As a kid, I used to anticipate the days when I would wake up in the morning and look out the window to a mound of fluffy, white glistening snowflakes as far as the eye could see, and turn on the TV to see if we had an ever glorious snow day. As a teacher it’s a similar feeling, only I hope that we will find out the night before so I can sleep in! Haha!
So years ago, while teaching preschool and not being able to go outside in the snowy, cold weather for what seemed like the millionth day in a row (seriously! Why does January seem like the longest month of the year?!) I had an idea. The adults turned over two six foot tables, my students crumpled paper up into balls and we had the most epic snowball fight. This memory, along with some of my favorite winter stories, got me planning and thinking…why not have a snow day IN my own classroom?? After all, snow day fun shouldn’t be reserved just for staying at home.
Whether it’s because it’s too cold for your students to go outside and they need to work out the wiggles to make it through the rest of the school day or maybe you just want to have a SNOW DAY in sunny Florida just because you can (we used to have a Beach Day in March when it’s still cold just for fun! so why not?!), crumpling up paper into snowballs and throwing them is just that…FUN!!
Snowy Day Activities for the Elementary Classroom
Here are some engaging snowy day activities to do with your students in your elementary classroom:
- Cut out snowflakes for a lesson on symmetry and to create a winter wonderland – Hang them from the ceiling or a bulletin board with the phrase “Learning is snow much fun!”
- Balloon Gas Expansion Experiment – Inflate and tie off a balloon. Then place the balloon outside and observe as it deflates, placing by a window if it’s too cold outside for students to observe. Then bring the balloon back inside and watch as it re-inflates. Record your observations.
- Do you want to build a snowman? craft – Cut out different shapes and have students put them together to make their own snowman. Record how many of each shape they used.
- Climate Geography – Pull out a globe and discuss the different places where it snows. Talk about what the land/weather is like in those locations and compare/contrast to other areas.
- Do a sort of what you wear in the winter (when it’s warm) and what you wear in the summer (when it’s cold).
- Write about what they like to do in the snow.
- Read The Jacket I Wear in the Snow, acting out the story (having one child for each type of cold weather accessory) by having students put on each piece of clothing and take it off as they follow along with the book. Write about how-to get dressed to go outside when it’s cold.
- Snow Poetry – poems are a great way to practice using descriptive words in writing. Start by having students write down all of the words they can think of that describe snow. Use the words to write a haiku, limerick, or acrostic poem.
- 100 Snowballs! – This game on ABCya challenges students to create a winter scene using 100 snowballs
- Snow Crystals – Take a virtual snow day. This website provides information, pictures and activities about snow and ice.
- The Science of Snowflakes – This TED-Ed video explains the miracle of snow and how it forms
Additional Snowy Day Activities
And if you would like some additional activities to go along with your snow day, I created an engaging It’s a Snow Day! Math & Literacy pack as a companion to The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats. It can also be used with any other books about snow for lessons so students can write about and even wish!) for snow!
- Main idea and details writing template
- Story Elements page – characters, setting, problem, solution
- The Snowy Day retelling template
- On a snow day I like to…writing template (+ additional blank page)
- Noun and verb sort
- Noun, verb, and adjective cut and paste sort
- Mixed single digit addition to 20 and subtraction from 1 0 (2 pages)
- 2-digit addition with regrouping (2 pages)
- Adding 3 2-digit numbers with regrouping (2 pages)
- Adding 4 2-digit numbers
- Double digit subtraction with regrouping (2 pages)
- Fact families (2 pages)
- Array word problems
And here is a list of 36 Snow Day Activities you can recommend to families for when they get the snow day jitters.
Interested in more activities for the winter months? Check out my post on Snowman Selfie Sentences OR this one on unicorn Double Digit Addition and Subtraction perfect for the month of February and Valentine’s Day!