Though St. Louis hasn’t yet reached the record breaking snowfall accumulation of 1982, we are certainly experiencing more snow than we have in quite a few years. Schools across St. Louis and St. Charles county were closed Thursday, and many have called off classes for Friday as well. For many parents, this means taking a day off work to care for children.
Though you’ve most likely had your fill of snow after shoveling all eight or more inches of it, your kids are probably still chomping at the bit to get out in it. Even if you don’t have a sled or pre-made snow molds, there are plenty of ways for your kids to have fun while the world outside is covered in white.
- Fill small Ziploc bags with beans, pasta noodles, sesame seeds, rolled up washcloths or anything you have on hand that will give the bag some weight, without making it hazardous to throw. You might want to also slip a piece of colored paper or a blue Shop N Save grocery bag into the Ziploc baggie, for easy spotting in the snow. Then, toss all the bags out into the yard, count down from three, and let your kids race to retrieve them from the snow.
- Break out the summer toys. Shovels and pails are perfect for snow days too. Buckets, along with Gladware or any empty containers you have, can be used to make small snow castles. Or, kids can race to see who can carry and dump out ten buckets first. A beach ball is also fun to throw around in the snow. Kids can bat it back and forth, trying to set a record for the most number of hits before it falls into the snow.
- Section off one small area of the yard, and toss small waterproof toys into it. Give your kids small shovels and see who can uncover the treasures first.
- Get kids to use their imaginations. Pretend you are famous nature photographers and you’re tromping through snow to try to get a picture of a mother and baby polar bear. Make believe you’re movie stars, filming on location in a snowy climate and let your kids make up the lines of the script, whether they be dramatic or funny. Or, pretend you’re hiking up a snowy mountain in an effort to be the youngest person to ever reach the top.
- Bring the toy dishes outside. Kids will enjoy using their cups, pitchers and bowls to scoop up snow. They can pretend they’re cooking, or serving up Hawaiian shaved ice on a warm, summer day.
- Give each child a large ladle type spoon from the kitchen utensil drawer. Let them scoop snow onto their spoon, fling it up in the air, and see if they can catch any of it back into their spoon.
- Get out the toy dumptrucks and small wagons. Children love to gather and haul snow, pretending to have precious cargo, or simply to help clear the roads.
- Turn the snow into a work of art. By mixing food coloring with water, kids can turn their snowy white canvas into a beautiful design.
No matter how you choose to play in the snow, take the time to let your kids get out and have fun with it for a little while. Remember, this is probably the biggest snowfall they’ve seen in their lifetimes, so even though the deep snow may be an irritation to you in some respects, to your kids, it’s a magical wonderland full of play time possibilities.
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