Having fun while trapped inside
Snow storm = hibernation = pillow fort. We here at Spellbound have a well-documented love of blanket forts, and this classic creative play activity is a great chance for kids (and adults) of any age to stretch their imagination. Build your own snow cave and imagine who might live inside. For babies, forts can be a great time to talk about spacial concepts like "up," "down," "in," and "out." For toddlers and preschoolers, you can make suggestions about different places they might be: a castle, a cave, a ship. For elementary kids, this is a chance to write a full-length drama with characters, subplots, and intrigue. There is no end to the fun that can be provided with some blankets, tables, and pillows.
The Avant Garde
Bored with your crayons and construction paper? Make some full-body art inside! Just get your child nude and pop them in a steamy tub with a watercolor set and a selection of brushes. Don't fill the tub, just run enough to keep them warm and get the colors in the watercolors nice and rich, and then go to town! Babies love to explore different parts of their bodies by painting (or having you paint) their toes, their belly, their nose. Toddlers who are steady on their feet can stand and paint the walls. As they get older, you can encourage your child to paint a representative picture, or even to tell a story through a mural. The great thing about this activity is that it is very satisfyingly messy, but the only thing you need to do to clean up is pull the curtain and turn on the shower.
Bring a tray of snow inside and make a 3-D melting sculpture at your table. You can paint the snow with watercolors and experiment with combining primary colors (red, blue, and yellow) to make secondary colors (green, purple, and orange). If you make a colored ice sculpture and lay it on a piece of white finger-painting paper, as it melts the color will make a beautiful color design. This is not only a fun art-making activity, but also a great opportunity to dig into science in a creative way. Make predictions about how long it will take different sculptures to melt and chart your results!
The Performance Artist
Turn off the lights, grab a flashlight, and see what kind of shadows you can make on the walls or a curtain. You can use body shapes, objects, or even build a shadow puppet. Take your child on a hunt through the house to find different materials such as paper, fabric, and plastic and experiment with which ones are opaque and which are semi-transparent. You can also play around with size and shape by changing the distance between the flashlight, the object, and the wall. What makes an object bigger? More focused? Can you make an object's shadow look like something other than what it really is?
Stay warm, friends! And please share any other ideas you have for snow day fun at home.