Monday, January 26, 2015

Snow Day! Snow Day?: Things To Do When We Can't Go Outside.

The possibility of a snow day can be exciting. People stay inside, spend time with family, and everything moves at a slower pace.  We get a reprieve from the rush of daily life.
However, this lovely image can be very different when there are young children to take care of - especially when weather (or even illness or school breaks) forces us inside for several days.  

A blanket on the floor creates a place for
Note the tiny amounts of fingerpaint
placed on small papers for each child.
Just the right amount for little hands and
less mess.
In-Home and Family Childcare Providers know first hand how to help children be engaged throughout the day and we can borrow ideas from them to get us through the days inside. Thanks to the Somerville Family Learning Collaborative, the Parent Home Visiting Program, and the Beautiful Stuff Project for the great ideas!

You don't need a lot of special equipment or furniture to make a space for children to play and do projects. A shower curtain, sheet, plastic table cloth, a blanket (see left), or a paper grocery bag cut open work fine. This turns any space into a play space that is contained and protects areas where you don't want an activity happening. 
Blankets and cushions are  perfect for making forts and hiding spaces. Places to Play at Home has great ideas.

Check the recycle bin.  Egg cartons, boxes,
and masking tape make great sculptures.
Drawing in coffee grounds.
Box tops (shoe box or other) and 
masa harina, cornmeal, salt.
Also think kitchen:  Fill the sink with water or better yet, bring in some snow from outside.  Tongs, basters, add cups, containers, toys and things that can float or be buried in snow.  Eye droppers with colored water for colorful water or snow.  Pull up a stool next to the sink and roll up their sleeves.

The links below contain ideas of things you can do, often with materials you already have, to keep little bodies and minds busy.  

No mess collage - contact paper and bits of
fabric, paper, etc. From SPS Smile Program.

Somerville Early Education Pinterest Site

Recipes to Make at Home

Things to Do on a Snow Day

December flashback: Here are the links from the December blog on non-toy gifts for the holidays and there are great ideas for things you can do at home:

Teachers Resisting Unhealthy Children's Entertainment (TRUCE) has some great ideas for family fun at home or at school using easy to find materials.  Ideas for forts, cardboard boxes, socks, playdough, etc. with materials readily available at home.