Weather reports of incoming blizzards have your kids huddled around the radio, hoping for a snow day. If school’s closed and you don’t know what to do, we’ve got you covered. Try some of these fun activities in your winter wonderland.
We know what you’re thinking: time to build a snowman. You’ll do fine with the basic carrots, coal, sticks and scarves, but don’t stop there.
Try Cadaco’s Sno-Crayon ($4.99 at Lillian Vernon, Mills Fleet Farm stores and specialty toy stores in Chicago). Kids can practice writing their names in the snow or coloring faces on snow angels—your yard is their blank canvas. Cadaco also sells a Sno Art Kit ($11.99) that comes with two Sno-Crayons and two truck-shaped or holiday-themed molds.
Or, do it yourself. Fill spray bottles with colored water (just add a few drops of food coloring) and give your snowman spray-on clothes. But be careful—this stuff stains!
While you’re at it, try using the Snow Block Maker ($6 from L.L. Bean) to build your own snow fortress or igloo. Then split the kids into teams, review the rules (no snowballs to the face, please) and use the Sagebrush Industries’ Sno-baller ($7-$10 at Restoration Hardware or Target) to make piles of perfect ammunition. You can even use the spray bottles to mark each team’s territory.
When you’re done playing, ask kids to make a very small snowman (about six inches tall) to take inside. Put the little guy in a plastic bag and hide him in the back of your freezer. In July, push past the frozen peas and pull out your summer snowman. The kids will get a kick out it, and you can share a fun family memory.
If you’re short on space in the backyard (or if you’ve simply used up all the snow) flip to page 92 for a list of local ski hills, or call your park district to find the best sledding hills in your neighborhood. To try something new, check page 94 for information about free snowshoeing lessons through the Chicago Park District.
If your family prefers indoor play, page 110 in Playtime has fun activities that keep you out of the cold.