Whether it’s the first snow day or 10th, being stuck at home with young kids can be challenging. So if you’re looking for snow day activities for toddlers, we’ve got your covered!
Snow days always seem to mess up toddler routines and schedules. So what’s a mom to do when daycare is closed or story time is cancelled?
Luckily, we have found lots of fun activities to fill your snow day!
As usual here at the Moms At Odds, Rachel and Jo have very different ideas of how to spend a snow day. Rachel loves the snow so bundles up her family and takes them outside. Jo, on the other hand, prefers indoor activities.
So whether you’re looking for indoor snow day ideas or outdoor snow day activities, you’ve come to the right place!
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Outdoor Snow Day Activities for Toddlers
When your little ones are bouncing off the walls and you all have cabin fever, get outside and play in the snow!
But it’s cold and wet… and what can toddlers even do in the snow?
There’s actually tons of fun snowy outdoor activities that toddlers will love. You can keep them busy outside for hours and really wear them out.
Just make sure you bundle up!
Going out unprepared will likely end very quickly in wet, shivering, and probably whining toddlers. Having weather appropriate gear will help everyone have a good time!
Aside from the obvious coat and hat, for little ones I love having snow pants like these. These are fairly easy to wrestle kids into and keep them dry and warm. Waterproof boots and mittens are also ideal for keeping toddlers cozy.
Break Out The Beach Toys
Sand toys make perfect snow toys so pull out the beach toys!
Buckets, shovels, rakes, and molds work just as well in the snow as the sand.
My kids could probably spend all day digging and building snow castles.
Fun With Snowballs
Snowballs are great for more than just the obvious snowball fight.
I actually try to discourage snowball fights since they tend to end in tears at our house, but we still have tons of fun.
Throw snowballs at a target
Sidewalk chalk works well for making a bullseye on a tree or fence. A hula hoop is another ideal target. Also tossing snowballs into buckets is a fun alternative.
Stack them up and knock them down
I know this sounds silly, but it is seriously one of my son’s favorite things to do with snow.
Make mini snowmen
I love a good snowman, but they can take more time and effort to build. My kids lose interest and I end up doing most of it myself. Mini snowmen are a much more toddler friendly time commitment and so adorable.
Sometimes tiny, mittened hands struggle to pack good snowballs, but you can spare the frustration with a snowball maker. I have to admit that I thought this sounded a bit weird, but you can make tons of perfect snowballs in a minute.
Take The Indoor Toys Outside
The toys your kids play with all the time in the house will seem way more exciting out in the snow! Also, most plastic toys survive the snow just fine.
Trucks, cars, and construction equipment make fantastic snow toys. My son loves driving his race cars through the snow!
Kitchen sets are also a huge hit since they can “cook” with the snow. Stir the snow in the pot, pour it into cups, and, well honestly, they eat it too.
Work with what you’ve got like superheros, ponies, or an outdoor snow tea party!
Paint The Snow
Snow makes a pristine canvas for painting! Plus, kids love making a huge colorful mess outside!
You can find several different “recipes” for snow paint, but I’ve just used food coloring and water.
Apparently, you can get more vibrant colors with other methods, but this way is so ridiculously easy and I almost always have everything on hand.
Mix your food coloring with water in a squirt bottle, spray bottle, or even a squirt gun.
Then let your little ones go to town on the snow!
As a bonus, you can throw in a lesson on color mixing while painting.
A few notes:
- I’m fairly heavy handed with the food coloring or the colors end up very light.
- It seems like squirt bottles tend to be the easiest for little hands to squeeze.
- Beware that the paint may stain clothes!
Build With Ice Blocks
This is a really fun idea from Happy Hooligans. Make colored ice cubes to use as building blocks in the snow!
Your littles builders can make beautiful creations from towers to sculptures with these unique blocks!
Draw And Write
All you need is a stick! What kid doesn’t like playing with sticks?
Use your stick to draw or write in the snow. It really is that simple.
We love drawing different shapes and stick figures. My older son likes practicing his letters and writing names in the snow.
Blow Frozen Bubbles
Is it just mine or do all toddlers love blowing bubbles?
Pull out the bubbles solution or mix some of your own to try making frozen bubbles.
I found this a bit tricky, but the result is really cool.
Obviously, it has to be below freezing. The colder, the better.
Let Them Help
While outside you may want to start clearing snow from walkways or cars so let your toddler help out.
Often toddlers love the chance to help. Though their efforts may not actually be all that “helpful” it will keep them busy.
Clearing off cars is actually a great job for young kids since they can clear as high up the sides of the car as they can reach.
Shoveling sidewalks is also toddler friendly, even if they aren’t very effective at it. My son LOVES to help shovel snow so much that we got a toddler shovel.
Sledding With Or Without A Hill
Obviously sledding is a quintessential snow day activity.
Don’t have a good sledding hill? Don’t worry!
While older kids would care, this is not a problem for toddlers.
If you have enough snow, you can build a small slope, but you can also have fun with no slope at all.
A sled you can pull is all they need. I can not even begin to tell you how many times I’ve dragged my son across our yard. The fun lasts as long as mom or dad can manage to haul the sled. I like sleds like this because it keeps little ones from falling backwards.
Make A Snow Obstacle Course
Make an outdoor obstacle course in the snow that your kids can run through over and over.
Toddlers will love it and definitely tire themselves out!
I’ve done this with some fairly simple obstacles in the past. My courses are really short with usually 3 easy tasks that require little or no setup.
I tend to pick some combination of easy things like sled down a small slope, run around a tree, find a toy I’ve hidden in the snow, make a snow angel, or pull the sled some random distance.
My son also really likes to time the course to see how fast he can do it.
For an example of a more complicated course with super creative ideas check out this fantastic obstacle course from Paper Heart Family.
Indoor Snow Day Ideas
On most days, I LOVE being outdoors with my kids. But when it comes to snow days, I’m kind of a scrooge.
I’ll admit it – I absolutely despise going out to play in the snow. Loading up with gear, the cold, getting wet…. *shudder*
My style is the kind where we stay casual in PJs all day and look at the snow through the window.
When it comes to indoor snow day activities for toddlers, I look for ideas with little to no prep/supplies needed. Ones that aren’t going to stress me out or create a huge mess.
Luckily, there are plenty of things to do on a snowy day indoors that meet these criteria!
Simple Toddler Games
My kids LOVE to play games. They’re always asking to play a game or making one up on their own (that usually doesn’t make any sense).
Here are some fun and easy games that work as great snow day activities for toddlers:
This game is actually my son’s from Kindergarten – but it’s so simple my toddler enjoys it as well.
All you need is a piece of paper with a bone drawn on it. You need at least three people and start by designating one as the “doggy”.
The doggy closes their eyes and the rest of the players say:
Doggy, doggy, where’s your bone?
Somebody stole it from your home.
Guess who – it might be you!
It might be a monkey from the zoo.
While this is being sung, one of the players that is not the doggy takes the bone and sits on it (hiding it).
After the chant is over, the doggy opens their eyes and guesses players who they think have their bone. Yes it’s kind of easy when only three people play but my kids still love it and we play round after round.
Blanket Guessing Game
This game is very popular in my house and it’s so simple!
While the kids are closing their eyes (or just aren’t paying attention), grab some well-known toys from around the play area and put them behind your back.
Then place the toys one at a time under a large blanket and have the toddlers reach their hands inside to guess which toy it is.
Keep it simple. Draw pictures and have your children guess what you’ve created.
It’s especially fun if the pictures are snow-day themed! Think snowmen, snowflakes, a warm fireplace, mittens, etc.
Hide & Seek
An oldie but a goodie. I love playing with toddlers because they hide in the same location over and over. Or their hiding spot is easily discovered by following the sounds of giggles.
Build A Story Fort
Pillow forts on the couch always bring back nostalgic feelings from my childhood.
Build it up with lots of pillows and drape blankets on top. Don’t forget the flashlights!
Be sure to bring plenty of books inside for story time. It’s also fun to try and come up with original tales.
Make An Obstacle Course
Use everyday objects to create an obstacle course in your living room. Here are some examples we use that are fun and easy:
- Use painters/masking tape to create the ‘start’ and ‘finish’ lines. These also make great lines the kids can jump over during the course.
- Crawl under the dining table and try to avoid running into stuffed animals you’ve placed under there.
- Have children weave back and forth around dining chairs.
- Stop to throw balls into a basket.
- Crawl under a blanket.
- Jump or roll over throw cushions.
Have A “Snowball” Fight
This is a cool idea I saw on Mommy Poppins. Take some paper (old flyers, newspapers, etc), crinkle them in a ball, cover them in plastic wrap and seal the edges with some heat from a hair dryer.
Voilà! Soft, indoor “snowballs” that you can toss, juggle, or play games with.
Drag Out Everyday Chores
Who said snow day activities for toddlers can’t be productive? I make sure to include my kids in all aspects of the day, and that includes chores.
Making lunch takes forever when my kids “help” – and that’s great when you’re trying to kill time! We start at 11am and by noon we’re ready to eat.
We do laundry and the kids help me put clothes into the washing machine, transfer into the dryer, and sort.
Another chore I have them work on is finding toys that are done with that can be donated to charity. I find it helpful to give them a goal, such as five toys. Otherwise they’ll claim they want to keep them all.
Write a Book
My little ones love to read stories. Sometimes we even try to come up with simple tales of our own!
One of my favorite snow day activities for toddlers is to harness that creative energy and help them write a “book”.
First we plan out our story. I’m talking simple. “There is a dog named Spot. He likes to chew bones. He has a friend kitty cat. They play together. The End.”
Then I write out each line on a page and the kids illustrate. When we’re done, we staple the pages together to make a book.
Everyone loves getting mail!
Help your children write letters to friends and family (grandma, grandpa, aunts, cousins, etc). I usually let me children “write” the letter on a piece of paper. Then I ask them what it says and translate on the bottom of the page for the benefit of the recipient. We also include some of my children’s original artwork.
Then we fold up the papers together, put them in an envelope, and the kids place the stamp. For the sake of legibility, I address the envelopes myself.
Enjoy Snow Inside
If your kids want to experience the snow, bring it inside!
Fill up a big bowl or two and place the snow in the bathtub or kitchen sink. Let the kids feel it, mold it, measure it with cups, or color it with food coloring and water.
No winter gear required and clean up is a breeze! It simply melts and goes down the drain.
Get Into the Holiday Spirit
Assuming it’s before the holidays, this may be the perfect time to get those holiday crafts started!
We used a snow day last year to make salt ornaments for the grandmas. They were super easy and I plan on making new ones this year. I highly recommend baking them on silicone baking mats.
We love getting the wiggles out with simple exercises like burpees, push-ups, jumping jacks, and more.
Another great idea is yoga to help kids wind down after an energizing activity. We love the Cosmic Kids YouTube channel for fun stories and coordinated yoga positions.
What awesome snow day activities for toddlers do you like? Share in the comments below!