Five Ways to Keep Your Kids Learning Over Snow Days

If you're looking for ways to keep your students/kids busy on snow days, check out this post for five ideas.

Now that Jonas has said goodbye to Virginia, we can truly appreciate what it's like living in Iowa. Many of our bloggers our digging out from 30+ inches of snow with drifts that are six feet high, and we know with all of this snow, that we are bound to be home at least a few days. I thought today might be a good day to share tips for parents who will be homebound with their kids too. After all, you will need to keep the kids busy. They might as well learn a few things while they're playing.

Begin with Boardgames and Puzzles

If you're looking for ways to keep your students/kids busy on snow days, check out this post for five ideas.
One suggestion is to pull out your boardgames. I love Scrabble of course (*reading teacher here*), but you can make Scrabble a math game too. Use just the letters to create math problems. Challenge your child to figure out ways to get the total of 25 points or whatever you designate. You might also have your child spell various words and get the sum.  

Monopoly is another that includes a lot of math. Let your child be the banker, and by all means, do not let them win. Make him/her work. It teaches them the value of money. 

An easy storage idea is a plastic baggy.  These puzzles would be great to put in a diaper bag or purse to pull-out when you’re on-the-go and need a quiet activity!  Could also add the little magnets to the back for fridge fun.:
These games may not be readily available, but most people have a deck of cards. Split the deck in half, Have each player flip two cards at the same time and multiply them for the product. Highest product takes the cards, and play continues until one person has them all or one player has the most.

Finally, puzzles are a great way to work the brain. On the back side of the puzzle, you can make up problems that connect with the solution. When all the problems and solutions are connected, the puzzle image is formed like these tongue depressors to the right.  

Bring Snow Indoors

On Saturday, the blizzard warnings kept most people indoors, but with a big dishpan and a bathtub, you can bring the snow inside for lots of fun. Kids need to use their imaginations.

Our blogger, Kristy, enjoyed a little indoor snow fun with her daughter. They painted it, created snowmen, and raced toys down pretend hills, Guess what? You can teach kids how colors are formed, let them write about that snowman they've made and his adventures inside, measure how tall the hill is and how big the snowman is, and even experiment with the speed of the matchbox cars in comparison to the height of the hill. Certainly sending kids out with yardsticks to measure the depth of snow, height of the drifts, and how much snow they've shoveled sounds like a good idea too.

Learning Online

Have you heard about Epic? It is a wonderful app for the
Ipad or computer that allows you to have access to many, many books as in 10,000. Kids can have access to them at their fingertips. Just click the image to the left and you can check it out. The first month is free and with snow days, we hope you wouldn't need more than a few. Even so, this is a great one for any time.

Another wonderful online program is IXL. It offers ideas for math, reading, social studies and science, but I have personally only looked at the reading and math tabs. It is a paid site, but for one month, it is $10. I highly recommend it as it is aligned with the Virginia standards.

Another great math site is Mr. Nussbaum's Math for Kids. It is intended for upper elementary, but the tutorials and games are phenomenal. You must take time to explore this site to fully appreciate what a gift this teacher from Virginia has shared. In fact, we would love to add him to our blogging team. :-)

Cooking Up Creativity

If you're looking for ways to keep your students/kids busy on snow days, check out this post for five ideas.
Cooking is a great way to work in reading and math too. Kids have to understand how recipes work as this is a type of text often seen in our SOL testing, and guess what, measuring out ingredients is a skill we all need too. Once your creation is complete, have your child write out how it was done, describe how the final product tastes, and what he/she plans to make next. Perhaps it will be his/her own personal creation. You might even have your own cooking contest with secret ingredients just for fun. 

If you're looking for ways to keep your students/kids busy on snow days, check out this post for five ideas.

Character Counts

School is not just about learning academic content, it's about building character too. There is no better time than today to get out and shovel a neighbor's walkway, bring in their mail, or take them a yummy treat you've just made (unless it's in the contest with mystery ingredients!). You might also encourage the kiddos to write letters to those who have worked hard during this awful storm. I was shocked to see our mail delivered on schedule during the middle of it, and those who have cleared the roads, fixed down power lines, fire and rescue people, and our police officers. It was really rough Friday and Saturday, and these people deserve a hand for all of their hard work.

Well, I believe I've reached my five suggestion limit, but I am quite sure you could use a few more. Below are a few free files you can print and use with your kids too. There is something for all levels I think.

Winter Activities for Kindergarten FREE  All About Penguins!   Snowball!  A Differentiated Addition and Subtraction Game
Winter Break Marshmallow Reading Challenge  Winter Wonderland Multiplication Task Cards - FREE

Til next time, enjoy the sunshine!