Indoor snow dayPosted: 05/12/2013
We’re all feeling a bit fed up at the moment. A winter bug has laid ToddlerGirl low for nearly a week. Having spent a couple of days where all she wanted to do was snuggle on the sofa, I’m glad to have reached the point where she’s well enough to be fed up, even if not quite up to being out and about in the cold. (We tried that at the weekend and it was a bit of a disaster!)
What better way to cheer us both up than to have an indoor snow day! This was very easy to set up and provided a whole day’s worth of entertainment (with lunch and a nap in between).
An important ingredient for a snow day is, you’ve guessed it, SNOW! Of course, being indoors, we had to use our imaginations. I laid a big white textured blanket and our old super kingsize duvet over the living room carpet and the duvet in particular worked really well to give the impression of a snow-covered floor. ToddlerGirl had some fun playing on this with her toys for a little while, driving her Happyland camper van through the ‘snow’. (“Oooh, watch out, it’s bumpy”.) While she was occupied, I quickly snipped a few small paper snowflakes to play this snowflake blowing game. (I should add here that I have completely forgotten the art of making paper snowflakes and they were all really lopsided in an assortment of odd shapes. How can it be so hard..?!) The snowflake game looks like such fun but I think it was a bit beyond ToddlerGirl. She liked watching me blowing the paper through my straw and was keen to have a go herself, but couldn’t quite master it. We had a few snowflake blowing ‘races’ without the straws and this entertained for ten minutes or so but I think it’s one to revisit when she’s older. The Husband and I had a lot of silly fun doing snowflake races later on, though!
Much more successful were our winter sleigh rides. I quickly made a small sleigh out of a cardboard box, with some string tied through the front so we could pull the toys around the snowy living room. Of course, ToddlerGirl wanted to climb in for a ride herself! She was a bit too big for it, so I brought in a tray from the kitchen to use as a sledge and whizzed her round for a while. When I needed a break, we piled all the toys into the two sleighs and took them for a ride, singing Jingle Bells very loudly. After being asked to sing it for the fifth time (and only knowing about half the words), I got out the tablet and found a version on YouTube. ToddlerGirl was wearing some bells around her ankles and stomped along with the music, which sounded very festive.
Probably one of my favourite Christmas pop songs is the Sleigh Ride one by the Ronettes, so I found that next. ToddlerGirl loved this one, especially the ding a ling parts! We had to go on our own sleigh ride, of course, so I set up a horse and sleigh for us, using our trusty DVD boxes and Ned, our small rocking horse. As you can imagine, it’s a bit cold on a sleigh ride, so we put our scarves, hats and gloves on too. We had a great time, with ToddlerGirl really getting into the spirit of the pretend play, helping to drive the sleigh and joining in as I pointed out the snowy scenery and waved to the people we were passing! She returned to this part of the play several times through the day, so it was a definite hit.
With all the snow lying around, we just had to have a snowball fight. I splatted ToddlerGirl with some white scrunched up paper balls, which she thought was funny, and then we had a couple of games with them: first, trying to throw them over a (masking tape) line in the snow, which she was really good at; and then tossing them into a basket, which was a little harder for her. In the end, she climbed into the basket and I threw all the ‘snowballs’ in with her!
For our final snow-themed activity, I set up a snowy tree sticky window collage. I taped some sticky paper to our window, stuck on some brown paper cut to look like a tree trunk with some bare branches, and set down a basket of cotton wool balls for ToddlerGirl to decorate the tree with. This went down well and she had fun exploring the texture of the cotton wool and how it left behind a cottony residue if removed from the sticky paper.
I left the snowy day set up in our living room while I made dinner, adding ToddlerGirl’s Happyland set to create a snowy village for her to play with. This kept her busy for another half an hour and rounded the day off nicely.
By the end of the day, both of us were in a much better mood. Snow play really is a good antidote for the stuck indoors blues! We got active, used our imaginations and, best of all, didn’t spend the day on the sofa. I’m sure we’ll have another indoor snow day this winter season :)