Snow fell for three days in a row, burying my yard in over two feet of dense slush. It was March, and I was ready for spring. But I had to dig out of more snow than I had seen in my lifetime! What an introduction to a Midwest winter. I grew up in the south, where snow days were too few. But I was not enjoying them as an adult. Maybe you have read this anonymous quote, “If you choose not to find joy in the snow, you will have less joy in your life but still the same amount of snow.”
Instead of letting winter weather get you down, find ways to keep learning. Enjoy God’s winter creation like you do the other seasons. It would be easy to let winter keep you from restarting school after the break. Ease into it, and choose joy in some of these winter weather learning opportunities. Every subject has winter learning potential.
Snow Day Science and Math Activities
Look for animal tracks in the snow where you are and online. How many animals can you identify based on their tracks? Talk about how wild animals survive the winter. Make a list of animals that are camouflaged in the snow. Where do these animals usually live?
If you have enough snow, build a snow fort. Find several shoe boxes about the same size, and pack them with snow to make bricks. Look at snowflakes with a magnifying glass or microscope. Try to draw what you see.
When it rains, calculate how much snow that storm would have brought. The rain to snow conversion depends on the temperature and other factors. Stay inside and have a baking lesson. Double or half a recipe for an added challenge. Make hot cocoa and do some simple marshmallow math as you drink.
Search for the word “snow” in a concordance or Bible app. Talk about what it means to be “washed whiter than snow.” Consider the analogy in Isaiah 55:10–11. How is God’s Word like rain and snow?
Literature and Social Studies
Read stories about winter to your children. Let them have some quiet time to read themselves. Have them write poems about winter. Interview someone or look for news articles about a record snowfall in your area.
Art and Music
Use food coloring to paint the snow. Create patterns in the snow using pinecones or other objects. Make paper snowflakes. For younger children, cut out shapes and arrange them on a page with six-fold symmetry. Have them start with a hexagon in the middle and create similar branches from each side or corner.
Play some classical music like “Winter” from Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons. Talk about how the music sounds like winter. See how many instrument sounds you can identify in the recording.
Choosing Joy on a Snow Day
All of these activities can help you choose joy in winter as you learn something new about each subject with your children. They are also a great way to spend a “snow day” while continuing to learn.
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Valerie is a wife and a mother to a very busy toddler. In her free time she enjoys reading all kinds of books. She earned a B.S. in Biology from Bob Jones University, minoring in Mathematics, and a Ph.D. in Molecular Genetics from Ohio State University. Valerie has 15 years of experience working in research laboratories and has coauthored 8 original research articles. She has also taught several classes and laboratories at the high school and college levels. She currently works as a Data Analyst and a freelance writer.