With Winter Storm Jonas making it’s way to (and potentially through) the East Coast, many parents are having a few of the same thoughts. One being that you need to go to the store and stack up on bread, milk, and a giant box of Goldfish if you want a chance at survival. And two, is wondering what the hell you’re going to do with an energy-packed kid all weekend? Fortunately, there are plenty of things to do with kids during a blizzard that don’t involve sending your child to play in the white out.
Blizzards are not for the faint of heart, especially when there's little ones around. Bad attitudes are totally contagious in cramped quarters, and you're going to need a whole lot of patience to deal with those tiny miracles of life. But the time together doesn't have to be a total disaster. There are tons of fun things to do with your little ones during a blizzard and you don't have to be miserable either. In fact, some of your favorite childhood games and memories can now be part of your kiddo's blizzard experience, especially if you all lose power. So break out those board games, find the hot cocoa, and pick your favorite from these 27 things to do with your kids during a blizzard. Do them all and maybe you can tire them out for a long winter's nap.
1. Pretend You're In A Library
This game is a lot of fun for budding bookworms. Have them bring out all of their books and organize them by author name, title, genre, etc. And then sit down and read your favorites aloud. If your kids are big enough to read, have them take turns reading to the whole family. Or let them sit with their own book quietly and you can read your own favorites.
2. Break Out The Crayons
I know you've got an adult coloring book or two, and a blizzard is the perfect time to have a little art sesh with your tiny Picassos. All of you can work on one page together, or make your own art gallery with all of your creations.
3. Binge-Watch Netflix
I know lots of parents who feel super guilty about all of that screen time. Well throw that guilt out the window when the blizzard strikes. If you still have power, put on some kid-friendly Netflix shows and veg out.
4. Play Charades
Such a fun game, especially with young kids who are just understanding the concept. It'll keep everyone entertained and requires no materials. Boom.
5. Roast Marshmallows
If you've got a fire going, break out those marshmallows. Of course, you need to be super careful with your kids around fire, but making s'mores is a childhood rite of passage.
6. Write Stories
This was one of my favorite activities as a kid, and it kept me busy for hours. Give your children some writing prompts and watch their imagination explode. They can write their own stories, illustrate them, and even put them into book form with a stapler and some construction paper.
7. Bake Something Delicious
Who cares about your diet? No one. Bake something absolutely delicious and your kids will love helping stir, measure, and crack eggs. It's like school, but with brownies.
8. Have A Board Game Tournament
Board games are fun enough on their own, but why not have a tournament? Then you can set up a whole afternoon of your favorite board games and keep everyone happy.
9. Play Hide-And-Seek
Hide and go seek is always a winner, especially if you turn off the lights and arm your kids with flashlights. Bonus, when it's your turn to find them? You can act like they're just really great at hiding and finish reading your book.
10. Take Pictures Of The Snow
You don't have to venture too far out into the blizzard to let your kids have creative reign over some pictures of the weather. Give them your iPad, phone, or a camera and let them pretend to be photographers.
11. Open The Play-Doh
I know it makes a mess, but this is a special occasion, Open the Play-Doh and have some fun sculpting something that doesn't freeze to your mittens.
12. Make Snow Cream
Your kids will love this idea, I promise. Try making snow cream from Gimme Some Oven. It's fun, easy, and delicious.
13. Find Warm Clothes To Donate
A blizzard is the perfect opportunity to talk to your kids about those less fortunate. Ask them how it would feel to be out in the snow without a place to stay or warm clothing on. See if they can imagine how hard it must be for some folks, and then find old coats, pants, and clothes no one in the house wears to donate.
14. Have A Hot Cocoa Party
Tea parties are so spring. Break out the little cups and plenty of hot cocoa. Of course the American Girl dolls and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle action figures are welcome. (I hear Donatello takes extra marshmallows.)
15. Make Valentine's Day Crafts
Spruce up your home with some red, pink, and lace. Your kids can make Valentines for their class, or just make a pretty garland to hang in the kitchen.
16. Have A Dance Party
I know you already have an epic dance playlist on your Spotify account, so crank it up. Show your kids your awesome moves and sufficiently embarrass them all.
17. Turn Lone Socks Into Puppets
That basket of single socks are just going to stay there for another decade, so why not do something fun with them? Craft paint, googly eyes, and other fun items can turn them into sweet sock puppets.
18. Take Bubble Baths
It's the perfect way to keep your children contained and happy. Fill the tub up with some bubbles and fit as many of those children in as you can. Bubble party!
19. Experiment With The Snow
Talk to your kids about the properties of water and how the blizzard came to be. Bring some snow inside to melt, re-freeze, and then heat back up to show all of the properties.
20. Pretend To Be Meteorologists
You and your kids have watched enough weather reports the last few days then playing this game should be easy. They can make their own maps on poster board, complete with storm tracking, and give you all the forecast every five minutes.
21. Play Chubby Bunny
It's a simple game, but hilarious for kids. Each person takes turns stuffing a marshmallow into their mouth and saying the words "chubby bunny". With each turn, you stick an additional marshmallow in your mouth and try to say the words. When you can no longer say the phrase, or marshmallows fall out when you try, you lose. Messy, and a little gross, it's still a blast.
22. Build A Fort
This one's especially fun if the power goes out, so find your flashlights, too. Pile pillows up and stretch blankets over your pile to make the ultimate comfy fort.
23. Play The Minister's Cat
Another super simple game, but it's also great for your kids to learn some new words. Following the alphabet, each person takes turns coming up with a way to describe the minister's cat. "The minister's cat is an awesome cat. The minister's cat is a boring cat. The minister's cat is a calm cat." If someone takes too long to come up with an adjective, they're out.
24. Start A Journal
Experiencing a blizzard is the perfect thing to write in a journal, so if your kids don't have one yet, get them started while you're stuck indoors.
25. Play A Cleaning Game
It might not fool them, but it's worth a try. Turn on an egg timer and see how much of their room they can clean in five minutes, or see who's the quickest at putting away their clothes.
26. Invite The Neighbors Over
You need reinforcements at this point. Invite the neighbors and their kids over. The children can all destroy the house together while you and your neighbor add whiskey to all that leftover snow cream.
27. Fine, Go Outside And Play Already
Alright! Enough! Even though it's going to take 30 sweaty minutes to shove all those kids into their snowsuits and even though they're going to complain the snow is too cold and it stings and even though you're all going to be back inside five minutes later with soaking wet clothes, just do it. It's a blizzard after all.