I live in Pennsylvania, where we sometimes experience all four seasons within a 24-hour period. No lie. Right now, there’s about one foot of snow outside my door, which is just enough to be amazingly beautiful and lots of fun without causing too much chaos. If you have kids, snow days might immediately conjure thoughts of spending half an hour bundling a little one, then having to peel off all the icy, wet clothes, hang them dry and do it all again two hours later.
Let me remind you of all the “motherhood” sayings about time flying and how days are long but years are short. They’re all true. You really WILL miss these days sooner than you think. In the meantime, as long as there’s snow outside, why not have fun with it, right? Here are five creative snow fun ideas for you and your kids to try!
Make maple syrup lollipops in the snow
This is reportedly a favorite tradition in Canada. It requires adult supervision and assistance because boiling hot maple syrup is involved. Here’s what you’ll need to make these yummy snow treats:
- 100% pure maple syrup
- A small cooking pot
- Popsicle sticks
- Candy thermometer or a really good eye
- Clean section of fresh snow (patted down to be firm)
Cook the maple syrup just until it reaches the soft-ball stage you’d use for making taffy. On candy thermometer, this would be approximately 235-240 degrees Fahrenheit. Caution! It will literally be BOILING hot! Carefully carry the pot outside and pour “strips” of syrup on the section of snow you’ve cleared and patted down. Press your popsicle stick into a strip and, as it cools, roll the stick end-over-end so the syrup starts wrapping around it like a lollipop! Voila! Maple syrup lollipops made in the snow!
Create an outdoor winter art gallery
Any type of paint will work, but if you want to use washable, then tempera liquid paints or tempera powders that you mix with water are good choices. Gather up your paint brushes, cups of water for rinsing (if you don’t have multiple brushes) and head out to create your one-of-a-kind outdoor art gallery!
Encourage your kids to get creative by framing their paintings with evergreen branches, stones or sticks! Don’t be surprised if they start painting the stones and sticks, as well!
Time for a tasty snow-cream treat
There’s really no specific measurements for this snow idea, only that you have a few ingredients on hand: vanilla, sweetened condensed milk and snow. All you do is scoop up a bunch of fresh snow, then mix in small amounts of vanilla and condensed milk until you get the consistency and flavor that you want!
Birds love homemade snacks, too
What kinds of winter birds are in your area? Do you see beautiful red Cardinals or sweet little Black-capped Chickadees? The next time you’re looking for a fun snow day idea to do with your kids, try making some frozen bird feeder ornaments!
If you want to make a larger ice-ring, similar to a wreath, you simply get a large bowl, then place a smaller bowl, jar or cup inside to create a ring that you can fill with water. If you want, you can line the bottom of the ring with berries first. Sprinkle bird seed around the ring and set the whole thing in your freezer. Once frozen, pop out the ice wreath and hang it from a tree.
If you don’t want to bother making ice. You can sculpt a wreath out of packed snow and press the bird seeds into it! You can also make mini frozen ornaments using an ice cube tray. Place a loop of twine into the center, so when the cubes freeze, you have a loop to hang them from branches of your trees! And, check out these bird feeder crafts for more backyard fun at any time of year!
Bring some snow fun indoors for a change
Ever have those days where you just don’t feel like going through all the trudge-mirudge (just made up that word) to get everyone dressed in snow gear? That’s when you can bring the snow indoors! Why not?! Scoop up some snow in bins like you would use to make sensory bins for the kids. If you want even more snow, use larger storage bins.
Clear an area by lining it with a tarp or plastic tablecloth to catch drips. Supply the kids with shovels, buckets, cookie cutters or even, little gems and toys they can hide and find in the snow! Your kids will love building mini snowmen or pretending to cook snow soup for lunch!