Mom-Approved Snow Day Survival Guide


snow day

Winter is here in full effect. This week, the weather forecast looks brutal, and parents in the Milwaukee area are bracing themselves for a snow day or two. Facing multiple days of school cancellations can be daunting to parents. We looked to our contributor team to get some great ideas together to help you get through the snow and cold with your sanity intact.

Good, Old-Fashioned Snow Day Fun

Get all bundled up and play in the snow, even adding in some snow paint or molds for building forts or snow walls. Do a cool winter science project, like blowing bubbles and watching them freeze. Inside, it’s always fun to play board games, bust out the fancy art supplies, or dig out some old toys the kids may have forgotten about. Many contributors use a snow day to let their kids play with pots and pans or do some baking.

We are not above screen time. And plenty of it because we all need to get through the day. Games, movies, and TV. Don’t forget the popcorn!

For the younger crowd, sensory bins are big. Lauren suggests visiting Busy Toddler for quick ideas. Some of the ideas from that website can easily be adapted to big kids, too. Erin adds, “Last week we dumped all of our hot wheels in the bath and had an hour long car wash. We bring a bin of snow inside and add dinosaurs and trucks to it.”

snow dayMarnia suggests having each child write down two or three things they want to do and randomly draw the activities out of a bowl all day.  “We do it this way so everyone gets a turn to pick something to do. Anyone can skip an activity, but then have to play by themselves.”

Get the Snow Day Wiggles Out

For kids with lots of energy, cold, snowy days provide a big challenge. “We have a swing, bar, and lots of climbing things in the basement, along with a mattress for them to jump and do flips on,”  Marnia says. Indoor play areas often stay open for those of us who don’t have active play spaces at home.

Kate adds, “We take exercise breaks to get wiggles out— Jack Hartmann on YouTube is great. We build a fort. If getting out of the house isn’t too much trouble, we go to the gym.”

Put Those Kids to Work!

Dolores says a snow day is a good time to get the kids in on chores. Kate also says, “If you need to get work done, tell the kids to come get you when it’s time to do chores. They will go out of their way to avoid you!”

Adjust Your Expectations on a Snow Day

School cancellations throw a wrench in everyone’s plans, and it can be hard to keep your cool when your plan for the day goes out the window. Abby says, “As someone who works from home, cancelled school days are bittersweet. I don’t have to call into work but I still have to get stuff done. We usually have a family meeting to talk about what I need to do and how they can help. They typically get screen time while I’m on calls because it’s the only way to keep them quiet. I also plan to do as much work as possible before they are up and after bedtime. I tend to relax most rules to make the day fun.

For me, the most helpful thing is to let go of my expectations. I probably won’t get as much work done as I’d like. We will probably have more screen time and junk food than necessary. I will probably yell and they will probably not listen. Acknowledging that the day won’t be perfect helps me stay in the right frame of mind.” She will also occasionally enlist the help of a tween neighbor as a mother’s helper on snow days to help keep the kids entertained.

Heather adds, “ I put away my to-do list and just give my kids attention and play. I’m bad at that most other days of the year, so a snow day is the perfect excuse. It’s so much easier to look at the whole day as a wash and an excuse to be a kid, instead of getting frustrated that my rhythm has been interrupted.”

How does your family do snow days? Tells us your tips for making snow days fun for the whole family!

Mom-Approved Snow Day Survival Guide


  1. My kiddos like playing games and Yoga. If it isn’t too cold then getting them outside. Also playdoh, movies under a fort in the living room is fun.


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