and some glitter paints. Make the snowflakes shimmer and shine. You can tape them up on your windows and keep the snow around long after it melts if you’d like. This craft project is fun and easy.
Indoor Snowball Fight
Snowball fights don’t all need to happen outside. If you’re worried about the snowballs being a bit too icy or someone taking a hit to the face, you can bring the fun indoors. The best way to make soft snowballs indoors is to use socks. Roll them up into a ball and secure them by tucking in the ends. Put them all into laundry baskets and divide them up among the teams. Have fun tossing them at each other while running around the house.
If you want to have fun while completing a chore, consider challenging everyone to toss them into sock drawers and score points with each basket. You might just make this part of your weekly laundry chores because everyone will have a blast trying to get the socks into the drawer as quickly as possible.
Hot Chocolate While Watching the Snow Fall
One of the best treats to pair with falling snow is a warm glass of hot cocoa. On your next snow day, gather the whole family in the living room to watch the snow come down and enjoy their hot chocolate. If you want to make it a little more special, you can put out some extras that people can add to make their drink perfect. Marshmallows, whipped cream, cinnamon sugar, or even sprinkles are all great options.
Use this time to slowly sip the hot drinks and chat with each other. A snow day is a perfect opportunity to take things slowly and enjoy the little moments throughout the day. Hot chocolate can be made as fancy or simple as possible. Use hot chocolate bombs or melt a chocolate bar over the stove and try something different.
Board games are a fun way to get the whole family involved in an activity. With options for all age groups, you can have fun with kids of any age. Raid your stash of board games, and check with the neighbors if you need some new options. Pull them all out on the table and then prepare some snacks and refreshments for your fun competition.
Decide if you want to split up into teams or if you want each person to play for themselves. Choose three or four games that you want to add to the day’s schedule. Set up the games, put on some music in the background, and have a blast enjoying a little friendly competition with the family. If you’re short on options, use a deck of cards or pull together some supplies for a DIY game, like charades and Pictionary. Classic games, like Monopoly, Sorry, and Candyland, are great to have on hand at all times. Board games are a great way to take a break from screentime and enjoy each other’s company.
Watch Movies in Pajamas
When the weather is extremely cold and miserable outside, take advantage of the downtime and dress up in your coziest pajamas and have a movie viewing party. Pour drinks for everyone, see what candy and salty snacks you have, and don’t forget the popcorn. Bring pillows and any other comfortable items down to your living room, or wherever you have the best television in your home.
To bring the entire family together, make sure to choose movies that everyone will be interested in. With small children, you can find many of the classic Disney movies on the Disney Plus streaming services. Pick out a few options and let the family vote on the one they want to see the most, or allow each person to throw out their least favorite option. The more excited everyone is, the easier it will be to get through the movie with everyone enjoying themselves.
If baking isn’t your thing, but you want to do some hands-on activities on your snow day, consider doing some science experiments in your kitchen. There are many things you can do with items that you probably already have in your home.
Baking soda and vinegar can create some fun reactions. Put some baking soda into a balloon and then fill a water bottle with vinegar. Take the balloon and put it over the top of the water bottle, and watch the balloon expand and blow up on its own. Preschoolers will love seeing the magic happen.
Another fun experiment you can do at home is to create your own toys. Slime is made using glue and shaving cream. Kids love playing with it. Homemade play dough is another easy DIY toy. It’s made by mixing flour, salt, water, and a few other simple ingredients. Use food coloring or essential oils to add a little color or scents to your creations.
When you have an entire day to play inside, consider building a fort with your kids. Use the furniture as your base and build walls and a ceiling with blankets and pillows. Forts are perfect to curl up and read, play quietly, or even take an afternoon nap. If you have any string lights or lanterns, you can use those inside your fort as well (be careful with any possible fire hazards in the fort.)
You can make it a competition and have each kid make their own. Once everyone is complete, you can give each other tours of your forts and have different activities take place in each one. Leave the forts up all day and enjoy the change of scenery. It might make a huge mess, but it’s a fun way to stay entertained while stuck inside.
Indoor Scavenger Hunt
Set up an indoor scavenger hunt for everyone to compete in on your snow day. You can grab a free printable list online that has tons of ideas, or your can make your own based on the items you know you have in your home. Split everyone up into teams and send them out to search as quickly as possible. You can offer special prizes for the winners, like the chance to pick out a movie to watch or get first dips on the snacks later.
Using adjectives instead of specific items will ensure that things are easier to find. For example, instead of saying a specific food item, you could say that they need to find something to eat with a blue wrapper or something spicy. It’s a great challenge that will encourage your family to work together and use their brains to find everything on the list.
Snowy days are perfect for diving into a good book. If there’s a lot of snow in the forecast, head to the library and stock up on books to enjoy. Maybe you even take a snowy trek to the neighborhood library on your day off. When you’re ready to dive in, light a fire and cozy up with the family. If you don’t have a fireplace, you can pull up a fireplace on your television, complete with the sounds of crackling wood. Candles provide a cozy environment as well.
Encouraging the entire family to get lost in a book for a day is perfect for a snow day. Grab some snacks, make a cup of tea or hot cocoa, and make sure you have comfortable clothes on so you can relax and enjoy yourself.
Picnics are a fun activity for warm summer days at the park, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a picnic on a snow day. Just bring the fun inside. Grab a blanket and prep all the typical picnic food. You can make sandwiches and snacks and grab some drinks. Lay the blanket out in the living room or even on the kitchen floor and set out all the food for people to enjoy. The best picnic foods include pasta salad, cheese, crackers, and small sandwiches. Enjoy your picnic slowly and enjoy the change of scenery for your meal. It’s fun to change things up every once in a while.
Final Thoughts on Snow Day Activities
Bad weather doesn’t mean the fun needs to be put on pause. Refer back to this list of snow day activities next time the flurries start to fly and help your family break out of routine and do something memorable. Whether you choose to play inside or outside, this list has ideas. Let us know what your favorite snow day activities are in the comments!
Frequently Asked Questions
If you want to entertain young children with snow day activities, get outside and enjoy the snow. Make a snow fort, have a snowball fight, or practice painting the snow in different colors.
To keep the family entertained on a snow day, check out Adventures from Scratch: Family Edition. You can scratch off the activities and adventures to be surprised and make memories with the family.