Snow days happen. While the idea of them may be fun, being stuck inside with kids can quickly become a challenge. Having a plan can help! Here are five ideas to keep your toddlers busy and entertained while inside.
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Make music with easily accessible objects like bowls, spoons and plastic containers to create musical instruments. Sing your child’s favorite song while encouraging them to play along with the beat. Learning to anticipate patterns and place objects or events in sequence builds critical early math skills.
Use the snow outside to create an experiment for one winter play idea. Talk about what “cold” feels like and compare ice, snow and water. Use other words for “cold”—like “freezing,” “icy” or “chilly.” Ask how the ice feels different from snow and water. All of the objects may be cold but one is smooth while another may be fluffy. Let your child see ice and snow turn into water and talk about the process of melting.
Be Active and Get Out Some Energy
- Create obstacle courses with pillows and make tunnels with blankets.
- Cut out big circles from paper and scatter them across the floor. Suggest the children hop from to the next without touching the floor. Incorporate different colored circles to make the game more challenging.
- Play hide-and-seek, freeze tag and other active games that encourage learning.
Does your child still have too much energy? Find even more play ideas for active children here.
- Put on a puppet show and help your child create a storyline around two or three characters.
- Pretend it’s one of the stuffed animal’s birthdays and organize a party with all the fixings: tea party, cake, pretend candles and of course, lots of stuffed animal friends. What are the teddy bears eating? What games do they like to play? Activities like this encourage using imagination to expand on a pretend play scenario.
- Cut 10-15 squares (about the size of a piece of bread) from different colors and textures of fabric. Say, “I’m going to make a sandwich” and pile up a few squares. Activities like this encourage symbolic thinking and pretend play skills.
- Chose snow-themed winter books like The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats or Snowballs by Lois Ehlert.
- Act out the story and create voices for the story characters.
- Talk or sing about the pictures.
- Ask questions about the story – and let your children ask questions too!
- Let your child turn pages, make sounds the characters might make and give your child a chance to fill in the blanks. He or she may come up with a different storyline all together.
Find more resources on helping your child develop a love for literacy here.