It’s coming. You know it will happen any day now. One of these days the forecast will call for snow or ice. You will wake up the next morning to discover the world is covered in white fluffy stuff and your children have a SNOW DAY! AAAAHHHHH!!!!!!!!
You know, even if we get no snow at all this year, the schools will close at some point because the threat of snow was high or there was enough freezing rain to cause problems for some areas. You may as well be prepared to spend one or more days with your children and possibly without power.
For my family, a snow day runs mostly like any other day. If the daddy of the house is also snowed in, then things go a lot smoother and easier for me. He either teaches or takes on the other tasks, and that is nice. If Hubby is not snowed in, we try to have him go into work late so he can play with the kids in the morning when there is still snow on the ground. That makes for a lot of mess and laundry. Otherwise it’s life as normal.
So, I don’t have the full Snow Day experience. However, I feel your pain. I see your worried faces in the grocery store as you buy toilet paper, milk, bottled water and chips. I see the comments on Facebook longing for schools to reopen. I’ll be honest, sometimes it’s downright scary.
Seven years of homeschooling (aka spending nearly every hour of nearly every day with all of my children) has allowed me to develop some coping mechanisms. I have a few suggestions on how to survive your child’s next Snow Day.
With freezing temperatures and snow on the ground there are lots of opportunities for fun outside:
If the temps drop below 0, throw a cup of boiling water into the air, see what happens.
Blow bubbles from cold bubble solution in freezing weather.
Catch snowflakes on black construction paper and look at them under a magnifying glass.
The stars are magnificent in cold, clear weather, especially if everyone has lost power.
Use plastic shoe boxes to mold snow into bricks and build a fort or igloo. Since we don’t always get a lot of snow, we use a child’s table for the roof of our igloo.
Build two forts, throwing width apart, and have a snowball fight.
Build a snow man or a whole army of little snowmen.
Trash can lids and plastic trash bags make pretty good sleds.
Don’t forget to make snow angels.
Eventually, everyone is too cold to play outside anymore, or the sun comes up and turns all that pretty snow into muddy slush. That’s when you have to really get creative. Here are some suggestions:
Read aloud as a family.
Put together a puzzle.
Build a tent in the living room from sheets and blankets and sleep there overnight.
Bake cookies from scratch (there are plenty of easy recipes online.)
Have the children place their favorite characters in a new adventure and act it out for you. While they are getting their play together, you will wait patiently in the living room with a cup of coffee and your newspaper. Now, don’t pressure them to hurry up, they will need plenty of time to get things just so.
Play What IF? One person makes a statement like, “What if the world were run by the family pet?” Each person comes up with a suggestion as to what that would look like.
Play Complete the Story. One person starts the story and at a crucial point stops and the next person picks up where the first left off.
Play Pictionary or Charades.
Let your children bring all of their blocks into the living room and sit down and play with them. If you have enough blocks, build a whole village or a fleet of vehicles.
Get out your nicest dishes and have a tea party.
Let your daughter play with your hair. I hate this, my daughters love it.
Make your own craft clay and use it to make ornaments.
Plan an imaginary trip someplace fun. Or, plan a real trip. Let your kids do the research.
Plan and cook a gourmet meal, or roast hot dogs over the fire in your fireplace.
Try to do one thing your child is always asking you to do with them. One of my children is always asking me to color with her. Another wants to help me bake cookies. Another would like to play Wii with me and his dad. These are things I can’t do all the time, but on a day we are all “stuck” at home, I think I can find time to do some small, special thing with each of my children.
This year my family will celebrate the first snow fall. I am making a Snow Day Celebration Kit. It will include a bag of ready-to-pop kettle corn, hot cocoa mix, color your own mugs, white paper for making snowflakes, spray bottles and food coloring for snow painting, soup mix, a new movie, a ruler to measure the snow accumulation, and small snow toys. (Sand castle toys would work or a snow man kit with a plastic carrot, scarf, and two plastic balls for eyes.) All of this will go in a wrapped cardboard box. Whenever the first snowfall hits, we will be ready to go play in the snow and then come in from the cold and warm up with hot cocoa and soup.
If we plan ahead and have some fun ideas in our toolbox, these infrequent snow days can become the stuff memories are made from. In fact, you just might find yourself really looking forward to your next Snow Day.
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!