Photo Credit: KDKA


On a snow day, there are heaps of activities that can be done both inside and outside of the home. If the weather becomes cold and frightful, then gather some items from the home and dabble into some inside activities that are educational. If there is a chance of heading outside, bundle up the kids and experience the winter season. With a little bit of imagination and creativity, parents can keep the kids entertained and the snow day may turn out to be more than expected and much better than watching TV or engaging in non-stop Internet activities.
Meagan Quail
Program Coordinator
Township of Pine- Pine Community Center
100 Pine Park Drive
Wexford, PA 15090
(724) 625-1636
www.twp.pine.pa.us/communitycenter

When it comes to finding importance in the community and the passion, dedication and enjoyment of working with the younger kids, Meagan Quail is a perfect fit for youth programs. In 2012, she procured a degree in Recreation Management from Lock Haven University. Previously, she was an intern at the Pine Community Center in 2010, which led to her present job there. She was responsible for starting the Little Explorers and Outdoor Education programs at the Pine Community Center. A summer internship in State College, Pennsylvania, for the Centre Region Parks and Recreation and the ensuing five townships was a valuable learning experience working with youth programs and building a successful career at the Pine Community Center. Here are five options she provides for snow day activities with the kids.

Muck-N-Mess

Kids will have a blast getting their hands filled with the gooey feeling of all kinds of things that become squirmy and messy. This is the time parents can join the action and just forget about what kind of mess will be all over the kitchen and have some fun. All it takes is to gather some Play-Doh, kitchen or slippery, slimy products and make a favorite messy recipe or create art work. Find household objects or a storage bin and use water, sand, rocks, toys and sponges and you have a scientific experiment through sensory exploration. Be sure to dress accordingly as the mess will be everywhere, and the kids will love to be messy in the house. The tactile sensations are the perfect expressions for a worthwhile educational experience.

Make A Meal

It’s lunch time and the kids are hungry. Parents may use that time to explore ways to involve the kids in planning a meal, and at the same time, make the list of ingredients a unique learning experience. Make some sandwiches and cut the bread into various shapes. The planning of a dessert or favorite dips can be so much fun for kids. Use the various cutting shapes from the kitchen utensils and add a mathematical equation to the meal planning procedure.

Scavenger Hunt

What a great time to find all the missing objects or clothes that were left around the house. Hide the objects, utensils and toys and give the kids a list to give them an idea of what to look for, and then cross off the object when it’s found. Set a time limit and keep track of each child’s progress. Repeat with a new list each time and when an item is found, the kids will have to do an assigned task, such as dancing, exercise or mimicking their favorite animal.

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Supplies And Building

Create and build things that are found in the home, and with a little imagination, a wonderful structure will be made with pride and determination. Assemble the items in a safe atmosphere and work together to plan an architectural masterpiece. Bring out the blankets, pillows, brooms, cardboard boxes, chairs and anything that may make an award-winning fort or castle. Parents can help with the planning process for ideas and items that may be used. After completion, the kids will have to describe the building, what steps made it work and the shapes that were utilized.

Games And Activities

Parents can make an activity cube from large, foam dice or a cardboard box. The kids have a numbered list that is aligned with the numbers on the dice or box and whatever number that is shown, they have to perform a task that coincides with an activity list from the parents. The list may be exercises, tasks, dances, novelty skills or funny antics. Exchange places and watch the action turn into a fun-filled bonding experience.

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Gerry Cernicky is a retired health and physical education teacher with 36 years of experience. He is a former teacher of the year and a sports writer for the Vandergrift News. He delivers podcasts, and maintains a website and blog. He currently resides in Pittsburgh. His work can be found at Examiner.com.
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