Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.
At least that’s what my kids are singing. Me? Not so much. I don’t really appreciate the falling white stuff as much as they do.
I think that’s because I have to drive in it. And deal with freezing hoses when I go water the cows.
But, there’s something special about the first snow of the year. We just experienced that this week. My kids woke up, looked out the window and asked to go outside to play.
They bundled up, and headed out for an hour of fun and learning before coming in to warm up for breakfast.
I love how much they’re learning while they play in the snow. If your kids need a little winter inspiration, here are six fun activities for them to try. Each activity highlights a few of the many skills your child will be practicing while having a blast.
1. Build a Snowman
I dare you to suggest this one without breaking into a certain song from Disney’s Frozen. You know the one. It was seriously stuck in my head all day!
Kids naturally seem drawn to creating things out of snow. Here’s what they’re learning while they build:
- Comparing sizes (the head should be smaller than the body after all!)
- Properties of snow (it’s cold, it’s white, it can stick together when packed if it’s the right kind of snow)
- Creativity (what will make a good nose? How can I pose my snowman?)
- Fine and Gross motor skill practice
- Motor planning (it’s not easy to balance while pushing around a big snowball!)
2. Shovel Some Snow
It’s amazing how fun this task is if you don’t have to do it. Just keeping a snow shovel accessible seems to call the kids’ names, especially my boys.
- Being considerate of others
- The angle to hold the shovel to get the greatest amount with each scoop
- Thinking through his actions (where should the snow go when he dumps it?)
- Gross motor skills
3. Color Some Snow
My kids love doing this, and no they aren’t out there just relieving themselves (well, I can’t promise they didn’t do that, but that’s not the kind of coloring we’re talking about!)
A quick snow spray is easy to prepare. You just need an empty bottle, a few drops of food coloring, and water.
Mix the water and food coloring in your bottle. Then send your kids outside to color snow. You’ll probably need a bottle for everyone to avoid battles.
While your kids are busy spraying, they’ll be learning more about:
- How water spreads as it sprays (which will change how they spray)
- How water and snow react
- How colors dilute a bit when sprayed on a wet background
They’ll also be practicing their fine motor skills as they use the spray bottle.
4. Go Sledding
It doesn’t take much of a hill to get a sled going. This is another winter favorite of my kids.
There hasn’t been enough of a snow pack yet to bring the sleds out this year, but they’re looking forward to it.
Sledding teaches kids:
- How to judge risks and take appropriate ones
- A little bit about gravity
- A bit about the laws of motion
- Perseverance (because it’s hard work packing that sled all the way back to the top time after time!)
5. Draw with a Stick
The snow is their canvas, and a stick is their crayon. Writing and drawing in the fresh snow is fun!
Your child will be:
- Practicing forming letters
- Improving fine motor skills
- Judging size and proportions to get their picture or message to look just right
- Creating shapes
6. Use a Magnifying Glass
We have a couple of large magnifying glasses (aff. link) that are pretty kid friendly. They’re great for bringing outside and exploring.
Your child can spend time looking closely at the snowflakes. This is especially fun if they’re outside when the snow is actually falling.
They might even be able to catch some on black paper to check out more closely.
- That snowflakes are different from each other, but share similar properties
- How to compare tiny objects
- How things look different through a magnifying glass than through the eye
What are your kids’ favorite activities in the snow?
Whatever it is, you can bet they’ll be learning as they play. I’d love you to share your favorites in the comments section.
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