Do you need a family activity to do at home this weekend? I have one for you that a. doesn’t make a mess, b. requires little set up and equipment c. can take 30 minutes or a full afternoon, (totally up to you and how much time you want to fill and), d. has high entertainment value. Sounds good? Gather your child(ren), their snow gear, a plastic bowl, something to write with and on, and the book ,The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats, and you have everything you need for this simple, fun activity. Ready? Read on.
To be honest, the slower days right now aren’t completely unwelcome. We’ve had some snow here. It has been very exciting because we barely saw a single snowflake last year and so we’ve been making the most of our mini-winter wonderland. With so little happening in the day-to-day, we’ve extra appreciated snow’s ability to entertain. Last week we needed something to do, so I grabbed one of our favorite winter-time kids’ books The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats. The boys and I sat down and read it together. As we read we wrote out a list of all the things the main character- Peter- does on his child sized snowy day adventure.
After we finished the book, and our list, we got dressed in all our snowy day outdoor adventure gear and took the list outside. We did all the things Peter does and checked them off as we went along, consulting the list, to make sure we hadn’t missed anything. We walked with our toes pointing in, we walked with our toes pointing out. Then we checked out the patterns our footprints made. We did the same sliding our feet to make straight lines in the snow. We found a stick and smacked snow off a shrub in our yard. The boys loved it! Our days-old snowman was looking a little sad, so we helped him get back in to shape with a new body, face and hat. We had a snowball fight, made snow angels, and climbed up the tiny “mountain” in our yard that is perfect for then sliding back down if you’re 4 and 2 years old. . . or 35, because why should the kids have all the fun?
Last but not least, we did a mini science experiment. We made a big snowball, put it in a plastic bowl I had brought out from the kitchen, took it inside, and kept an eye on it as it melted over the course of the afternoon. Seemed like a less messy way to figure out how snow turns in to water than putting our snowballs in our pockets, like Peter does. Peter takes a bubble bath to warm up after his chilly outside fun. We had lunch, and saved the bubble bath for later. But this would be a cozy way to warm up after your outdoor mini-adventure this weekend! After the bubble bath, get dressed in warm pjs and watch The Snowy Day on Amazon Prime video! It’s one of our favorites. Might I suggest pairing this TV time with hot cocoa and popcorn? A pretty perfect day, snowy or not.
What I love about Peter, is that he takes a simple walk down the block to his grandmother’s house and turns it in to a great big adventure. This is one of the best things about kids, and being a mama means I get to tap in to that childlike wonder again. Almost literally anything can be an opportunity to explore. Getting to re-live these simple activities-turned-big-adventures is one of the greatest perks of parenthood. If you have nowhere to go, explore in your own backyard! It’s always accessible and with a little creativity, full of possibility. Play is good for the soul, and I think we often forget that as adults. No snow? No problem! Improvise. Make up a play-list, check off the items as you go and everyone join in the fun. Or send them out on their own, if they’re old enough, and indulge in a few moments of peace. Enjoy your snowy day! Cheers!