Snow Day Survival Guide, including a free printable!

Adorable. Fresh, clean snow.
Adorable. Fresh, clean snow.

If you’re all in a panic because your kids are going mad and you don’t have a thing prepared for them to do on the millionth snow day in a row, go on ahead and skip to the end. I won’t tell!

This winter is no joke.

It’s snowed every single day since forever. We haven’t had school since last Wednesday, and wind chills for today are forecast to hit about -30F (which is -34C – we’ve almost converged!).

But what do you do? There are only so many days you can spend huddled inside waiting for spring, especially if you live with lots of little humans.

There’s something to be said for celebrating the place you live, crazy climate and all. In honor of our fourth straight snow day, I’m offering a few hints on getting outside to enjoy this unique weather with a free printable below to wrap it up.

Dress in layers.

And I mean lots of them. Two pair of socks; leggings, long underwear, or fleece tights under jeans; undershirt, long-sleeved shirt, and sweater – this is your base layer. Then add your boots, snowpants, hat, mittens or gloves, and scarf. It’s so much easier to enjoy being out in the snow if you’re dressed for it!

Stay out of the wind.

Play on the sheltered side of the house and avoid open areas – it will make a tremendous difference in how long you’re able to stay outside. Good old-fashioned snow forts make great windblocks, too.

Come in for warming breaks.

This is a new one to me that came from a woman who grew up in Alaska. You can get outside in some crazy cold weather, you just need to come in periodically to let your skin warm up. So send the kids out for twenty minutes – or better yet, join them, the fresh air will do you good too! – then come back in for five or ten minutes to warm up and head right back out. Go ahead and leave the gear on and your sanity may actually remain intact.

Activity for Desperate Parents


Now, for that moment when you really need to go inside, I created – ahem – a printable. It’s a poem called The Snowman which I’ve formatted as a booklet for the kiddos to illustrate. It requires the ability to do double-sided printing but otherwise needs absolutely no preparation ahead of time. It is appropriate for preschoolers and young grade-schoolers (my kids are 5 and 7 and enjoyed it; the 2-year-old took a yogurt bath and decorated my kitchen with cinnamon rather than participate).

Get it while it’s hot (hahahahahaaa):

The Snowman: Click here to download!

Additional Activity for the Exceptionally Motivated or Desperate

Again, this needs no preparation ahead of time. Grab some kind of dish with sides from the kitchen – a cookie sheet with a lip, casserole dish, pie plate, that sort of thing – and bring it outside to put some snow in. Make a miniature snowman. (If you live around here you might need to let the snow warm up a little for it to pack.) Then watch it melt, just like the snowman in the book (hopefully it won’t traumatize your little artistes!). A lesson in solid and liquid states.

UPDATE! What’s a snow day without a video?

Many thanks to Sammy for this suggestion. Head on over there if you love to escape through adoption stories. 🙂

See? You covered nature, literature, and science today. Win!

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More on helping kids thrive in:
Ten Reasons for Your Child to Walk to School
The Courage of Children
The Capability of Children
Car Time to School Keeps Kids from Concentrating