5 Simple Things to do on a Snow Day

Written by contributor Heather Bruggeman of Beauty That Moves

Here in my corner of the world, it has been a winter for the record books. We’ve had snowstorms weekly, and the public schools have not seen a five day school week since before Christmas!

But what about us homeschoolers? Do we call for a snow day, or carry on with our routine as usual?

Well, that totally depends on the family, and probably the age(s) of your children too. Young children won’t likely think to get up and turn on the radio, listening for school cancellations in your community. If you’ve got older children though, they just might be looking for that special, unplanned day off.

When I was growing up, Snow Days were practically an institution! I loved the gift of a day to do with as I pleased… and not surprisingly, my happy-to-homeschool daughter is no different. And so in our home we indulge.

There is the given time spent outside – sledding, fort making, and tunneling (this year, there’s been a lot of tunneling!). Then, there is the time spent inside. The flexible, cozy, lingering sort of time that only a snow day can bring. Honestly, the inside time is my favorite part.

Here are five simple (inside) things to do on a snow day.

1. Stream movies from Netflix.

While you’re at it, make them educational!

A search on the Netflix for PBS documentaries or National Geographic documentaries will bring up many titles that can be watched instantly if you have a Netflix account. There is a really nice selection!

2. Serve hot cocoa and popcorn.

Popcorn is an almost daily snack in our home, but the snow day addition of homemade hot cocoa at 2pm on a Tuesday?

Well, that is quite nice. And who am I kidding – it enhances the educational film we are watching quite a bit!

3. Edit and organize photos.

(Or spend time on a your child’s preferred hobby.)

My thirteen-year-old daughter loves photography. Part of her love involves the process of editing photos and keeping track of her collection on Flickr. On a declared snow day, she can linger freely on the computer – cropping, altering saturation, adding filters and such. It’s a very creative and constructive experience for her.

4. Spend time in the kitchen.

I love to cook.

I’ve accepted the fact that my girl does not share my natural love for cooking. She does, however, see the practical side (and delicious benefit!) to home cooked meals and treats. She won’t usually come out and request a cooking lesson from me, but she also will not decline an invitation to join me.

I try to take full advantage of this, and a snow day is the perfect time to knead some dough or build a beautiful pot of soup for dinner.

5. Crack open a favorite textbook.

Believe it or not, this can happen on a snow day. I wouldn’t say it’s something to be forced, but certainly an option. Every child seems to have one subject they’ve deemed a current favorite. Lately, my daughter has especially enjoyed the science work we’ve been studying.

(And kids always seem to be up for a fun and exciting experiment.)

There are the snow days we feel like doing something decidedly academic… and there are others (plenty, this winter) where we just flop on the couch for hours and read from our current library stack. Those are really good days too.

Above all else though, I think the true beauty of a snow day lies in the spontaneity and possibility that only found time can bring. And don’t you think we could all use a little more found time?

What does your family like to do on a snow day? Do you continue with your normal routine or do you take a”break?”

About Heather

Heather follows the mantra “a life that is led simply and deliberately is a life fulfilled.” She is a dedicated yoga teacher, artist, holistic health coach, mother and wife. Heather’s blog Beauty That Moves is enjoyed by readers for its kind honesty, shared beauty, and simple guidance.


  1. We’ve NEVER had a snow day, I live in Southern California… but after reading this, I might have to take a pretend snow day! Great ideas 🙂
    Angela @ Homegrown Mom’s latest post: Girly Workboxes Homeschooling Girls Day 2

  2. KathleenK says:

    We don’t take snow days, even though we have plenty of opportunities. We do school as usual and I always make sure they get plenty of time to go outside to play in the cold snow. I would rather do school now instead of being stuck inside during the really nice spring weather, which is what all the poor public school kids have to do! (If opportunity affords it, we DO allow our children some physical education in shoveling the driveway!)

  3. It really depends. If Daddy is home because the college he works at is closed then things get shifted around quite a bit. But because I take so much time off for other stuff (like 6 weeks of Christmas holiday!) I do tend to carry on through snow days… unless of couse the snow is just begging us to come play.

    • you know, i should have added in this post… this is our first year of homeschooling so my daughter is all too familiar with the idea of a snow day.

      this influences the decision making process a bit. 😉

      i love the idea of a six week break at christmas! the two week break we did take however proved to be a little too much for the two of us… we had quite a time of it getting back into the groove. from what i understand though, that is normal… ?
      heather’s latest post: thrifty kitchen – a quiche tutorial

  4. We usually stick to our regular routine, but there are days when we just gotta get out in the snow. Especially if dad has days off and no classes himself due to bad weather.
    Rana’s latest post: Crock Pot Swap and Tinkys Room

  5. We do take a lazy day off here and there, but never anything like a “snow day” just because everyone else is. I know that my little ones would much rather be playing at the beach, so we try to reserve our days off until then! That being said, my children are still in elementary school, so official “school” does not take us that long to accomplish in a day.

  6. Our family doesn’t usually take an entire day off for a SNOW DAY… but this year’s storm was hard to resist since 1/2 the country was enjoying a day off!
    Actually I just got done adding a few pictures of my oldest daughter & her friends (and one of my little guys) on my blog from last week’s SNOW DAY.

    Thanks for your cute ideas!
    Netta’s latest post: Getcher Clothes On!

  7. We must live in the same part of the country Heather!
    We’ve had our share of snow days this year too. Our teens aren’t as enthused to get out in the snow as they were when they were younger, so our snow days tend to happen inside with music being played, me cooking, reading, some academic work, and just being together… Although, I will tell you I think we are coming to our end of ” loving” all this togetherness… 🙂
    Cabin Fever is creeping in!
    Nice post!
    Debbie’s latest post: TEEN MOMENTS Surviving the Terrible Twelves

  8. There have been lots of snow days here in Kansas City this year. My son keeps track of the number of snow days our local public school has and then I let him take the same number of snow days. The fun part is he doesn’t have to take his snow days on “snowy days”. He can save them up and use them when it is 80 degrees and beautiful outside!
    Amy-Cutting Coupons in KC’s latest post: FREE Build &amp Grow Workshop at Lowes 2-12

  9. we’re living in a city where there’s only rain (and thunderstorms!) in the winter. maybe we’ll take some rain days. 🙂
    andie’s latest post: rocking the poetry- 5-year-old style

  10. We haven’t taken any snow days though today was the 5th day in the last 10 days for our local schools to have a snow day. We’ve done some extra fun things though. Daddy was home extra days last week, so he helped teach at least one subject for each of the kids, they went outside to play, we had hot chocolate in the middle of the day, we read books from the library about snow and colored fun snow coloring sheets that I found on the internet and we had a movie night on a weeknight. I’m sure if the kids were a little older and had friends on the same street they might want to get together, too. We do take occasional days off just cause. Right now we only has school 4 days a week anyway, so I don’t really want to take extra days off, as we might need some later this spring.
    Suanna’s latest post: Math Manipulatives

  11. Mother of Pearl says:

    When the local schools get a snow day, we do a “just the basics” day. We do math, reading, and writing and then go out, enjoy the snow, and shovel, both for chores and for service to our elderly neighbor. I figure it is the best of both worlds – a special day and a counted day of school.

  12. I’m reading this and dreaming of a snow day. My husband has been in Canada slipping and sliding on the icy roads and giving us weather updates with the snow and temperatures although right now he is getting closer to home as he flies over the equator. Our home is in Qld Australia and while we were receiving icy reports from the north we were giving sweaty, hot & bothered reports from down under. We definitely had our afternoons off during our “not so snowy” days last week and longed to visit the local pool for some reprieve (it was still closed after the flooding we’ve experienced recently.) Funnily enough we are looking at different weather and when we saw daddy’s photos of snow… that’s what we were longing for too. I like the sound of your snow day so maybe you can enjoy the snow for us and we’ll make the most of the sunny warmth for you 🙂

  13. We live in the dessert, so when it snows, we cancel everything and head out and play like crazy until it melts. Then we take whatever snow is left (snowballs, snowmen) and put them in the freezer. Then it’s time for hot cocoa and a fire in the fireplace and reading out loud. It only happens once or twice a year, and it’s definitely the highlight. Simple things! 🙂

    Your ideas are great! We love Netflix educational shows for when I’m not “on.”

  14. We’ve enjoyed many snow days this winter. At the beginning of the season, we enjoyed lazy mornings cooking, baking and spending time near the fire until we felt ready to bundle up to shovel out and/or play. Now that snow days have become commonplace for our public school friends (I hear they are now tired of them!), we have been enjoying the invitations to have long, relaxed play-dates. A winter like this one doesn’t happen every year and I feel free to soak up every last bit of it!
    Jen’s latest post: Holiday Handmades

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