The other day, while sitting at my desk staring out the window pondering the polar-vortex-snowmageddon-bomb-cyclone-whatever-you-call-it, I start thinking about how incredible snow days used to be.
From daycare days through college, there was no greater feeling than listening to the weather man report on impending snow fall. I'd study the steady release of school cancellations on the television, waiting patiently for my district's decision. For children, seeing the words "cancelled" next to your school's name is equivalent to winning the lottery.
Now that I’m older, snow day activities have changed quite a bit (bottoms up!). But as a kid, there was nothing better than dragging out my beloved sled, and playing outside all day before coming in for hot chocolate.
Whether you want to surprise your kids with a post-holiday gift, or keep them out of your hair during your own snow day, here's a list of sleds and snow toys every kid (and adult) absolutely needs to enjoy this winter.
We’ll start with the non-sleds, then work our way into the GOATs of snow days.
1. This simple snowman kit to bring Frosty to life
In my family, we’d get a baseball bat and a baseball helmet to put with our homemade snowman, but for those looking for the classic look, this 16-piece kit is the winner.
It’s got a top hat, button eyes, a button smile, carrot nose, pipe, scarf and buttons (magic to bring it to life not included but hopefully supplied by you).
2. A waterproof pigskin for the neighborhood snow football clash
There is no way to have a snow day without a snow football game. Trace out the lines with your boots, layer up in winter gear and smash away at your friends for hours on end.
But instead of having a soggy football after the first quarter, get a waterproof one that’ll last the whole game and the whole season. It’s got sponge-rubber coating, so it’ll also last longer on pavement and in all conditions.
I got one as a gift in middle school and still have it virtually good as new 10 years later.
3. A snowball maker that will keep your gloves dry
Bottomline, gloves are going to get wet. There’s no doubt about it. But there is a way to prolong that.
This snowball maker can help you stock up in your snow fort with minimal digging through the snow, grabbing, packing and rounding it off just right — it does that all for you. It also works in the sand and mud, though parents may want to leave that part out.
4. A snow coloring kit to bring out your inner artist
Snow usually comes in three colors, pure white, brown with mud or yellow (no explanation needed).
With this snow coloring kit, you can trick your snow out to be plenty of different colors thanks to color tablets that are easy to mix and put into the provided squirt bottles.
But even better, there’s a brick maker too so you can build a snow fort then paint it however you want and it’s perfect for kids who are artistic and looking for some fun.
5. A snow penguin maker
It looks and feels like the Arctic during a snow day, but to go one step further, you can actually make snow penguins to bring in some Arctic wildlife.
This easy two-piece plastic penguin mold can build a colony of penguins in a short time to stand guard outside your house or snowfort. They’d also make great snowball targets.
6. A classic saucer sled
Get some sled wax and lube up this saucer like Clark Griswold to speed down the hill.
This durable sled is basic with the saucer and rope handles to hold on and is made of powdered metal for speed and long life.
I like this one for its durability and the ability to create a little spin or movement while you’re going down the hill.
7. A toddler sled for their first snow day
Everyone should get to enjoy the snow, from kids to adults and this toddler sled is perfect for small slopes and more.
It’s made of durable plastic with a high back and straps to make sure the rider goes nowhere, plus also has a rope to pull it so parents can tow their toddler around.
8. A flexible flyer for serious sledders
In any photo of sledding throughout history, there’s almost always a sled that looks like this. A well-built, tough, old-school flyer will always be a go-to for families all over the world.
It’s for serious sledders, with a tough birch wood and powder-coated steel runners for speed. There are two sets of knees for support and it’s recommended for sledders age 5 and up.
9. A foam sled with two seats so you can bring a friend
This one is a personal favorite of mine for its versatility. It’s a light foam sled with a slick bottom, so it moves and there are two handles to put multiple people on it.
I like it because it can move in deep snow and create that perfect path you need, plus you can lie, sit, kneel or even get adventurous and stand on it.
10. A snow tube
Another sledding classic is the inflatable tube. Sometimes they pop and sometimes they’re not as pumped-up as you’d like, but when they’re used right, there’s not a lot better.
The A-DUDU tube is huge, allowing for kids and adults to enjoy and is made of high-quality material so it’ll last against scratches, wear and even temperature. It’ll even inflate with a hair dryer in about a minute with it’s large inflatable mouth.
11. The classic toboggan (my personal favorite)
When I was younger, my dad got our family a bright red wooden toboggan. Over 10 years later, that thing doesn’t have a scratch on it and still flies.
The toboggan is my favorite because it’s a perfect mix of speed, comfort and it’ll fit the whole family. This one is 6-feet long and is suitable for four riders.
Just make sure you’re not the one who has to pull it back up the hill!