The holiday season gets all the good associations with winter weather: caroling in the falling snow, sipping hot cocoa as you watch the drifts form in the back yard wrapped in your favorite fuzzy robe, falling into snow angels with the kids as you catch flakes on your tongue.
But then January rolls around and the real winter sets in. The kids are back in school, icy sleet blocks the road, your commute time is tripled and you're so sick of Christmas music that even Sweet Silver Bells wouldn't put a smile on your face.
But there is still something magical about a snowy day (just ask your kids), so the next time one keeps the whole family home try any of these fun-and-free activities that will make you feel so festive it might as well be December 15th.
Snip Some Snowflakes
|Nothing celebrates the falling snow like…more snow. I don't know anyone who hasn't cut out snowflakes from folded squares of paper, but this year I discovered a new technique of snowflake crafting that reveals these magical, fluttery lace creations I am crazy about. Each design is more beautiful than the last, and there is something truly special seeing a child's face light up as they ask, "Did I do that?!"|
The folding part is the trickiest, so depending on the dexterity of your little one, you'll probably have to help. I used this tutorial fromThe Hairpin, and have had just as much fun snipping alongside teens as I have asking tots to tell me where to cut and letting them unfold for the big reveal.
Make Your Own Snow Sundaes
|Milk, sugar, vanilla and a few scoops of snow make for a tasty winter treat you can concoct simply walking into the backyard. You'll need:|
- 1/2 cup half & half or whole milk
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla
- 4 cups of clean snow
Blend everything except the snow until smooth and dissolved. Slowly fold in all four cups of snow until you get the same consistency of ice cream and start gobbling. Note: Having a wide array of toppings like chocolate syrup, whipped cream and candies will take this experience from wildly fun to a snow day miracle.
Help a Hungry Birdy
|In freezing weather little birds can have a heck of a time finding yummy treats beneath the snow. You and your kids can help! Pop popcorn and thread it along fishing line, then string it around your porch or from a tree. Or, gob smooth peanut butter on one of those giant pinecones, sprinkle with birdseed and watch all your avian allies (and squirrels too!) come flocking in for a feast.|
Have a Winter Weather Fashion Show
|Snowy-day clothes are hysterical and ridiculous especially on tiny kids: they look like giant walking marshmallows. Play a game seeing how many layers everyone can put on, and then do a mini-runway show down the hallway. Take lots of pictures. Those prints will be funny for years to come, and with digital cameras, you can see the slideshow right away!|
Head for the Hills
|It doesn't take a brand new, wood-paneled toboggan to successfully cruise the slopes. Collapse some big cardboard boxes (grocery and liquor stores will give 'em to you for free) and head for the hills. The best sledding is when there are inches upon inches of fluffy powder to glide through, but sleet and soggy grass are still plenty slippery - just plan on getting a lot dirtier than with fresh snow!|
Celebrate with a Spa Day
|There are few times bubble baths will feel as decadently cozy as when it is freezing outside. After a long day outside in the elements, draw a big bubble bath for your sweeties and have them take a soak. When they are all rosy and clean, paint each other's nails, slather your hands and feet in lotion and sit back with a good movie. Oh yes, boys are more than welcome to join!|
Have you ever seen a cat walk in snow?
|Or a puppy play fetch? If you have a pet, you're guaranteed an extra-fun - and extra-entertaining - snow day experience. I would recommend bringing a camcorder along for your usual afternoon doggy walk.|