Snow Day Activities for Children

Each winter brings days when schools are closed due to snow or ice and adults take time off from work to be home with their children. Other than building snow figures and going sledding, what else can children do that engages their imaginations, exercises developmental skills, and doesn’t involve electronic games and screen time?

Fairfax County Office for Children child care professionals recommend that families try the following activities the next time there’s a snow day -- or any time your child says, “What is there to do around here?” These fun experiences contribute to children’s social, emotional, literacy, science, math, art and physical development:

Transform “Trash.” Fill a box with items like empty water bottles, stray buttons, fabric scraps, screws, coat hangers, belts, paperclips, plastic utensils, cardboard tubes and cereal boxes. Children can use the items to build a city, make a robot, or create hats, purses and jewelry. This activity uses science, math, art and physical skills.

Make a Movie. This project allows children to refine their literacy skills by writing a script; art skills from drawing the storyboard; science and math skills from making costumes, building sets or experimenting with special effects like stop-motion animation; and social, emotional and physical skills from casting, directing and acting out the story. The film can be shot with a smart phone or video camera, and the result can be shared with friends and family online.

Build a Book. Literacy skills can be practiced when children tell a story by cutting words out of old magazines or newspapers and paste them onto blank paper. Art skills are added by drawing pictures alongside the text.

Assemble a Structure. Using several boxes of toothpicks and glue, children can create tall towers, bridges, creative sculptures, and even fortresses or homes for their toy cars, action figures, and dolls. Children will practice math, science, art and physical skills while building amazing toothpick structures.

To find out how younger children -- infants, toddlers and preschoolers -- develop skills from everyday activities in the home, read “Helping Your Child Love to Learn” online.



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