Surviving Snow Days – 101 Things to Do With Kids

Surviving Snow Days - 101 Things to Do with Kids - Toddling Around Chicagoland #snowday #kids #PolarVortex #Chiberia

The Polar Vortex is back here in Chicagoland and, once again, school is cancelled for two days and we’re stuck in the house. Between blizzards, bad road conditions, illness, and severe cold we’ve spent a lot more time inside than I would like, but I came up with this list of things to do when you can’t get out.

  1. Take selfies with the kids.
  2. Bake cookies.
  3. Put snow in the bathtub. For little ones you can put on all their snow gear and sit them in the tub. Older kids can just wear gloves and play with the snow while kneeling on the floor. (Not that into it? Put some snow in a large bowl or plastic container for kids to play with at the table.)
  4. Make rain sticks.
  5. Play dress up.
  6. Try a new recipe.
  7. Do a photo shoot. Hang a tablecloth, sheet, or fabric (or drape it over a bookcase) as a backdrop and pull out dress up items or toys as props.
  8. Watch movies.
  9. Read books.
  10. Look up what National Day it is and celebrate accordingly. (Today, January 27, is National Chocolate Cake Day! Tomorrow is National Kazoo Day.)
  11. Make carpet shapes.
  12. Make snow ice cream. Bring in a gallon of clean snow and add 1 cup of milk, 1 tsp of vanilla, and 1 cup of sugar.
  13. Build a fort.
  14. Bubble bath.
  15. Play with Play-Doh.
  16. Paint.
  17. Color.
  18. Make tie die coffee filter snowflakes.
  19. Pile up pillows and blankets to make a little reading nest.
  20. Find things around the house that aren’t needed anymore. Make a pile of things to be donated.
  21. Write a letter.
  22. Learn about a different state or country.
  23. Make a craft with things you find around the house – toilet paper or paper towel rolls, scraps of paper, yarn, etc.
  24. Practice scissor skills.
  25. Reorganize toys.
  26. Play restaurant. Kids can write or draw menus, set the table, and serve food (either real food or play food).
  27. Make a “to do” list of things you’d like to do as a family before winter ends.
  28. Rotate toys. Choose some to put away (or donate) and take out ones you’ve put away previously.
  29. Make a mural. Use a roll of paper or tape regular paper together.
  30. Play a board game.
  31. Do yoga.
  32. Make pop-up cards.
  33. Turn on some music and have a dance party.
  34. Learn some sign language.
  35. Pull out some flashlights and make shadow puppets.
  36. Learn how to sew, knit, or crochet. If you know how, teach the kids. If not you can find how-to videos on YouTube.
  37. Exercise.
  38. Create a scavenger hunt.
  39. Make string ball ornaments.
  40. Start a scrapbook.
  41. Make an obstacle course.
  42. Pull out some empty boxes, markers, and scissors, and use them to make a cardboard city.
  43. Plan to do things to pay it forward.
  44. Make your own play dough.
  45. Play store. Put toys or clothes on display and make up prices. Let the “clerk” bag the purchases. (Great way to teach about math too!)
  46. Write a book.
  47. Plan a trip – a real trip for the future or just an imagined trip you’d like to take. Browse the internet to see where you’d like to go and the things there are to see and do there.
  48. Make melted crayon art.
  49. Invent a new sandwich. Peanut butter and pickles anyone?
  50. Have the kids help make a freezer meal for a friend or neighbor who could use it. (This pasta dinner looks easy & yummy.)
  51. Make paper airplanes and have a flying race.
  52. Skype, Facetime, or have a Google + Hangout with a friend or family member.
  53. Interview your kids and let them interview you. Record their answers and compare them to answers they give in the future.
  54. Make a Flat Stanley and find someone to send it to.
  55. Play veterinarian with stuffed animals.
  56. Ice skate inside.
  57. Draw self-portraits.
  58. Make a calendar to count down to Spring.
  59. Have a snack hunt.
  60. Cut pictures from magazines to make a collage.
  61. Make a volcano with baking soda and vinegar.
  62. Make artwork with fingerprints or handprints. (Check out my Handprints & Fingerprints Pinterest board for ideas.)
  63. Have a tea party.
  64. Build with Legos.
  65. Have the kids help set up an art station and then let them go wild.
  66. Do a photo scavenger hunt. Take pictures of things around the house, then use to make a collage. Print it out and let the kids search the house to find each of the items. For older kids take close up pictures to make it more challenging.
  67. Make bird feeders. Thread Cheerios onto pipe cleaners or string to hang on a tree.
  68. Make an I-Spy bottle.
  69. Use pasta and string to make jewelry.
  70. Make paper bag or sock puppets.
  71. Put on a puppet show.
  72. Start working on a Valentine’s Day project.
  73. Play Antiques Roadshow. Choose an item in your house; one person makes up a story about how they got the item and the other appraises it, making up an origin and value.
  74. Drink hot cocoa.
  75. Let kids wash dishes (or just play with water in the sink).
  76. Write messages in invisible ink. Use a q-tip to write with lemon juice and then hold up to a lightbulb to make the message appear.
  77. Play laundry games.
  78. Sing songs.
  79. Try some simple origami.
  80. Make bookmarks.
  81. Make recycled crayons.
  82. Make food to fit the theme of a favorite book or movie. We made Green Eggs & “Ham”.
  83. Make paper crowns.
  84. Do the Hokey Pokey.
  85. Build a tower with large blocks, cereal boxes, or other paper or plastic containers. Then knock it down.
  86. Hot Wheels car wash.
  87. Throw a birthday party for a stuffed animal.
  88. Play games at PBS Kids.
  89. Balance a small ball or other object on a spoon. Have races to see who can go the fastest without dropping it.
  90. Put on a cape and become a superhero. Make up superhero names and powers.
  91. Have a picnic on the floor.
  92. Say tongue twisters.
  93. Fill a bottle 3/4 full with water and add a few drops of dish soap. Seal the bottle and swirl it around to watch a tornado.
  94. Play Hide and Seek.
  95. Try shaving cream marbling.
  96. Have a “make your own” meal or treat and let your child choose from many choices. You can do sundaes, pizza, salad, fruit smoothie, or egg omelette.
  97. Make a diorama.
  98. Make tissue paper flowers.
  99. Make paper rockets.
  100. Build a tower with plastic cups.
  101. Have a snowball fight with yarn pom poms, cotton balls, or balled up paper.

Visit my Pinterest boards for more idea for At Home Adventures, Fun Food, DIY Projects, Arts & Crafts for Kids, Free Printables, and Busy Bags & Busy Books.

What do you do when you’re stuck at home?


  1. Great article! I’ve been stuck inside with my 3-year-old because of both coldness and illness (I’m a teacher with snow days and now home using sick days with him). I’ve written a couple articles on keeping moving in the winter, but with a sick child, keeping moving is minimal. I appreciate the ideas!

    ~Erin @

  2. Hey from Arts & Crackers! These are some great ideas! I always run out of things to do to keep my kiddo amused. We will have to try some of these. Right now we are drinking hot cocoa 🙂

  3. Great suggestions! Sometimes it’s just too cold to get outside. Going to try some of these tomorrow when I baby-sit!

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