Playing with snow indoors

For the almost 40 percent of grandparents and other relatives providing child care, cold snowy days can be stressful. To relieve that stress young children may enjoy creating snowmen inside with cheap materials found in the kitchen. Quiet conversations while doing activities with adults also help nurture resilient children.

To make homemade poster paint for making winter scenes, mix ½ cup flour and 1-tablespoon salt. Add them very slowly into a saucepan filled with 2 cups water.  Whisk while mixing.  Cook and whisk on medium heat to avoid lumps. Remove when this mixture looks like smooth white paint. Add 1-tablespoon clear liquid dish detergent for a smoother glossy paint.

Then use brushes or Q-tips to paint thin- coat snowmen on colored paper, a cookie pan, mirror, or window.

Share Painting Pictures

Children may take want to take a picture and send a winter message of love to cousins or other grandparents far away.

Cut out white paper circles or use coffee filters and color a few  Frosties. Cover them with white glue or a thin mixture of flour and water glue and sprinkle with salt for glitter. Margarita salt, cookie decorations, and sugar also work.

Color a scene on computer paper, and glue on the snowmen.

You can also glue on pillow stuffing, cotton balls, or make-up cotton wipe snowmen on a calendar winter scene and start crossing off the days until Valentine’s Day

Gather a cookie pan full of snow, and make a winter scene with small toys. Try making little snowmen before the snow gets too slushy.

Shaving cream also makes winter snow scenes. Children can write messages in the snow with their fingers.

Warn children not to eat or place near their eyes. All this will make a mess and children will love it, but it’s an easy clean up while you gather at the sink to sing “Frosty the Snowman.”

If you are hungry, make snowmen out of bread or English muffins, cover with nut butter and decorate with Cheerios and chocolate chips.

Indoor Snowball Fights

When children need to be active again about every 30 or 60 minutes, rollup some newspaper half sheets reinforced with a little duct or cellophane tape and have an indoor snowball fight. Couches, chairs, laundry baskets, or cardboard boxes can be turned into fortresses.   

If the snowball fight gets out of hand, switch to snowball basketball. Place a laundry basket a reasonable distance so all young ages can make baskets and practice adding up the points. Then there is snowball bowling, snowball baseball, tennis, volleyball, football, toss, hide and seek the snowballs, and find the snowballs with flashlights in the dark.

For more winter fun see,, Learning Through the Seasons pod casts and live  Tuesdays 4:30 p.m., Saturdays 8:30 p.m.; Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

  — Grandparents Teach, Too

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