Not everyone lives where it snows, but for those of us who do, this is a question I’ve heard many times over the years. Twenty years of homeschooling in an area that gets “lake effect snow” from one of the Great Lakes will do that. On Monday, we got over a foot and a few more inches last night! So beautiful.
For my fellow northern homeschoolers, this post is for you! And for all the others, there are lots of suggested ways you can vicariously enjoy the snow in this post, as well!
Our family definitely believes in snow days!
When I was a teenager in southern Ohio, we were off school for a whole week because it just kept snowing! Our local radio station held a contest for the best snow sculpture.
My friend Jennifer and I built a VW bug out of snow and I’m convinced to this day that the only reason we didn’t win was because the judges thought there was a real car underneath. It was that realistic and life sized!
Suiting up for the weather can be a bit undertaking with little ones, but it’s worth it! Helping to shovel walks and driveways for neighbors who cannot get out, or helping to make tomorrow’s travel easier is useful work, meaningful activity outdoors that we want more of!
When my kids were younger, they loved making snow forts. Just grab every rectangular plastic container you can find, let your kids pack them with snow to build forts, brick walls and igloos.
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One year, these snow brick makers made a wonderful holiday gift.
To be perfectly honest, these activities don’t always entice teenagers. What draws them outdoors for some snow fun? Ski Club!
Meeting their friends for an afternoon of skiing and snowboarding. Hikes in the snow with the dog or even just taking the dog for a snowy walk works, too. Our one-year-old pup loves to romp in the white powder!
Snow is a fun and magical substance. And it’s easier to get kids outside when it snows than when it’s just grey and cold and frozen. I like to be ready with some good books and hot cocoa during the winter season for when they return indoors. Here are a few suggestions that can readily be found online, at your local bookstore, or your local public library.
Nature Projects for Every Season: Winter by Phyllis S. Busch
Full of both outdoor and indoor activities, this book has very simple (mostly one page) ideas for exploring the season, from making a door draft to tracking animals and observing snowflakes.
The Snowflake: A Water Cycle Story by Neil Waldman
This book is beautiful and not overly didactic, hence my recommendation! With just a brief description of what starts off as a tiny snowflake in January, each double page spread has a lovely painting and lyrical reflections for each month of the year.
The First Snow in the Woods: A Photographic Fantasy by Carl R. Sams
Such a gorgeous photographic journey of animals in the snow.
The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder
This is one of my favorite books in the Little House series. The Ingalls brave a hard winter in the Dakota Territory in the 1880s, facing blizzards and low food supplies.
If you want more book suggestions for winter, check out this post on my Favorite Winter Books.
No snow where you live? Everyone can enjoy following the Iditarod dog sled race that runs through Alaska; this is especially fun if you have older kids.
Check out the Iditarod website for this year’s dates. There’s a “Teacher on the Trail” feature with lots of educational materials that can be used to integrate science, language arts, and math into your lessons.
If you’re looking for something different to do in March, consider a main lesson block on Alaska or sled dogs or the race itself. Just remember to pick just a few things to focus on – go deep not wide. That’s the main difference between a main lesson block and a unit study.
How does your family enjoy snow days?