How to Have a Perfect Snow Day

snow day art

Is the world outside icy cold and covered in the fluffy white stuff? That’s “snow” excuse for staying indoors! 

Adapted from activities created by Fiona Danks and Jo Schofield; art by Debbie Palen

Picture this: You open the curtains in the morning to find a winter wonderland outside. It must have snowed overnight!

You put on your warmest clothes and rush outside to make the very first  footprints. Crunch, crunch. Then you stop, stand still, and enjoy the special snowy silence. You have a whole snow day ahead of you! Here are some ideas to get you started.

snowy day art

Track Wildlife in Your Yard

Whenever a wild animal passes through your yard, it may leave behind clues that it was there: tracks (footprints), traces of a meal, or even scat (animal poop). All those clues are easier to spot in snow! So, head out into your yard or a park. Take a camera, a notebook, and a ruler. Observe and measure what you find. Are the tracks deep or shallow? How big are they? What shape are they? Where are they coming from and going to? Record what you find, then go home to look up your findings in a guidebook or on the internet.

snowy day art

Prep for an Epic Snowball Fight

• Pack snow tightly into plastic storage boxes to make bricks. Tip them out of the box and line up several bricks end to end.
• Add a second layer of snow bricks on top of the first, centering each brick in the second layer on the gap between two bricks in the first layer.
• Continue adding more layers of snow bricks until you have a low wall that is tall enough to crouch behind.
• Repeat the steps to build a second wall that’s 15 to 20 feet away.
• Round up a few friends, claim a side, and start making snowballs. Time for a snowball fight!

Play Snow Golf

Push a medium-sized bowl into the snow nine times, several feet apart, to make a circular course. Stand beside the first hole and see if you can throw a snowball from there into the second one. If you make it, move on to the next one, and so on, around the course. When you miss a toss, the next player gets a turn. The first person to make it all the way around the course is the winner.

snowy day art

Decorate a Tree with Snowballs

Find several small twigs and tie a piece of string around each twig. Then pack a small snowball around each twig. Now it’s time to decorate!
• Fill some spray bottles with cold water and add a few drops of food coloring to each one. Put one of your snowballs in a bowl, then spray with color. Repeat with different colors.
• Collect dried leaves, seeds, acorns, berries, and other natural bits. Poke them into your snowballs.
• Once your snowballs are decorated, hang them from the branches of a tree.

snowy day art

Make Snow Creatures

Why does everyone always build snowMEN? Why not snowBIRDS or snowBUNNIES or snowSPIDERS? On a snowy day, find a few sticks, stones, and dried leaves and let your imagination run  wild!

Dried leaves make good rabbit or fox ears. Acorns, seeds, or berries make good eyes and noses. And sticks work well as legs, antlers, or hedgehog spines.

Pack snow into a rounded “body”  shape. Then fill in the details with extra snow and the natural items you gathered.

Make a Snow Slushy

Had your fill of hot cocoa? Try something cooler!
• Defrost some frozen berries.
• Go outside and collect a bowl of clean, freshly fallen snow. Gently mix the snow with the berries, a little bit of sugar, and some cream or fruit juice.
• Decorate with sprinkles, grated coconut, or chopped nuts.

Excerpted from The Wild Weather Book by Fiona Danks and Jo Schofield (Frances Lincoln, 2013). For more outdoor activities, visit the authors’ website at