Chicago has been experiencing arctic temperatures lately and the kids have been treated to more snow days than usual. Some have even playfully dubbed Chicago “ChiBeria”! It has definitely been a frigid couple of days and we’re in need of some great winter activities. Here are my family’s 7 best snow day activities:
Bake Cookies – My son loves being in the kitchen with me. Well, mostly to stick his finger in the sugar when we’re baking, but still – he’s always following me around the kitchen. Cooking is a great way to get kids interested in the foods they’re putting in their bodies, and perfect for helping them learn a few math skills too!
Read winter-themed books – Your local library is a great place to stock up on seasonal books to read with the kids. Snuggly nighttime cuddles before a bedtime story are one of my favorite things in the whole world! These are just a few of my toddler’s winter-themed books.
Make S’Mores – Think a campfire is the only way to make a S’More? I make them inside all the time – and the kids love them! Just place 2 Hershey’s pieces on top of a graham cracker square and roast the marshmallow over the stove. Place the warm & gooey marshmallow over the Hershey’s and top with another graham cracker square. Instant S’More!
Have a Dance Party! – Chances are, if you’re holed in at the house, you’re doing a lot of sedentary activities and not as active as you’d normally be. Well, turn on the radio (or, on second thought, pop in a kids CD or a kids Pandora station – kids probably should be listening to most lyrics on the radio) and get your groove on!
Finger painting – My toddler loves to finger paint. I can’t always make out what he’s trying to create, but what’s important is that kids learn how to express themselves creatively. He says he made a tree, but all I see is a green blob? Whatevs…I’m just proud that he’s using his imagination.
Pop some popcorn and settle in for a movie – Favorites in my house this winter are Madagascar, Despicable Me, and Monsters University. I’ve watched them all so many times that I’ll be able to recite them verbatim pretty soon. Every once in a while, though, I like to change it up and pop in a new movie we haven’t seen and make it a true movie night – popcorn and all.
Make “real” hot cocoa – Growing up, we always had hot chocolate made with Nestle Quik. Since becoming a mom, I’ve discovered the deliciousness that is “real” hot cocoa and yes, my mom and I have had words about it. How was this kept from me my whole childhood? Seriously though, it’s so easy. Mix a ½ half of a can of sweetened condensed milk with about a cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips in a large pan over medium heat. Stir constantly until chocolate is completely melted. Add a cup of whipping cream, 3 cups of milk, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Whisk until combined and serve topped with marshmallows.