Snow Day Sanity Savers

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Winter is here! Forecasters are predicting a very cold and snowy winter here in Canada. This means we should be expecting several daycare, school and office closures in the upcoming weeks (or months!). Here are a few inexpensive activities to keep toddlers and preschoolers entertained, amused and occupied before boredom sets in and they start destroying the house. Also known as SNOW DAY SANITY SAVERS. 1. Make a Cardboard City This is a great activity after the holidays. Save the boxes and wrapping paper to create a cardboard village or city. What you will need:

  • boxes
  • tape
  • wrapping paper, stickers, markers

If the boxes are big enough, you can make a cardboard house, a mailbox, or a car, train etc and let the kids decorate them with wrapping paper, markers, and stickers. If the boxes are small, you can make mini houses, cars and trains for your children’s dolls. During a snow day last year, I used ribbon to connect empty boxes to make a train for my daughter’s dolls. All 30 something of them. They went on a 2 hour tour of our home (our home is not big to begin with). Back and forth she went – dragging her dolls in a box train behind her. 2. Build Sandcastles in the Winter This activity are for those who love playing in the sandbox. And for children who want to get a bit messy – which is probably all. ;) What you will need:

  • flour
  • oil (vegetable oil, canola oil, – whatever you have on hand will do)
  • buckets or plastic storage containers,
  • towels
  • measuring cups, plastic figurines or sandbox toys

Homemade Sand

Lay towels on the floor. Fill the bucket or container with flour. Mix in oil. The ratio to make mouldable sand is approximately 6 to 1  (ie. 6 cups of flour to 1 cup of oil). Use cups and sandbox toys to scoop, build and sculpt. You can add a few drops of food colouring to make coloured sand. Since it’s just flour and oil, it’s pretty easy to clean up – sweep, mop or vacuum. 3. Bring the Snow Indoors If it’s a snow day, it’s probably too cold and snowy to take the kids outside. If your kids are anything like mine, they will beg to play outside no matter how cold. 30 degrees below freezing means nothing to young children. If you can’t take the kids outside, bring the snow inside. What you will need:
  • buckets or plastic storage containers
  • towels
  • measuring cups, plastic figurines or sandbox toys

Lay towels on the floor. Fill the bucket or storage container with snow then place the buckets on the towels. Let the kids have fun building, scooping – whatever they want! – with measuring cups,  plastic figurines and sandbox toys. Let them wear their mittens if the snow is too cold for their tiny hands. You can also have them “paint” the snow by filling spray bottles with water and a few drops of food colouring. When they’re done playing with the “snow box”, pour everything down the sink and mop up any mess on the floor with the towels. Have anything to add to the list? All ideas welcome. Especially if the weatherman is right!

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