40 Things to do on a School Snow Day

by Jenn @ Frugal Upstate on January 8, 2010

Photo by KarmaBlue

Photo by KarmaBlue

When I was a kid having a school snow day was like an unexpected gift-suddenly, for no reason you get a WHOLE DAY, right smack in the middle of the week.  No school!! The thrill! The joy!

Every time there was so much as a flake in the sky we’d scramble for the radio and listen anxiously hoping against hope that in the regular mix of morning show banter and songs we’d get that magical list of schools that were closed.  And oh the anxiety if we caught the list half way through. . . we’d have to wait another 10 minutes until they ran through it again!

As an adult with 2 primary school aged children to entertain I have to admit that snow days don’t fill me with quite the same joy they once did.  I work on letting go of my anxiety about all the things I’m “supposed” to be getting done and use it as a special day to connect with my kids.  With a little thought and inspiration you can use snow days to build special memories with your kids-even teens!

To get you started on your own snow day fun, here are 40 fun things to do on a school snow day.

Photo by Will Holmes

Photo by Will Holmes

Inside fun:

1.  Stay in your PJ’s all day

2.  Make homemade play dough

3.  Make homemade finger paints

4.  Build a fort of old boxes & sofa cushions

5.  Build a tent with a sheet.

Photo by Chez LouLou

Photo by Chez LouLou

6.  Watch old musicals like Singing In the Rain.

7.  Have an indoor picnic.

8.  Make Bread-for extra fun let the kids “sculpt” with the dough-their creations can be baked & eaten

9.  Bake Cookies-I like these shaped gingerbread cookies because they don’t have to chill, but drop or bar cookies are fun too.

10.  Make snow “icecream”

Photo by Ginnerobot

Photo by Ginnerobot

11.  Make maple syrup “candy” with snow (ala Little House on the Prairie!)

12.  Have a taffy pull

13.  Make maple syrup/honey snow cones!

14.  Make chocolate covered pretzels (or chocolate covered whatever you have in the pantry-it all tastes good w/chocolate!)

15.  Bring a baby pool inside with snow to play and make snow castles.

Photo by Gozalewis

Photo by Gozalewis

16.  Curl up on the couch with a hot cup of tea (or hot chocolate) and read a good book. Or two. Or three

17.  Make homemade soft pretzels, like from the mall.

18.  Write letters to anyone from Grandma to your congressman.

19.  Play board games.  Maybe have a tournament.

20.  Play card games.

Photo by Superwife 2009

Photo by Superwife 2009

21. Do “Snow Art”-use small snowballs as paintbrushes with watercolors. Note-a trash bag under the paper saves you a lot on cleanup!

22.  Play video or computer games.

23.  Make a torn paper mosaic

24.  Feed you birdy friends by stringing popcorn to hang on a tree or making a pine cone birdfeeder.

One of the Canon Printable Models.  Photo by M-oo

One of the Canon Printable Models. Photo by M-oo

25.  Make paper mache bowls. (note-this tutorial uses a pumpkin instead of a balloon. You can use the same cling wrap technique on another bowl instead)

26.  Color on some free printable coloring pages.

27.  Let the kids choose the dinner menu and have them help you cook.

28.  Have a pretend fashion shoot.

29.  Make some toys and models with free printable paper crafts from Canon. (note: trust me, there are things for teens on here-the copy of the Russian church with onion domes is gorgeous & complex)

30. Make paper beads.

31.  Make melted crayon art.

Photo by Mahalie

Photo by Mahalie

32.  Make new crayons from some old ones.

Outside fun:

33. Have a snowball fight!!!

34.  Make a snowman.

35.  Make snow angels.

36  Go snowshoeing or cross country skiing.

37.  Build a snow fort.

38.  Go sledding. No sled, no worries! Go cardboard sledding.

39.  Play some snow games.

So, what are some of YOUR favorite ideas for fun things to do on a school snow day?

Thanks to the following twitter friends for all their great input:  Merlene, ShesSoThere, MommyBrain, kwbridge, DesignerG, Mandison918,smtwngrl, MyschaTheriault, ctreit, olsenspeech, getsweetie, PaddyShaughn,JustDoingMyBest

Photos are used under the following creative commons copyrights:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/lin/ / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
http://www.flickr.com/photos/williamholmes/ / CC BY 2.0
http://www.flickr.com/photos/chez_loulou/ / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
http://www.flickr.com/photos/ginnerobot/ / CC BY-SA 2.0
http://www.flickr.com/photos/gozalewis/ / CC BY-SA 2.0
http://www.flickr.com/photos/34691831@N02/ / CC BY-ND 2.0
http://www.flickr.com/photos/m-oo/ / CC BY-ND 2.0
http://www.flickr.com/photos/mahalie/ / CC BY-SA 2.0

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{ 42 comments… read them below or add one }

Nicki at Domestic Cents January 8, 2010 at 12:11 pm

Great list! Thanks for sharing (and including me!)


Ann at mommysecrets January 8, 2010 at 9:26 pm

What awesome ideas!!! You’re the best!


Shannon January 9, 2010 at 8:01 pm

We made pretezles today!! It was great. This recipe will go in the recipe book. Thanks for a fun idea.



jublke January 9, 2010 at 10:33 pm

Hi Jenn — Thanks for dropping by Mama Joules. In the US, this is definitely a good time to have these tips for snowy days! I can’t believe how much snow we’ve received this season.


Bob December 12, 2010 at 9:23 pm

i love snow days!


guppiegirl16 December 13, 2010 at 7:27 am

If you are looking for another great thing to do when the weather outside is frightful, if you have a ping pong table or foosball table, play a tournament. Don’t have any of those items? Play it on the wii or on the computer, some tvs even have a gaming channel on them.


Mrs. Vicki January 12, 2011 at 9:02 pm

I love the fact that these ideas are all on one site. Thank you for taking the time to share them!


Mrs. Vicki January 12, 2011 at 9:06 pm

OH, another good idea, my friend Lindsay did ORIGAMI with her child today. . . folding paper. . . it’s a great idea!


Jenn @ Frugal Upstate January 13, 2011 at 8:37 am

Vicki-Glad you found the links useful! Origami is another fantastic idea. There are tons of fun, frugal ways to keep yourself & the kids entertained, if we just go out & look for them.


Alissa January 26, 2011 at 9:10 am

good ideas i tryed lots of them!


Reba Gordon Matthews January 26, 2011 at 10:39 pm

Well… It doesn’t snow in California, but the activities you listed are great ideas to do when we visit the snow in the mountains or on vacation. And I remember making my homemade play dough back in the days when I was a preschool teacher. What great memories. Thanks for ideas.


jojo February 8, 2011 at 6:30 pm

THERE ARE ONLY 39 THINGS TO DO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! NOT 40!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Jenn @ Frugal Upstate February 8, 2011 at 6:55 pm

Huh, not sure. . . did I accidentally delete one, or was I counting stringing popcorn and making a pinecone birdfeeder as two different activities in #24?

Oh well-sorry to crush your hopes :)


jojo February 8, 2011 at 6:33 pm

but still the 39 things are GREAT!! THANX! and add ublec


bob jenkins February 13, 2011 at 2:53 pm

THIS IS WHACK…… JK ITS GREAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Stinky February 21, 2011 at 6:56 pm

If you are snowed in it can alsso be fun to drink a lot of beer. Have a beer drinking contest!


penny March 23, 2011 at 7:45 am



penny March 23, 2011 at 7:42 am

wow! this is so colopoooolio!! yeah we had a delay in MARCH!!! makes me kinda mad! bu these ideas are awesome i wanna make pretzels bu the delaays onNly 2 hrs. im a really slowwwwww! (and im a pretty bad baker) yeah yesterday i melted a plate in my micro!!!!!!! luv the ideasssss! there AMZING!!!!! :) thank you soooooooooo much!11!!!! <3 ;) :) :) thanx again!


penny March 23, 2011 at 7:44 am

hehehehe im not crazy lol!!!! :) :P I JUST LOOOVE TYPINGGGGG!!!!!!!!!!!~ ;) OKAYYY ILL GOOO………… AHAHAHAHAH


audrey May 30, 2011 at 6:36 pm

wow great ideas thanks i luv these :)


audrey May 30, 2011 at 6:38 pm

fun fun fun hahahahahahahahaha :) ;) :p :D


anonymous January 13, 2012 at 9:09 am

this was a great website!!!!


Toby Barnett January 17, 2012 at 11:02 pm

Fort! Off to get blankets! Yippeee!


katie January 18, 2012 at 11:05 am

Thnx so much really saved the day! My kids are 12 and 9 but these activities are good fr both of them! :) thnx. Loved the snowfort idea they loved it


Jenn @ Frugal Upstate January 18, 2012 at 2:19 pm

Toby & Katie-glad to have given you both ideas to have a fun snow day with the kids! Enjoy your various forts ;)


Jamie January 21, 2012 at 3:17 pm

This is only 39 things! Can you count?
P.S. These are stupid.


Jenn @ Frugal Upstate January 22, 2012 at 3:12 pm

Everyone makes mistakes. And luckily if you don’t like my work you can simply no longer visit here.


Sam February 29, 2012 at 11:02 pm

Dont yuck someone’s yum. If others like It then don’t start hating


bre December 31, 2012 at 12:42 am

i really loved this website!!!!!! im a teen and all of these ideas sound fun:) and i love when my school would be closed b/c of the snow… but anyways thanks for the ideas im sure going to use them!!!


Jenn @ Frugal Upstate January 1, 2013 at 6:49 pm

So glad you enjoyed the ideas :)


Michaela January 10, 2013 at 12:15 pm

You’re so lucky that you get all that snow! I hardly see any here in Washington, DC! Forecasters are saying we’ll get two good snow storms this year, and I’m really looking forward to #35. Making snow angels!!

Have you tried to make snow cones with snow? Or does it not work so well?


Jenn @ Frugal Upstate January 10, 2013 at 2:31 pm

I’ve made the snow ice cream–but I’ve never tried sno cones :) Hope you get that snow you are hoping for this year. . . it comes and goes for us.


sommer January 22, 2013 at 3:21 pm

These are great!!! My little sisster is 8 and she loved having a fashion show:D


Jenn @ Frugal Upstate January 23, 2013 at 7:51 am

So glad you two had fun Sommer!


Julia Gambill February 1, 2013 at 11:59 am

Another fun idea is…. SNOW BUBBLES! If your area is under 32 degrees, blow bubbles and they should freeze! Follow me on pinterest!


sophia douville March 11, 2013 at 7:59 pm

where is #40


Jenn @ Frugal Upstate March 12, 2013 at 9:17 am

I’m not sure!


Mclean2osKngPC.jux.com July 24, 2013 at 5:46 am

Hey there! I’ve been following your website for a while now and finally got the bravery to go ahead and give you a shout out from Porter Tx! Just wanted to say keep up the excellent work!


Jenn @ Frugal Upstate July 25, 2013 at 8:50 am

Great! Glad you are enjoying Frugal Upstate!


Hazel February 5, 2014 at 12:27 pm

Thanks for the ideas… cant wait to try them,

ps. google ” How to make brownies stuffed with oreos and cookie dough!!!!”
my younger sis’s love them!!!


Nikki February 5, 2014 at 12:29 pm

Wow the brownies you suggested were delish!!!!!
thanks for the idea!!!!


Hazel February 5, 2014 at 12:32 pm

Thanks for the ideas…
ps. brownies stuffed with oreos and cookie dough is also a very big hit!!!!

Hazel B.


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