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How To Help Kids Stay Busy on a Snow Day

Updated on August 18, 2012

© by Jennifer McLeod writing as jenjen0703, all rights reserved.

Whamo Snowboard (95cm)
Whamo Snowboard (95cm)

For the older kids, consider a snowboard to keep their interest.

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I am a Michigander by blood as I was bred, born, and raised in Michigan. Anyone who knows anything about the weather in Michigan knows the meteorologist is wrong half the time and the Farmer's Almanac is definitely a thing of the past. Two mornings ago, I went online to check the 7-day forecast for the upcoming week. Thank goodness, there is no snow coming yet. I really need to change a tire on my car. I think I will do that tomorrow.

10 hours later...

SLAM!..."Mom! Where are my snow pants because I need them!" (My 10-year old enters every room like a F5 tornado). I laughed and responded with, "Keegan, you do not need your snow pants until it snows." He suddenly had a puzzled look on his face and retorted with, "Well, then I guess you better look outside." Seriously? So, I pull back the living room curtains and look out the window. My car was covered in 4 inches of snow. It had only been 2 hours since I returned home from work and settled in at my computer, and there had not been any snow yet.

Well, that is Michigan weather for you, and when we receive our first "dump" of snow, schools close the next day and have what all Michigan children eagerly call (and most parents hate) a "Snow Day." For parents, a Snow Day means you are either in a rush to find day care arrangements or you have to take the day off work to stay home with them. For the lucky few stay-at-home mothers, this means a day of extra work.

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Well, needless to say, this is exactly what happened to me yesterday. We had our first snowfall in Michigan for this year. Snow days are not as difficult for me today because my youngest son is the only child I have living with me full-time. However, I was not bargaining on the three neighborhood children that were going to follow behind him.

Within an hour of my son's "snow advisory," we lost power. I did not have the heart to leave his friends behind with no heat at their house, so we all packed up and went out to stay at my ex-husband's farmhouse. At least if we lost power, his wood stove would keep us all warm through the night.

Luckily, we did not lose power. The kids were behaving well, and I thought I had my day under control when another bomb was dropped on me. A phone call from my stepdaughter revealed the total number of kids was about to increase from 4 to 6. What did I just get myself into?


Fun Activities for Snow Days

At this moment, I vowed I was going to stop being so nice to everyone's children so they will stop following me everywhere (yeah, right). Next, I decided to find child-friendly activities to occupy these kids so they don't drive me crazy on snow days. This was a difficult task because the television at the farmhouse was broke. Not having video games or television to keep these kids busy was a major downfall for me. So, here is a list of the things we decided to do:

1. Hide and seek. This old school, popular game is fun for anyone to play but works best in locations where there is actually room to hide. An old farmhouse with 200 acres of land has plenty of places to hide. When we play hide and seek, we are ruthless in our efforts to scare each other to death. No one is exempt from the terror of our games, even my young grandchildren get scared badly.

2. Snow slushies. Since the snow was fresh on the ground, finding clean snow was not a problem. I filled a water pitcher with clean snow and dumped the snow into a large bowl. I mixed one packet of Koolaid mix and a cup of sugar. Using a whisk, I mixed the snow, Koolaid mix, and sugar until the white color of the snow had completely vanished. Next, I just scooped the Snow Slushies into cups and served them to the children with a spoon. They loved it and begged us to make more when they were finished!

3. Build snowman or snow fort. Within an hour after eating breakfast, the kids started acting like jungle monkeys. They were dirtying dishes faster than I could keep them washed. It was time to go outside and play. I made up a sob story about how much I loved snowmen and would love it if they made me one. That bought me an hour of quiet time, and they did a terrific job on it too!

4. Make paper snowflakes. For instructions on how to make paper snowflakes, read Make Lacy Cutout Paper Snowflakes for your windows.


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    • JenJen0703 profile image

      Jennifer McLeod 5 years ago from Battle Creek, Michigan

      Thanks for the comments, Amber. I will check out your blog.

    • profile image

      Amber 5 years ago

      Here's an article i wrote that has a couple ideas in it

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 6 years ago from Wales

      What a great hub for which I have to vote an up up and away.

      I look forward to reading many more by you.

      Take care,


    • JenJen0703 profile image

      Jennifer McLeod 6 years ago from Battle Creek, Michigan

      Thanks for the comments everyone. I have to have constructive activities for the kids because it makes the difference between us having a good day and a bad one.

    • samsons1 profile image

      Sam 6 years ago from Tennessee

      Hi Jen, and welcome to HubPages. Your writing is most interesting and the text just seems to flow naturally. Really enjoyed your experience with all the kids during your first snow of the season. Voted up and beautiful and here's to your success as you write. Thanks for the follow and I will gladly reciprocate...

    • LadyLyell profile image

      LadyLyell 6 years ago from George, South Africa

      Wow, how lucky you are to live in a place where it snows!

      I have had to travel overseas to experience the fun of it all.

      The countries I have lived in, Australia and South Africa do get snow but for short periods of time and only in specific places.

      Enjoy the days of fun indoors and I will be thinking of it all.


    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 6 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      Funny,cute story. I enjoyed reading about your weather.Great to have some things to be creative with too, instead of TV or electronics all the time. Voted useful(we have snow occasionally in GA and school closes for 1/2 inch, literally speaking.)

    • howtojunkies profile image

      howtojunkies 6 years ago

      good hub!

    • Just History profile image

      Just History 6 years ago from England

      We are still waiting for the snow- hopefully it wont come this year- Mine loved snow days and even ice days as the playground was too icy to get into the school. My youngest has lucked out on that one as they built a new school and the ice does not affect it!

      Voted up

    • profile image

      Sueswan 6 years ago

      Great hub.

      Loved snow days and not having to go to school.

    • Daisy Mariposa profile image

      Daisy Mariposa 6 years ago from Orange County (Southern California)


      Your Hub brought back memories of my growing up in New Jersey. A sketch pad and a box of crayons or pastels (colored chalk) filled many hours for me on snow days.

    • grandmapearl profile image

      Connie Smith 6 years ago from Southern Tier New York State

      I remember snow days very fondly. It was our chance to break out the "Glass Wax" and stencils. They always kept us busy for hours. And we loved the way our windows looked! Anyone remember Glass Wax?

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 6 years ago from Riga, Latvia

      Very good information for those with kids. When I was growing up we always lived in apartments and in N.Y. so at that time there usually wasn't much snow around. When a blizzard did come up being an only child presented my mom with problems. One day she solved the dilemma very nicely. I loved coloring in coloring books but soon got bored. Then mom said sit at the window and count the snowflakes. After a few counts I returned to coloring and that was that.

    • DonnaCosmato profile image

      Donna Cosmato 6 years ago from USA

      While we don't get much snow here in the Blue Ridge mountains, I bookmarked this just in case. The snow slushies sound awesome and much as I despise cold weather and snow, it might be worth a tiny snowfall just to try them:) Voted up and useful for a parent's sanity.

    • WillStarr profile image

      WillStarr 6 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      We used to play board games like Monopoly on snow days!