Every Kid Needs a Snow Day

Snow is such an incredibly fun activity for kids. As a parent, it’s easy to get wrapped up in the hassle of dressing kids for snow. In order to avoid the desire to slip into PJs and watch the snow from the window sill, I like to look at the snow through the eyes of a child. Here are a few fun ways to spice up the activity, with no shovel or corn-cob pipe required.

toddler snow activity

Dress the Part

The simple act of dressing for a snowy excursion can be exciting for all ages. Let your child help you assemble the clothing items and then talk about the body parts they cover. Go slowly to demonstrate how to put on hats, mittens and boots. Before long, your child will do the job herself. Montessori lessons encourage teaching young children to put on their jackets by laying them on the floor upside down. Kids reach their arms through both sleeves and pull the jacket overhead. Although 1 year olds make great un-zipperers, the skills of fastening and buttoning generally improve around 2 to 3.

Fast Track

Follow the Leader is a terrific game for the snow because it is easy to see how each footstep forms the track. Vary the speed of your steps or the size of your gait. Even if they don’t catch on right away, kids will enjoy following the path you create. An older child can form large shapes in the snow from tracks. Another great way to train balance is to let kids follow your tracks. Who didn’t love stomping in Dad’s HUGE footsteps as a kid?

Weather Chat

The best way to learn about the weather is to talk about it. Animate the conversation with shivers and let your kid know, “Brrrr, it’s freezing cold!” Are the snowflakes heavy? Is the sun out? Does the snow feel wet as it melts?

Sit On It

Last, but not least, snowpants are mandatory for toddlers because they just want to get down into the snow. Your adventurous tot can roll around, make a snow angel, or fall over. Watch the kids stretch to get back up unassisted. If they’re bundled as snuggly as Randy from “A Christmas Story,” they may need help. Otherwise, most kids will enjoy the challenge of learning to maneuver in the super snow suit.

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Taking Kids in the Rain

I’m all for ‘Slinging in the Rain.’ Maybe it’s just because my kids aren’t young enough to whine, but I feel confident taking them out in the rain. My one year old is fascinated by the rain. In fact, I took her outside for a quick picture in our rain jackets and she cried the instant we stepped back inside.

Rain jackets in the storm.

We decided to take the girls for a walk through the neighborhood in the early hours of Hurricane Sandy.

Baja, Zac, and Hannah lead the way.  

The rain was plummeting, but there was no lightening and the area we walked through was clear of trees even though it was gusty. Audrey came, too! I bundled her up and put her in the carrier. She spent the first few minutes talking and smiling with me. Something about the fresh air always puts her in a good mood. Whenever a gust of wind blew between us she would gasp for a deep breath. The end of the walk yielded some tears, but we got home quickly and took care of the diaper issue.

Warm and snug with Mama.

Early in our relationship, I was intimidated whenever my husband tried to pull me out of my comfort zone for a hike. Now, I’m just as excited as the rest of the family to get outside to explore. It’s certainly easier to muster the courage to take two little girls out in a hurricane because he is a former rescue swimmer. I wouldn’t want them to miss out on any of the great lessons he can teach them about preparing for safety or tackling a challenge. Luckily, since I’m getting in the adventuring habit now they may never know that I was once a wimp.