With just a little prep, these easy indoor and outdoor snow-day activities become something special—and still stress free.

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little girl and her mom making Christmas decorations together
Credit: AleksandarNakic/Getty Images

Winter temperatures plus the probability of snowstorms equals more time spent indoors from December until March. But winter's depressing equation doesn't need to average out to everyone spending more time staring at screens for hours on end.

Instead, give kids the opportunity to get creative and put down the iPad with one of these fun snow-day activities. Not only are they perfect for days when it's icy outside, but with a little prep, they will put zero (seriously, zero) added stress on you.

Bring Out the Beads

Crafting during an ice storm is one screen-time alternative that gives and gives again. But crafty entertainment doesn't have to be complicated. Case in point: Perler beads. These tiny heat-fusible beads come in an array of colors meant to be arranged on a pegboard to create everything from coasters to woodland creatures. Kids can pick a pattern, place their beads on the pegboard, then an adult can fuse the beads using an iron to create a one-of-a-kind plastic design. This kit is one of our favorites because it has everything you need for less than $15: 6000 assorted beads, 5 pegboards, 1 sheet of reusable ironing paper, and easy to follow instructions.

Print Snow-Day Stickers

All you need: A Cricut machine

If coloring pages have become a bit ho-hum in your house, it's time to invest in a Cricut machine. This easy-to-use die cutting machine lets you print loads of crafty projects using templates in an online Design Space studio. One project older kids will enjoy in particular is creating their own stickers out of cut vinyl. After the snow day is over, they'll have little mementos to stick all over their phone and notebooks. (Admittedly, this requires extra materials, but if you're a Cricut owner, you are likely stocked!)

Build a Snowman Suitable for Instagram

All you need: A snowman kit

When a snow day comes around, it is often like Christmas morning all over again for the kiddos. So first things first: turn off the cartoons, lace up their rainbow galoshes, and get outside. We love the idea of having a snowman kit on hand (this one from Target's Hearth & Hand with Magnolia) for any chance of a snow day. This way, the kids will have everything (including snow) to make their snow day snowman at home.

Hit the Slopes (AKA Streets)

All you need: Inner tubes and an air pump

On the night of the anticipated snowfall, have your air pump from pool parties of summer past handy. Pre-inflating your snow tubes guarantees the kids will spend hours outside sledding and sloshing about. We love this Sonic Snow Tube from LL. Bean.

Host an Epic Snowball Fight

All you need: Snowball Maker Tools

Sleds and snowmen aside, hosting a friendly snowball fight in your backyard for all the neighborhood kids is another way to escape the screens and spend more time outdoors. Snag these Snowball Maker Tools to make things even more fun. After the snowball fire has ceased, treat the troops to warm cocoa with a few extra marshmallows—it is a snow day after all.

Assemble an Icebox Cake

All you need: Whipped cream and wafer cookies

Once the outdoor fun is done, hit the kitchen to whip up an easy (and no-bake) icebox cake. This two-ingredient cake recipe will tempt your taste buds, but not your culinary skills since all it calls for is heavy whipped cream and wafer cookies. Surely, the kids will tell their teachers all about the snow day icebox cake. Need a recipe? We are salivating at the blog, Culinary Hill's Icebox Cake Recipe.