By Tracey Dowdy
Do your kids wear their PJs backwards or sleep with a spoon under their pillows the night before a storm is forecast? Mine did and though I have my doubts about the science behind it, it definitely seemed to work as there were plenty of mornings when we woke up to school cancellations.
Snow days are the perfect time to play outside and have a winter adventure, but when your mittens are soaked and your feet are cold there’s still lots of snow-day fun to be had indoors.
The Book Creator app allows your child to create their own book right on their tablet or iPad. A sample book serves as a tutorial and online help is also available. Kids write their own text, choose background colors and images from their camera roll to create books that can be viewed in iBooks, Google Play Books, or other apps such as Dropbox and Evernote or can be shared via email. Book Creator for iPad – $4.99; Book Creator (Android) – $2.49.
Generator is a free movie creating resource for kids that provides tools and instruction for them to make their own short films. Professionals from the movie industry walk kids through everything from camera angles to the motivation and meaning behind movies. The site is easy to navigate and all content is moderated making it a safe option for your kids to explore.
DLTK’s Crafts for Kids is a great free resource for coloring sheets, crafts, worksheets and activity pages. Most of the crafts use found items from around the house so there’s no scrambling for supplies and enough ideas and options to keep your little ones busy for hours.
The Toymaker is perfect if your list of craft supplies consists of nothing more than paper. Make Valentines, origami animals, puzzles and even paper toys. There are also suggestions on games to play with the toys, like turtle races or putting on a dog show. Best of all, it’s free.
If your kids need to burn off some energy and the weather isn’t cooperating, Kidnetic is the answer. This free site is filled with loads of activities, including a Move Mixer that lets kids create their own dance so they can teach it to the rest of the family, a Scavenger Hunt and a Fitness Challenge where they do a timed set of exercises. The site also includes recipes like “Monkey Brain Stew” (chilli), Quicksand (hummus) Apple Lips (apple slices with marshmallow “teeth”) that kids can make on their own or with your supervision. (Free)
One of my family’s favorite things to do on a snow day was cook together. Spatulatta has delicious kid-friendly recipes the whole family will love. Click on the recipe box and choose a recipe based on a meal, holiday, ingredient or cuisine, including vegetarian and vegan options. There are 350 recipe video options, videos to teach basic skills like shredding cheese or separating an egg, and the Artist in the Kitchen has fun food crafts that show kids how to make a hedgehog out of a potato. Honestly, how much fun is that?
Tracey Dowdy is a freelance writer based just outside Washington DC. After years working for non-profits and charities, she now freelances, edits and researches on subjects ranging from family and education to history and trends in technology. Follow Tracey on Twitter.