Countering the Winter Blues: Activities and Crafts for the Snow-laden Season Ahead aka Snow Day Boredom Busters

The word “Snow Day” can conjure memories of sledding with the kids in powdery fluff followed by warm mugs of hot cocoa.  Or, it might have you recalling the blizzard that kept you homebound for two days with the children in a constant state of TV remote wrestling.

To be honest, I have experienced both, and this season I am determined to alleviate any cabin fever with an arsenal of crafts, activities and food fun that will keep my lively troop engaged and cheerful.  I am also determined to use things on hand and not blow $100 at the craft store.

Wilton with his #SockSnowman | #SockSnowman via @rutheah | Dylan’s original #SockSnowman that inspired this post

My first stop for inspiration was talking to my daughter’s friend Dylan who is a consummate crafter.  She told me about the “Sock Snowman” that EVERYONE is making. (Everyone except me I guess.) First I hit the hashtag #SockSnowman on Instagram to get an overview of the craft.  Now that my interest was piqued, I traveled to Pinterest to see what the crafty crowd was doing with the snowmen. This craft was definitely a winner and the first I pinned on my new Snow Day Boredom Busters board.

When Wilton jumped in to make his snowman, it was a perfect opportunity for him to practice his tying skills.  Bonus!

For the Sock Snowman you will need:

  • A white sock for the snowman
  • A colored sock for the hat
  • Scissors
  • Rice
  • String for tying
  • Pompoms or buttons
  • Glass head straight pins

Check out our snowman video on Instagram @smartstuff4kids

Since crafts make kids hungry, I thought about “maple snow”. I was introduced to this pure winter goodness during my first snowstorm on the East Coast.  The technique is basic, a snowcone poured with real maple syrup. As I researched further, I found other snowy versions like snow ice cream and maple toffee.  So fun to make and so yummy!

low-brow version, but a big crowd pleaser in my house, is the “Paint with Kool-Aid” activity.  What’s great about this is that the kids will want to taste their artwork!  You can do this outdoors in virgin snow or bring some in the house on a cookie sheet. 

 

Even my daughter Giovanna at 13 wanted to snow paint.  

To Paint with Kool-Aid you will need:

  •  Kool-Aid or food coloring
  • Spray bottles
  • Water
  • Snow outdoors or on a cookie sheet indoors

Finally, I wanted to add some games to allay any residue of doldrums.  My son recently turned 7 and my friend Jen tipped me off to the motherload of game ideas for his party “Minute to Win It”.  This is a phenomenon that has inspired young and old and has populated Pinterest boards to the max.  We played several of these games at Wilton’s party, but with our favorite being “Junk in the Trunk”.  These games all use things that you have in your pantry or garage, they are brilliant!

 

For the “Junk In the Trunk” game, you will need:

Kleenex boxes

  • Ping-pong balls
  • Ribbon – 2 to 3 inches wide and approximately 1 yard long
  • Tape
  • Timer

First we had a race emptying the Kleenex boxes.  After that game, we taped a wide ribbon to the bottom of the box, putting 6 – 8 Ping-pong balls inside.  Tie the box around the players waist and see how many balls he or she can shake out in one minute.

 

In all of the Minute to Win It games, you have one minute to complete each activity and you are scored accordingly.  This can seriously kill an afternoon and will be so much fun you will want to join in.

The next time a homebound snow day takes you by surprise, don’t despair. Instead hit your pantry, Pinterest, and play!!!