My kids (5 and 7 years old) have their third snow day in a week today. They started telling me corny jokes and jockeying for cartoons at 7:15 AM, so I knew I needed to up my game to make it until bedtime. Oh, and I have to work from home today, too, so entertaining them isn’t an option. So, for my sanity (and yours), here are 8 tips to get parents through yet another snow day…
- Let them stay in PJs. This is the best part about snow days! I thought about doing it myself, but decided to dress a bit more professionally (AKA yoga pants) since I have a conference call later this afternoon. My theory here is that PJs make kids happy, and happy kids = happy parents.
- Make a to do list. Now before you think I’m being a little too Type A, I have to tell you that I had my kids make to do lists on our first snow day last week, and it was incredibly helpful for managing boredom. “Not sure what to do? Kid, go look at your list and find something!” My son’s #1 to do item was “eat bacon,” which, I am sure he would be proud to tell you, he did first thing. My “you must put this on your to do list” request of practicing piano was met with blank stares, however.
- Send them outside. After all, we have a snow day because there’s so much…snow. So put on the boots, snow pants, and mittens, and run around in the white, fluffy stuff. Sled, build a snow person, and jump in the big piles left by the snowplows. Shovel off the deck or front porch. Most of all, burn off some energy.
- Call friends. Entice the kids to stay outside even longer by calling friends to meet-up in your backyard. Or send your kids to a neighbor’s for a few hours in the morning (alone time!), and host all of the kids back at your house in the afternoon. Playdates = kids who don’t need to ask their parents questions every five minutes.
- Impose quiet time. We’re big readers in our house, so I will be sure to put aside time for my kids to be in their rooms—if previous snow days are any indicators, they will need a break from one another—to look at books, read, or color. This “charge your battery” time will give them space to do their own thing, and we’ll all be better for it.
- Watch a movie. This, along with wearing PJs all day, is what my kids are looking forward to doing today. I’ll select something rated G and be very thankful for On Demand television. (My kids’ choice for today is The Nut Job. The Incredibles, Mary Poppins, and Planes: Fire & Rescue have graced our screen on other snow days.)
- Make something. Muffins. Crafts. Legos. Anything. Having them do something with their hands and brains will keep them occupied and make them feel accomplished. Plus, the cookies can go into their lunch boxes tomorrow (and, oh yes, these kids are going back to school tomorrow!).
- Dance Party. Mid-afternoon will find me stepping away from the computer, putting on the kitchen timer (so I remember to get back to work), and turning up the tunes. The kids and I will dance around our living room; my son will show us his breakdancing moves, my daughter will hip hop her away from side of the room to the other. We will all laugh. And they will remember snow days—and their mom—can be fun.
If you live somewhere (Florida? Arizona?) where snow days don’t exist, well, as much as I’m a little bit jealous of all that sunshine, right now, I wouldn’t trade blizzards and below zero temperatures for your tropical locales….though I might rethink that on our next snow day…
What snow day survival tips would you add to this list? Share your ideas in the comments!