You're a good, brave, amazing mom for being willing to bundle everyone up to go out and play for twenty minutes, just to have them come back inside and beg for hot chocolate. This half of the list is for you.
1. Go Sledding. This one is pretty obvious and hardly needs to be pointed out, but it's always the first thing my littles want to do. And if you don't have sleds, in a pinch, old cookie sheets are quite sufficient.
2. Snow Paint: My kids LOVE this. And as long as you have Spray Bottles and Food Coloring on hand, it's free and easy. Make as many colors as you have spray bottles and let them loose in the back yard. You'll have the most colorful yard until it all melts. This would also work if you have a few little water guns hanging around from last summer.
3. Conduct a Science Experiment: This requires indoor and outdoor participation. Test to see how much water is really in snow. All you need is a jar and a ruler and you're done. A fun way to incorporate learning into your play.
4. Let them help you shovel. No, seriously. Get a Snow Shovels for Kids , kids garden trowels or anything resembling a shovel, assign an area and let them go. The big kids will not think this is fun, but the littles, who still get a thrill from helping, will love every bit. I couldn't find our mini snow shovel when the last bit storm hit, so my three year old insisted that I give him the real shovel. And it was hilarious. And he loved every second of it.
You are my kind of mom. You know that after putting twelve layers on the baby, they'll trip going down the steps, the ill fitting mitten will fall off, their hand will touch snow and THEY WILL BE DONE. You have no qualms about just taking the whining and keeping them inside all day.
1. Window Painting. No, I'm not suggesting you let your kids loose with paint in the house. I am suggesting you squirt said paint into a zip lock bag and then hang it on a window. It is a surprisingly entertaining activity for big kids too.
2. Homemade play dough. There are a million recipes for play dough out there. I've linked to a couple, but I prefer the non cook ones, just because I'm lazy.
3. Sensory Bottles: I love these things. Everyone loves these things. There are so many variations that you can make, they never get old. I do try and keep them put away and then pull them out as boredom busters when necessary. That way they stay very exciting. One quick tip: don't use flimsy water bottles. They will break really easily and then you'll have blue corn syrup everywhere. Don't ask me how I know this.
4. Indoor Snow Painting: Okay, so the snow paint sounds fun, but you don't have a spray bottle or you just don't want to go outside? Gather up a bunch of snow in a large Tupperware bin and pull out the paint brushes. You can use tempera paint or just water and food coloring, but it has the same effect without the frost bite.
Hope that helps make your snow day a little bit easier to take. And that spring gets here finally! Good Luck!