*** This article originally appeared in the Winter 2012 issue of Traverse Bay Family Magazine. It is reprinted with permission. ***

Last year, my oldest daughter wanted to go outside so bad but it was too cold. Her sister was only about 15 months and she wanted to play in the snow but didn’t want to be IN it, if you know what I mean. So I decided to bring the snow inside. I got a small plastic shoebox for the little one and a big sweater sized plastic box for the older girl and filled them with snow. I spread out some beach towels (oh the irony!) on the kitchen floor and let them have at it. What could you do?

1. Make mini snowmen. We happened to bring in that great, packable snow the day we did it. You and your kids, depending on the age, can build small snowmen. Use cereal or Mr. Potato Head pieces for the features.

2. Scoop and mold. I got out measuring cups, spoons, bowls, buckets and shovels and let them scoop and mold to their hearts content.

3. Hide N Seek. If your children are past the “stuff in the mouth” stage, you could hide plastic bottle caps in the bottom and have them dig for them. If they are smaller, hide bigger items in the snow; make it so that they partially stick out.

4. Snow ice cream. If you aren’t the squeamish sort and it’s JUST snowed, make snow ice cream. In a bowl, combine 1 cup milk,1/2 tsp vanilla, and 1/2 cup sugar. Stir this mixture until the sugar dissolves. Go outside and get 4-5 cups of clean, fresh, untouched snow. Slowly add the snow to your mixture, stirring constantly, until it is as thick as ice cream! Enjoy!

5. Physics. Watch it melt in your hand and talk about the phases of water. Watch warm water cut it in half (parental help with this one, please).

6. Play-Doh Fun. Do you have a bunch of play-doh accessories floating around your house? Use them! Pack it, cut it, roll it, etc.

7. Color it. Use diluted food coloring or watered down water colors to color the snow. This is a great unconventional method for exploring how colors are made!

8. Play in it. Using Little People or other plastic figures would be a fabulous way to combine any of the above methods with long-term play.

If you children will tolerate it, you could try to have them wear gloves or mittens. Chances are the older ones will because they will hate cold hands, the younger ones are more interested in the sensory aspects and will pull them right off!


Have you ever played with snow indoors?


Jen S.

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