I don’t know about you guys, but this last snow storm really caught DataDan and me off guard! The pantries were bare and so were our creative parenting brains. Luckily, DataDan is an avid snow slope builder, and he provided hours of entertainment for our tribe. I however, was only interested in the snow while it was falling. After about two rounds of playing “chase, tackle, zip, button, lace” with Gus, I was ready for a hot mug of coffee and some arts and crafts. In order to minimize frozen toes and over-doing TV time, I went on the hunt for some EASY snow day S.T.E.A.M. activities. These three are totally going to rock the soggy socks right off Nola and Gus next time…
- THAUMATROPES. Little Bins For Little Hands shared this amazingly easy and oh-so-simple project. What the hey-now is a thaumatrope?
A thaumatrope is an optical toy that was popular in the 19th century. A disk with a picture on each side is attached to two pieces of string. When the strings are twirled quickly between the fingers the two pictures appear to blend into one due to the persistence of vision.
This version is cleverly created with plastic straws instead of strings. Making them easier for little hands to create and spin. The possibilities are endless with this visual doodad! Imagine all of the images they can draw and merge with a simple spin. You’re sure to wow them with this one, and I’m all about the wow factor. I’m also all about the CHEAP factor…with straws, paper and tape most likely already on hand, the budget here is virtually nonexistent. BOOM!
♥ I can’t help but think that a handmade thaumatrope would make grandmother swoon this Valentine’s Day…you’re welcome.
- BALLOON ROCKET CAR. ←Those three words alone will have Gus’ eyes wide and his attention span longer than the pre-blizzard check out line at Target. Add balloons under milk and bread on your last minute list, and you’ll be ready to build and blast off with these rocket cars. My favorite part about this is Rookie Parenting’s suggestion to use toy cars or have them build their own Lego cars. Any activity that is simple yet time consuming and thought provoking is a major win in my book.
♥ I’m thinking that balloon car races are a must at Gus’ 4th birthday party. Add a cardboard car track and we’re in business.
- MARSHMALLOW IGLOOS. This one (from Lemon and Lime Adventures) is a chilly themed twist on the cranberry & toothpick engineering activity we tried this Thanksgiving. It was a huge hit. We offered very little guidance and just let the kids go nuts…with the berries. Nola built a ferris wheel and Gus created several robots and simple machines. Offering guidance this time on the structure of a real igloo and the elements that make it function might be an easy way to keep them on track. After they build their igloos, I plan to let them get experimental. After all, marshmallows are meant to be stacked, squished and eaten…just not necessarily in that order. Another winner in the little to no cost category. Toothpicks and marshmallows…if you don’t have those two stuffed somewhere in the kitchen cabinets, well frankly, I don’t even know who you are anymore.
Hopefully these three gems keep them from suffering frostbite or boredom on the next snow day. There’s even a chance (with tricks like these up your sleeve) you’ll drink your coffee while it’s hot, read more than one page of that novel you started over Christmas break and achieve other parenting anomalies…imagine!
Do you have other tried and true indoor snow day activities? Please share in the comments!