Just because there’s snow on the ground, it doesn’t mean that you and Baby can’t get outside to play. Once Baby is all bundled up, the somewhat chilly world can still be your playground! (Though if the weather just isn’t outdoor-play-friendly, here are a few indoor activities to tide you over.) Indeed, if you live in a place where there’s snow on the ground for several months, or even longer, the sooner you get in the habit of outdoor play with Baby despite – or even because of – the sooner he&;ll warm up to the idea of cold weather, outdoor play.
- Do all your usual outdoor activities, but with snow! Don’t let the weather hold you back – run around and chase each other, play freeze tag, or go down a snow-filled slide. These activities are all still super fun (though maybe just a little more tiring) when you’re all bundled up and running through powder.
- Create snow art. Mix a few drops of food coloring with cold water, and then store your colors to spray bottles or put them in cups with brushes. You can then let Baby spray or brush right into the snow, with the world as his canvas!
- Build a snowman! Or a snow mama, a snow puppy, a snow family – you name it! It can be especially fun to craft a creature you never have before. A tiny snow penguin? A giant snow caterpillar? You may even decide to accessorize your creature with found items – like sticks, pinecones, leaves – which will keep your little one busy for even longer as he scavenges for decorations.
- Speaking of snow creations, gather up some out-of-season sand toys, or even just bowls and tins from your kitchen, to build a creative assortment of snow castles or snow cakes. And as you build, talk with Baby about who your creations are for. Is your castle for winter birds? Are your snow cakes a snack for that snow family? You can also decorate these snowy treats with other found items or even snow paint.
- Have Baby help you with snow-related chores. Need to shovel? Ask him to lend a hand with his own tiny shovel, or even a sand bucket or kitchen bowl. Need to clear snow off your car? Give him a turn with the snow brush. These kinds of activities are new enough to Baby that they don’t even feel like chores – they’re just fun. And you can always sing a silly song or make a silly game of things as you go, to make it extra exciting.
- Snowball fight! (Though, of course, a gentle one.) You can also use snowballs to play a game of catch, or take on some target practice. And with a very little one, something as simple as gently tossing snow in his general direction or letting it fall on him from overhead is almost always a delight.
- Sledding, of course, makes for classic snow day play – though you might need to be the one to push or pull Baby around. (And if you don’t have a sled on hand, a clean trash can cover can do in a pinch.) You can even use the snow spray paint method listed above to create a path or obstacle course of sorts that you can sled on, around, or through.
- Take a neighborhood walk. Again, as long as the weather allows, don’t let a little snow stop you from getting outside and exploring in your usual fashion. Whether you’re able to use a stroller, need to use a sled, or just hold Baby‘s hand, a short walk through your local winter wonderland can be a great activity. On snow day walks, it’s important to be aware of safety as you’re out and about – especially if Baby is not secured in a sled, if the ground is icy, or if car and pedestrian visibility on streets or sidewalks is dicey. As you go, you can talk about how the neighborhood seems different in this weather, and how it’s the same. You might even start an “I Spy”-style snowy day scavenger hunt as you go. Can Baby spot a shovel? The corner store? A snowplow? A bird? An icicle?
Snow days may require a little extra bundling up, but they’re also a great excuse to explore your neighborhood in a whole new way, and to try new activities that may not even be options the rest of the time.