Snow days don’t happen all that often in ol’ Blighty which means, when we do get more than an icing sugar dusting we all get very excited and want to make the most out of it. Let’s face it, everything looks lovely in the snow! It doesn’t just have to be about snowball fights and snowmen of course. Despite what Anna thinks, there’s so much more fun to be had than just building a snowman!! There’s lots of other snow day ideas and activities that you can do with the kids as well.
The only problem with snow is that it’s WET (you may have noticed) and kids playing in the snow tend to get wet and cold pretty quickly. That means they get grumpy pretty quickly too! Little tip – put plastic gloves over the top of their woollen ones. It stops them getting wet, so everyone stays warm for longer!
Paint the snow – version 1
Instead of just playing in the snow, why not paint it? As you can probably tell from posts like my science experiments and rainbow rice making we get through a LOT of food colouring. This is another, wintery, way of using it. Just get some spray bottles, add water and food dye and start making your own pictures. Little notes of caution, food colouring can dye so be careful not to get the spray on your clothes.
Paint the snow – version 2
Using spray bottles to paint the snow is a really fun snow activity for the kids, but there’s another way of doing it. Just use actual paint! You know, the normal paint you use at home every day! You can get a more vivid result, with a bigger range of colours than using food colouring. Just make sure you use washable, non-toxic paint as you’ll be leaving it outside.
Making their own volcano is always popular – it’s dramatic and instant science they can do really easily. There are two different methods that you can use to make the eruption. Either use the citric acid method (slightly slower but longer lasting, looks like it’s actually boiling) or the more well-known bicarb and vinegar version (dramatic eruption of bubbles, but over very quickly). Either work well.
Vinegar and bicarb of soda snow volcano – We used 2/3 glass of water, 3 tbsp bicarbonate of soda, 1 tsp washing up liquid and some food colouring. Put these in a container and mix. Then pour in 75 ml vinegar.
Whichever method you’re using, your first set of ingredients into a cup and build up a snow volcano around it (being careful not to let any snow into the cup). Then pour in the wet ingredients and watch what happens. Use different colours to see the different patterns you can make in the snow.
Make ice globes
Ok, so this first attempt was more fun making them than the end result. The ones in this picture didn’t actually freeze, but that’s because it didn’t get cold when we were doing all of these snow activities. If that’s the case where you live (or if you want to do it other than in deepest winter) then just pop them in the freezer overnight and you’ll get the same effect. The idea is that you fill balloons with water, add some food colouring and leave them out to freeze. Once frozen, remove the balloons and you have a lovely ice globe.
The boys really enjoyed making them as part of our snow day activities, and finding the right place to put them so they’d freeze. It meant we had half an hour indoors to warm up, but were still doing something snow related. Once we’d put them outside again we kept an eye on them over the next few days, watching them melt.
Build an igloo
Obviously I don’t think that in England you’re likely to be able to build a full-sized igloo. That would be crazy BUT you can have fun making a mini one with the help of an ice-cream tub. Simply pack it full of snow to make the bricks!
Making ice decorations has been very popular this year. They’re all over my feed! It’s another good snow activity for the kids that isn’t actually playing in the snow, so it’s a little bit warmer. All you need is some shallow plates or dishes, water and some string. Collect some flowers, leaves etc from the garden. Arrange them however you want to on your plate, pour in the water and drape the string over the edge so it will freeze into the decoration. Leave overnight and the next day hang it from a tree. Beautiful.
This show activity for kids can be a bit hit and miss! If it’s cold enough outside then you can just blow the bubbles and, if they settle on something without popping they’ll slowly freeze. You can help the process along by putting the bubble solution in the freezer for an hour before using it. Good luck!!
Take the snow inside!
There really is a limit to the amount of time the kids can play outside in the cold without getting too cold and miserable. If they want to continue the fun though, just take the snow inside with you! At least that way the rest of them can be dry and warm. Smallest Child loved playing with her toy animals in the snow.
Warm up with some colourful hot chocolate
You could have hot chocolate with marshmallows to warm up. OR you could make your own colourful “monster” hot chocolate instead. Yummy. You can carry on the snow activities indoors with these ideas as well.
Oh, and if you’re wondering how to get the smallest ones around in the snow, it’s a two man job but how about this;