By Kristin B. Sizemore


Depending on which area of the country you call home, chances are, you may be snowed in at some point this winter. Whether you love or loathe being homebound, after a few days, things can get monotonous. Here are a few creative ways to make the most of your time while you and your family are snowed in.

13. Have a cook off.

Pick a favorite recipe. It could be cookies, brownies, or a side dish. Keep it simple if you have younger kids at home. Let everyone prepare a halved or otherwise reduced version of the recipe. You could also mix things up a little by cooking in teams (girls vs. boys, mom vs. kids). Chose a judge. That person will not be able to have an entry in the cook off. (Dads are great at this role.) When everyone has completed their entry, put the food items on plates and display them on a table. Be careful not identify which chef cooked which entry. Let the judge taste each entry and declare a winner. The best part of a cook off is that you get to have a mini snowed in feast!

12. Play outside.

This seems like a given, but go play in the snow! Bundle the kids up to the point that they can’t put their arms down and sled, build a snowman, and make snow angels. The best part is the hot chocolate at the end!

11. Have a spa day.

It’s easy to give a simple manicure or pedicure using what you probably already have on hand. Fill a container with warm water and add a little bubble bath or liquid soap. After a good soak, grab a pumice, if you have one, and do some gentle filing. Then dry and give a massage with lotion. Finally, clip, file, and apply nail polish (for the girls). Don’t forget to have your kids return the favor. It may not be the most professional mani/pedi you’ve ever received, but it’s sure to be the sweetest!

10. Have a coloring contest.

You’ll need a judge, so designate Dad, yourself, or the kid who hates to color. Print off as many copies as needed of the same coloring sheet. You can find all kinds of free coloring sheets on the internet that range from simple to difficult. Have the contestants do their very best job. You can set a time limit or just let everyone take as much time as they need. Be sure that no one puts their name on their sheet. Present the entries to the judge and have him/her declare a winner. Display the results of your snowed in coloring contest on the fridge, a wall, or a corkboard.

9. Tackle a project.

If you’re anything like me, you have several projects on a mental to-do list. Pick one. It can be organizing a cabinet, cleaning out the play room, or painting a piece of furniture. Just set in on it. You can enlist the kids in your efforts or assign them each a project of their own. Something comes off your to-do list and everyone feels proud and productive.

8. Have an activity day.

Plan a day filled with impromptu skits, prank calling (nothing major, just silly calls to businesses), and simple contests ( example: Who can do the most push ups?). You’ll be surprised at how much fun the family can have when they commit to having fun for the whole day. Snowed in fun is less chaotic when slightly organized.

7. Plan a craft.

You have more on hand than you think. Search “simple diy décor” or “diy projects for kids” on your favorite search engine or on Pinterest. Find one that will work for your family or use the ideas to inspire an original creation. Gather your supplies, your kids, and start crafting. They’ll have something of their own creation to display in their rooms, or you may love the results of your snowed in crafting session so much that you incorporate them into your mainstream home décor.

6. Have a selfie shoot.

No one has fixed their hair, applied make up, or worn real clothing in days. Have everyone clean up, get dressed, and spiff up. It will feel amazing. Then pile up in the living room and have a family selfie session. Do crazy poses, group poses, and individual shots. You’ll have some great pics to post, but also some great memories. You can even make or print off some props and create a simple photo booth.

5. Enjoy a classic movie marathon.

Classic movies are the best movies. Which ones have your kids not seen? They’ll enjoy this one more than you think. Even my hyper 7-year-old that almost never makes it through an entire movie is glued to the screen when Rock Hudson and Doris Day are involved. Pick a few classic films that your kids will enjoy, pop some popcorn, and enjoy the show.

4. Jerk out the board games.

I love board games almost as much as my kids love them. Clear off the dining room table and take turns choosing a game. We love Sorry, Trouble, and Pictionary. Because you’re snowed in and have some time to fill, you can even start a game of Monopoly.

3. Play cards.

If you don’t have a huge supply of board games or, if you’ve played them all already, the possibilities are endless with cards. You can use poker cards to play Rummy, Crazy Eights, or Blackjack. If you want something less conventional, search “card games” on your favorite search engine. Also, teenagers are a great source of innovative card games. They always seem to know a new one. You can also play Uno, Phase 10, or Old Maid. Cards are great because you can pile up and play them anywhere.

2. Karaoke Time!

Use your phone, computer, tablet, Apple TV, or smart tv to search out some Karaoke tracks on YouTube. Take turns belting out your favorites. When you’re not singing, make sure to be a dynamic audience member. Before you know it, everyone is singing along and dancing! You’ve just enjoyed a concert of a lifetime without leaving your living room.

1. Read!

It’s snowy and cold outside. It’s warm and cozy on the inside. Pile up and snuggle in with your favorite blanket and a book you’ve been meaning to read. Everyone can read individually or you can chose a book to read aloud. Don’t limit your out loud reading to children’s books. Pick a classic that you want to share with your kids and read a chapter at a time. Snowed in reading is the best reading!