The Christmas season is here! It’s the time for baking cookies, building gingerbread houses, celebrating Jesus, drinking hot cocoa, and playing in the snow. Okay, let’s be honest. In the South, we are lacking on the snow a little bit. We might be lucky if we hit below 50 degrees this season. We were sweating and wearing shorts this weekend. Most years, my cousins and their children in the North are bundled up in sweaters and gloves, playing in the snow, and using chapstick. Meanwhile, my girls are wearing shorts, swimming, and lathering on sunscreen. Our oldest daughter wanted to play with snow so badly that she started making it “snow” indoors with baby powder last week, which I can’t say I’d recommend. So what’s a mama and two munchkins to do for some good old-fashioned fun in the snow this December?
We opted for a $9 bag of instant snow (Purchased here!) in our sand/water table. My two toddlers played with two shovels, a dollar store spray bottle of food coloring mixed with water, and instant snow for hours this weekend! It took all of five minutes to set up and was super affordable (plus, the snow is reusable!). They took turns spraying/ “painting” the snow, scooping and just enjoying the mini winter wonderland while mom and dad enjoyed a HOT cup of coffee! It was a great way to use our water table in the winter time (you could also use a shoebox or 13×9 baking pan for a mini water table!). We purchased our snow powder and mixed with water, but there are also a bunch of fairly simple recipes on the internet for making your own snow.
Here are some more options for indoor winter fun when there’s too much summer-like sun outdoors to feel like it’s Christmas.
Igloos/Ice Blocks: Cleaned milk cartons of water frozen or frozen water balloons make great ice blocks for sensory tables or building igloos. If that’s a little too chilly, sugar cubes can be used to build mini igloos for stuffed animals and small toys.
Simple Snowmen: Make little snowmen with white playdoh or clay and dress him/her up with accessories. Add Christmas trees and snowflakes to create a whole snowy wonderland without stepping outside. My two year old loves building snowmen with this set because the play-doh sparkles like real snow (Purchased here!).
Snowy Art: Pop some plain white popcorn for children to glue on blue construction paper and create their own wintery scenes. My girls loved this easy activity and it looks really cute as a Christmas decoration.
Snowy Books: When we can’t recreate snow with crafts or activities, we enjoy reading books that feature characters playing in the snow and/or lots of pictures of snow. Our current favorites are The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keates, Dream Snow by Eric Carle, and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Pop-up Book by Lisa Ann Marsoli. Our local Harris County library has a whole section of seasonal Christmas and winter books that can be pre-ordered online for easy pick-up with children in tow.Snow Paint: If you mix condensed milk with white finger paint, it makes a really shiny paint perfect for painting snow angels or snowmen. This one takes a little while to dry.
Carpet Sledding: Pull the kids around on a blanket or towel singing Jingle Bells and pretending your sledding on a snowy white hill.
Imaginative Snow Day: Pretend it’s freezing cold and snowing outside and cuddle up indoors for books, movies, hot cocoa, and maybe even a fire. This is probably what snow days in the North most often look like anyway, right?
White Christmas in Texas! Our oldest wanted to dress the part for our snow day!
If you’re not looking to make your own white Christmas at home, here’s a few more ideas for snow fun around town this season:
- Daily Snowfall (noon on weekdays, 4pm weekends) in the Square at Memorial City Mall (Free!)
Children will have a blast running through and trying to catch the falling snowflakes in the Square!
- Nightly “Texas Whiteout” at Santa’s Wonderland in College Station ($)
Families will enjoy a magical outdoor snowfall after viewing the Christmas lights at Santa’s Wonderland.
- Premade Snowballs ready for a fight at the park or in the backyard at Bahama Bucks (multiple locations, $)
Southern munchkins will love the opportunity to feel realistic, cold snow and maybe even experience their first snowball fight!
- The Arctic Slide at Moody Gardens in Galveston ($)
Southerners who think they have to travel far outside Texas for winter sports will be delighted to learn that children and parents can tube down a snow/ice slide right here in Texas!
- Host a Snow Party with Ice Express ($, Houston)
You could even hold a Texas-sized blizzard at your own party or special event! Ice Express will deliver fresh snow and activities to do in the snow to your house or venue. I’m saving this one for a future December birthday party idea!
For holiday camps & after-school activities for kids, visit iQuriousKids.
By Mary West