Snow day fun: How to make the most of a day when school is closed

Mark Westerman had a snowball fight with his children, Kayla and Andrew.
"This is the best snowball snow we've had in a long time," says Mark Westerman, who had a snowball fight with his children, Kayla Westerman, left, and Andrew Westerman, Monday, Jan. 22, 2018, in Rochester, Minn.
Elizabeth Nida Obert | The Rochester Post-Bulletin via AP

Updated: Jan. 31, 2019 | Posted: March 5, 2018

School's closed due to weather, and the kids are probably excited for the first few hours in the morning. But what's next?

We've got your back. Here's a few ideas on how to both pass the time and learn a few things for the day. And more important, they don't require you to drive on the road.

Go on an adventure in your own home

Here's one from reporter Catharine Richert: Draw a treasure map of the house with special checkpoints — the washer is the "Wild Whirlpool," the basement guest room is the "Mummy's Tomb" — and hide some candy and other small prizes.

It's creative fun you can do over and over again!

You also can't go wrong with a pillow and blanket fort. Just use this handy guide to get you started. Christmas lights are a great addition as long has they haven't been put away for the season.

Still have energy to burn? Try making an obstacle course throughout your home with pieces of furniture. Make sure you have a timer handy, that way you can race through multiple times to set high scores for you and your kids — maybe the best time gets a prize!

Listen to a kid's podcast: BrainsOn

BrainsOn is the science podcast for kids of all ages with a curious mind. With more than 100 episodes, you can easily find a great show to listen to on their website, or download the episodes from Apple Podcasts or Google Play Music.

If you want to keep with the snow day theme, two possible episodes include how do meteorologists predict the weather and why are no two snowflakes the same?

Go Hollywood!

Making a movie can be a ton of fun! It can also fill a lot of time — have your kids write a script, make costumes and act out their own motion picture. Then you can sit back and enjoy the show while you film it for them on your phone or camera. There's a lot of re-watch value in something you made yourself.

Or, show off your moves with a glamerous dance party! Again, consider adding some costumes to the mix. Our pals at The Current have you covered on music with the Rock the Cradle live stream.

Science experiments

Combine batteries, play dough and small lightbulbs to create a fun experiment all about creating electrical circuits. PBS Parents has a guide on how to make the special play dough used in the experiment below.

Or maybe you want to explore a bit about density and polarity. Great way to do that is with oil and water.

You can also practice making hypothisis with just a sink full of water and some household objects with a game called "Sink or Float." Kids gather objects around the house (that can get wet) and write down predictions about whether they'll sink or float. Then they put the objects in the water and compare their predictions with what really happened.

Find some more great science tips and ideas from PBS Parents.

Baking at home

Granted, you have to have all the ingredients to pull these ideas off, but if you lucked out, who wouldn't want to make meringue snowballs and snack the day away.

There's a lot of other great ideas from the Food Network as well, including Tomato-Basil Focaccia Bread or apple bread.

Arts and Crafts, indoors and outdoors

Break out the construction paper and safety scissors with some of these craft ideas from Parents.com.

If you have Popsicle sticks and acrylic paint, you can make colorful Popsicle stick snowflakes

And here's ten craft ideas to make with chenille stems, which some call "pipe cleaners".

Snow activities

If the snowfall has settled down, maybe it's time to bundle up and head outside. Consider building a snow fort, or a snowman. Head over to the closest sledding hill and take a toboggan for a few trips.

Want to try something a bit more original? Try making snow paint (It's actually just water and food coloring).

Take it easy

If you're looking to take a break but your kid still has energy to burn, MPR producer Sasha Aslanian has the game for you:

"I heard Hillary Frank tell a story on Fresh Air about a game she plays with her kid when she's exhausted. It's called 'What's that on my butt?' She lies face down on the couch and her son finds a household object and puts it on her butt. She tries to guess what it is. It takes a very long time and the kid has to go put the items away. It's basically a way to play with your kid while kind of napping."

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