Did you know that fresh air is healthy - even in the winter? Outdoor play in the colder months is fun, benefits the social-emotional and physical development in kids, boosts the immune system and promotes wellness overall. 

#PLAYROCSATHOME was introduced last May to remind families about the importance of play during this time. We have collaborated with the City of Rochester, WXXI Kids, Rochester Public Library, Generation 2, IBERO and the Strong National Museum of Play to introduce the winter version of #PLAYROCSATHOME - Snow Much Fun! During the winter break (February 15-19), we challenge you to post a photo or video on social media of how you and your family are playing at home and tag @HealthiKids or #snowmuchfun. Check out some cool winter activity ideas below. Join the challenge for a chance to win prizes!

Snow Painting
This is a cool, inexpensive & minimal prep-time activity for all ages, toddlers included.

Supplies: Spray bottles/ Squirt bottles (recommend for younger kids), food coloring.

Mix about 6 drops of food coloring in 1 cup of water. Fill the spray bottles with warm water, mix food color. Then go out & play! 

Snow Gems
Supplies: a bag of small balloons, food coloring & water

  1. Fill balloons up with tap water like you would a water balloon--make it between the size of an avocado and a small grapefruit.
  2. Squirt in food coloring. Be generous (a BIG squirt). TIP: Don't shake or mix--that way you get clear and colored parts that look incredible.
  3. Freeze either outside (weather permitting) or in your freezer overnight.
  4. Peel off the outer latex and look over your amazing snow gems.
  5. Fast as you can, load all your lovelies in a plastic shopping bag and take them outside to play all sorts of cool games with them before they melt. They can be fairy gems to hide from the mean troll, cosmic space gems for wee aliens, or superpower gems you better not let the bad guys get ahold of. To name a few. Or just let them adorn your igloo and snow fort!

Snow gems are beautiful to look at in the sun, weather permitting, can last a few days outside and kids can use their imagination to play with these. Handle with gloves that can be discarded.

Love Yourself, Love Others Activity Bag

All you need is love! With a side of play and exploration, of course. The Central Library of Rochester & Monroe County NY wants you to spread the love with this month’s Love Yourself Take Home Activity Bag. The February bag includes hot chocolate and popcorn, a snowflake craft, a deck of playing cards & game ideas, meditation cards to help kids relax and calm their minds, and more! Call to get this month’s Activity Bag through Central Library’s Curbside Pickup at 585-428-7300 Option #3. Best for ages 5 and up. 

Winter Reading Challenge

Reading is SNOW much Fun!

A Cool Winter Reading Adventure Awaits!  The Rochester Public Library challenges “chill”-dren of all ages to snuggle up with a good book and read this winter. It’s “snow” easy to register at http://roclibrary.ny05.readsquared.com/ to log in your reading to earn points, go on cool adventures to get special badges, and be entered to win other slick prizes! For more information, please call the Children’s Center at 585-428-8150.


Exploring Water with Ice Towers                  Observing Ice Painting                                   

What Makes Ice Melt Experiment                  Sink or Float? The Ice Block Test

Nature Ice Boats                                             Animal Track Cards 

Sounds Around                                               Snow Tissue Art                                   

Slime & Playdough Recipes                          Valentine's Day Friendship Bracelet

Winter Bingo                                                   Making Homemade Snow                          

Winter Scavenger Hunt                                  Oobleck Recipe

Winter Themed Sensory Bottle                     Rochester Toy Library                                 

Central Library

Other PlayROCs Approved Active Play at Home Resources

Playworks: www.playworks.org

Kaboom Pinterest Page: www.pinterest.com/kaboomplay

Funology: www.funology.com

Genius of Play: www.thegeniusofplay.org

The Strong Museum of Play: www.museumofplay.org

WXXI Education: www.wxxi.org/education/parents

Generation 2 (G2) Please Play Campaign: www.g2rochester.org/please-play-campaign