January 22, 2016

14 random things to do when you’re snowed in. . .with young kids


This post is originally from when we had a big Northwest snow storm in 2012 – the list of things to do when you’re snowed in with kids is still very applicable! If you’re experiencing the big storm of 2016 – stay safe, stay warm and make the most of the extra time with family!

Oh my, oh my – we are going stir crazy at our place. It seems we’ve had perpetual “snow days” here because my son was sick all last week – so we missed school and didn’t go much of anywhere. Then he starts feeling better around Sunday and what would you guess – the snow kicks in! My husband, a school teacher, has joined the party with school being canceled the last two days. So we are going on 11 days of good ole quality time here at home – which don’t get me wrong, I’m very thankful for – but it does get tricky trying to entertain a four-year-old and a 18-month-old for hours on end, without leaving the house. So we’ve been creative this week and I thought I’d share some ideas. . .


Besides playing in the snow – which is the most obvious and fun thing to do – here are 14 random things you can do on your snow day:

1.) Family dance party. Use Pandora.com to create custom radio stations – then get the whole family dancing. My kids like the Veggie Tale, Alvin & the Chipmunks, and Laurie Berkner stations. Try to come up with new moves – we came up with making a snowball, walking in the deep snow, and the snow shovel.

2.) Hide the can of beans (or anything from your stockpile). Pick a room or two in the house and hide a can of beans (or anything really). This silly “game” entertained us for a good 30 minutes today – and would have lasted longer if my four-year-old could keep a secret. 🙂 I learned about this game from my friend Angela over at The Coupon Project.

3.) Play the invisible person game. Put a colander on your head (metal is best) and you immediately become invisible. The only way you can be seen is if someone shines a flash light on you. This one sounds very lame as I’m typing it – but my four-year-old son did this for close to an hour today, LOL. 🙂

4.) Make your Valentines! You’ve got the time – cut out a bunch of hearts and make your own Valentines.

5.) Give thanks. Write thank you cards for Christmas gifts if you haven’t already. If you’ve already done that – write a card or letter to someone you love. Trek to the mailbox through the snow to mail it.


6.) Make homemade play dough using ingredients from your kitchen.

7.) Read and then read some more. Need some new reading material? Download a new book on your phone or Kindle!

8.) Have a photo scavenger hunt. Make a list of things to find and send your kids around the house with your digital camera (this only works if you can trust them with it – if not, follow behind and take the photos for them). The list can have things like white square, a left shoe, the number 3, a photo of mom, etc.

9.) Skype it up. If you haven’t already – download Skype and figure out how to Skype with a loved one that you miss. If you already have Skype then what are you waiting for? We Skyped with Grandma and Grandpa in Alaska yesterday afternoon and showed them our new dance moves.

10.) Have a snow clothes fashion show. We keep all our snow clothes in a big Rubbermaid tub that we pull out only once or twice a year. Throw all the snow clothes in the middle of the living room floor and see what kinds of combinations you can come up with. Take photos of each outfit.

11.) Clip coupons with your kids! Have your kids make a “menu” with expired coupons, glue your favorites, preferably with photos, onto a big piece of cardstock. Then play restaurant.

12.) Make topic-based collages. Pick a topic – like winter, and then cut pictures and words out of magazines or the newspaper that are related to that topic – things like snow, sleds, hot cocoa, etc.

13.) Build a fort with your stockpile goods. Do you have extra toilet paper or canned foods? Let your kids build forts using blankets, furniture and stockpile items like boxes of pasta, paper towels, toothpaste and other (non-glass) stockpile items. Sometimes the best toys, aren’t toys.

14.) Bring the outdoors, indoors. When it gets too cold to keep playing outside, fill the bath tub up with snow and play indoors! Leave the drain open so the water drains out as the snow melts, and put a towel by the tub so no one slips.

I’d love to hear your ideas for how to entertain yourself and your kids when you are snowed in. Leave a comment on this post.


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  1. Idea’s for the winter: swim at a indoor swimming pool, like the YMCA. Go to the mall, walk around, window shop the toy store, go see a cheep matinee. Go get your nails done, or do them at home. Go bowling, or glow bowling -black light bowling. Go to a local pet store and look at pets/fish. Indoor snowball fight. They sell snowballs at certain toy stores. Go to the library. Or kids museum. Visit friends. Some McDonald’s have indoor play area’s. We go to a indoor bounce house called Lost In Fun, or Defy Gravity. Read, Baking, color, Wii, PlayStation, movies, boardgames. You Gotta Be Kidding Me, Board Game, of Would You Rather Questions is fun.

  2. I also have a 4 year old who has been out of school all week and a 17 month old. As of Wednesday I hit 40 weeks pregnant and Thursday lost power. It has been a long last 3 days and I wish we would have had power to read these tips and ideas. It will be great though to have these ideas on file for other days as well. Thanks for everything and I hope you and your family find your way back to a powered home soon! Stay warm and safe!

  3. love the ideas! We are burnt out with the kinect, movies and board games so we’ll have to try these!

  4. We were without power and heat for over 36 hours and power just came back on before midnight tonight on Friday. My family played board games, listed to Komo news on our battery operated radio, knitted hair bows, did art sketching and made jewelery–most of that by candlelight. Thank goodness for our food stockpile—some of which got stashed in the backyard of snow and now is back fridge/freezer again—even milk, juice and Yoplait yogurt that kept just fine in the frozen snow! What a krazy adventure—but a good family bonding time! A huge thanks to you and all your reader’s tips that greatly contributed to our stockpile. I haven’t been out to the shops since last Sunday’s morning trip to Albs for doublers!!

  5. I recommend baking cookies or some other yummy treat and delivering them to neighbors. Since we never got around to this during Christmastime, I feel like I’m getting a second chance.

    Also, this is a great excuse to “unplug” and do board games. My husband and I are trying out games for the first time that have just sat in our game closet for years.

  6. Thanks for the 14 tips/ideas.
    We’ve been playing games, baking, wii, legos, you name it. School has been closed all week :(. But we’re loving the snow and the time we get to play out in the snow as a family. :)))
    This morning the kids found a little toddler tent they had from when they were toddlers, they set the tent up in the livingroom and pretended they were camping out in the snow, lol.
    Hope you have a Great day, stay warm. !

  7. Stay warm! We’ve been without power since just before 6 a.m. this morning. Thank goodness for a generator.

    • Thank goodness you have a generator – how scary! I heard a lot of people are out of power in Tacoma. Our lights have flickered but we still have power, thank goodness.

  8. We’ve had the same kind of couple of weeks…my younger daughter missed 2 days of school last week and my older daughter missed 3.

    They just got their Wii for xmas so they’ve been playing that a lot, but yesterday we played game of monopoly and then apples to apples 🙂

    • Jennifer – Hope your kiddos feel better soon! The Wii is a good activity for indoors – gets them to burn off some energy. I do love Apples to Apples and Monopoly – sounds like fun! Thank you for sharing. 🙂 Stay warm.

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