In a bizarre twist, life imitates art after a snowstorm turned Long Island into a wonderland straight out of the Disney movie Frozen. Whoops of cheer could be heard across LI when phones rang to deliver the two magical words that bring joy to children everywhere: Snow Day!
Beyond the typical itinerary of sledding, snowman building and snowball fights, here are some creative ways to enjoy the day off with the kids. So fire up the crock pot (today’s the perfect day for beef stew or a hearty vegetable soup) and try our top 10 picks for offbeat, kid-friendly snow day activities:
1. Fill spray bottles with water and a few drops of food coloring and send the kids out to rainbow-ify the yard!
2. Here’s one that will take some planning, but it’s worth it (and it looks like this blustery weather isn’t going away any time soon): make your own ice-skating rink. Alicia Ferrara of East Patchogue enlisted the help of family and friends to create an ice patch for her daughters to skate on. This is the link to the tutorial they used. It took four days to fill up and four days to freeze (putting the Polar Vortex temperatures to good use. Since their yard wasn’t 100-percent level, they used 4x4s to “the side of deep end so the water wouldn’t flood the house, and it would allow the shallow end to fill up” instructed Alicia Ferrara. (Pic with Avery Ferrara, age 8.)
3. Make homemade playdough snow. If getting cold and wet and runny-nosed isn’t your thing, you can bring the snow play indoors. Use this recipe to make your own playdough and roll, build and rebuild to your heart’s content. The glitter adds an extra boost of magic.
Ingredients: 1 C. Flour, 1/2 C. Salt, 2 tbsp. Oil, 2 tsp. Cream of Tartar, 1 C. Water, Blue and/or Silver Glitter. Instructions: 1. Heat oil in a pot on the stovetop. Remove the pot from the heat. Add in water. Stir in flour, salt, and cream of tartar. Cook on low heat until mixture is firm (4-5 minutes). Remove from heat and put dough on wax paper to cool. Once cool add blue and silver glitter and knead into dough for sparkling snow dough. 2. Store in a Ziploc bag or other airtight container (via ASpottedPony.com)
4. Make a Swedish snow lantern. This heavy wet snow is perfect for this project. Make a small, hollow igloo out of about 15 to 20 softball-sized snowballs. In the center of the igloo, place an LED candle. When the sun goes down, watch the kids’ faces light up!
5. Drag out the beach toys from summers past and use them to create snow castles.
6. Sweeten up the afternoon! Make snow ice cream! Gradually mix 5 cups of fresh snow with 1 cup of condensed milk; ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract; ½ cup of sugar.
7. Make a tent in your living room with blankets and sheets draped over the furniture. Line the floor with sofa cushions and sleeping bags and voila! They are transported to their own indoor campground. Microwave some s’mores and you’re in business.
8. Movie marathon! Some ideas: Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs 2, SnowDay, IceAge, Miracle, Cloud 9, Groundhog Day, Teen Beach Movie, Mr. Popper’s Penguins (via reader Rachel Davis, North Babylon)
9. This one’s for the birds! Collect fallen pine cones and use this concoction to make DIY bird feeders. Tie a ribbon around the top of the cone, then spread the outside of the pine cone with peanut butter. (You might want to use a butter knife to get the PB in all of the grooves.) Once it’s completely covered, roll the cone in birdseed. Now hang your bird feeder from a branch close to your window so you can watch the neighborhood feathered friends enjoy their bounty!
10. Fill balloons with water and add food coloring. Once frozen, cut the balloons off and they will look like giant marbles! (via Pinterest.)