Snowmageddon. I think we’ve had like 3 or 4 already this winter. It’s that insane snow fall, that looks like a beautiful snow globe when you’re looking from the outside in, but is insane when you step outside. We’re talking up to 20 cm of snow, zero visibility, and poorly road conditions, all of which leads to traffic like you wouldn’t believe.
Yesterday, a drive that typically takes me 15 minutes, took me an hour and a half. One way. Needless to say, had it been a weekend and my child had not been in daycare, there is no way I would have ventured out to do indoor activities outside of the comfort of my own home.
No, snowmageddon weekends are reserved for hunkering down and waiting out the storm. There’s no reason you can’t have a load of fun while doing that. Here are some of our favourite stay home activities:
My son loves baking. Most likely a result of his mother’s obsession with sweets. His favourite part is mixing in all the ingredients – which always ends up in a giant mess.
I think the most imporant thing to remember about a snow day is that things are going to get messy no matter what activity you choose to keep busy with – might as well just let go and let the messy times roll.
You can make a variety of easy things together – our favourite is banana bread. The great thing is this way, you end up with a snack, which takes care of at least one feeding of the toddler for the day. 2 birds, 1 stone. Increase the fun by turning snack-time into a picnic in the living room.
Here’s my favourite banana bread recipe – it’s super easy, and really yummy. (Note: for the sake of avoiding insanely hyper children, cut down the amount of sugar used in the recipe. I mean, you are stuck with them indoors after all!)
I loved building forts as a child. Honestly – that love never went away. Lucky for me, one of my son’s favourite activities is just this, building a fort and then cuddling inside with lots of pillows and blankets. The building is an activity in and of itself, and then there is a myriad of stuff you can do in the fort. In our fort we read books together, I also lucked out with a little fellow book worm.
Sometimes, It’ll get wild and try to have a conversation with him about his week, but that usually just ends in a round of “what did you do at school” followed by “I dunno” 5 times in a row before I give up and start tickling him instead.
Fort building is easy – you’ll just need pillows, blankets, a large flat bed sheet, and some chairs. In our case I splurged a bit and bout a Crazy Fortsset which I cover with the flat bed sheet. Its way cooler than any fort I could think up on my own. Not sure which one of us has more fun building this puppy (it’s me, it’s definitely me).
Learn a Little Through Play
There are lots of activities that are both fun and educational. It doesn’t have to feel like learning, it can feel like play for both you and your kid. We’ve recently started to do a lot of puzzles with our 2.5 yr old. I honestly didn’t think he would be able to grasp the concept, but it’s not the first nor the last time this kid will have proven me wrong.
Now, he’s definitely not doing them on his own, but I help him look for the general placement of a piece, and then he takes the time to figure out which direction the piece needs to be placed in in order to attach it to the rest of the puzzle.
I direct him using colours, so I’ll ask him to find a piece that has green on it, once he does, I tell him to connect it to the other puzzle piece with green. So, we work on colours. A lot of his puzzles are alphabet, or number based as well, so once the puzzle is completed, we practice the letters and numbers on the surface. It’s all just a game, but its educational at the same time.
I feel better that he’s learned something, which in turn makes me feel less guilty for the screen time I’m going to use and abuse as a babysitting aid later that same day when I’m worn out and we’re both tired.
Whether you’re making some music, or turning on the radio, a dance party is a fantastic way to pass the time, and get rid of some of the pent-up energy that is bound to gather up when you’re all stuck at home.
We’ll blast a little of the oldies and rock out together, then sing some of our favourite kid’s songs, and end it off with a little slow dance to cool down. It’s one of my favourite pastimes, dancing with our little one. Doesn’t hurt that he has some sweet dance moves, it’s laughing aplenty at our house when he starts to boogie.
Crafts don’t have to be anything complicated or overly involved. My kid just loves making construction paper airplanes that he can fly around the living room. I consider this pretty damn crafty. Another fun activity is the toddler trace.
For a toddler trace just get your kid to lie down on a big piece of paper, or a deconstructed cardboard box, and trace the outline of their body. You can either cut out the outline, or leave it as is. You then spend a good chunk of time decorating it. Drawing on pants, adding hair, facial featuers, etc. They can make their toddler cutout look like anything they want it to! Get as creative or as ridiculous as you’d like.
Feel free to use markers, glue and construction paper, finger paint, hell even grab some of your toddlers real pants and put those suckers on the cut out, your kid will find it hilarious.
Set up pillows all over the floor, snuggle in, and watch a Disney movie together. An entire day at home with your child can be fun, but it’s also tiring, so give yourself a break – and your kid a break too. It’s okay to just hang out, and lay like vegetables, and I for one am not against a little screen time if the rest of the day was spent constructively. In fact, screen time has been my saviour many a time over.
Clean Up Game
You’ve been stuck indoors the entire day, which means you best believe your house is a disaster zone by the end of the day. Toys everywhere, fort is barely hanging on by a thread, your living room is a snow day casualty. This is the part where the kids don’t get off the hook – they have to clean up the mess they helped make.
I’ve got enough of my mother’s personality in me that I find myself tiydying a bit throughout the day, getting my toddler to clear one activity to make room for the next one, but lets be honest – that only helps so much. By the end of the day we’ve gotta clean up as much of that mess together as we can before time is up and up we go for bed.
What works with my toddler is turning this into a race – who can get all the bits and pieces gathered, and in the bin, the fastest. He seems to thrive on competition, wonder where he gets that from (points at self).
Well parents, hope this helped make those days stuck inside the house a little more fun. What are some of your favourite snowday activities?