Last night I looked at the weather app on my phone and saw the first snowflakes of the season — an 80 percent chance of flurries. As the Starks say, "Winter Is Coming." I have to start making some plans. I need to find a company to plow my very long, steep driveway. I need to pick up a few extra pairs of gloves because my kids are constantly losing them. I need to think of some activities to do with kids on a snow day, because, 'round these parts, snow days are an accepted fact of life.
But hey, it's OK: snow days are awesome. Like... so unbelievably awesome. What could be better than emailing your boss at 6:45 a.m. to say you can't come into work because someone has to stay home with your children, and then spending all day long at home entertaining them with no substantial notice that this, for better or worse and regardless of your plans, is how you were going to be spending your day? I certainly can't think of anything! LOL! Snow days! So magical. So awesome.
So what are the activities that will best allow you to take advantage of this blessed gift from the weather gods? The possibilities are endless, but here are a few to get your creative juices flowing:
What else is a snow day for? All it takes is 27 hours to dress your children in their snow gear and you're set. ("No, one finger goes in each finger of the glove. OK, try again, buddy. Nope, you just put two fingers in one again. Look, hold up your hand and spread your fingers. See? There are five. They line up perfectly with the fingers of the glove. This is not complicated.")
Your kids will love it, and you'll love sitting cozy and warm inside with a nice cup of tea with a book, looking up from time to time in order to gaze lovingly out the window to see your little ones frolic joyfully through the yard.
This is totally how it'll happen. Because you definitely have a yard. Obviously! And your kids are certainly not going to complain within the first three seconds of being outside because some snow got up their sleeve. And then they won't call you every three seconds because their sister threw a snowball at them. They also won't complain it's cold and ask to come in within five minutes. They will not leave a massive pile of wet clothing by the door.
Snow days. So magical.
Make Hot Coco
Hot coco on a snowy day: what could make more sense? I really cannot stress what a great idea it is to give your kid lots of sugar on a day when they're going to be in the house with you all day.
Hey, throw in some sugary marshmallows on there,for some extra snow day fun! Whee!
Arts & Crafts
Arts and crafts projects are a great way to make the hours fly by on a snow day. Not only do all kids want to sit down for an organized activity at home like they do at school, but you will certainly have all the necessary supplies on hand.
And — BONUS! — the subsequent mess will give you and your children something to do if you wind up having two snow days in a row. What child doesn't love vacuuming spilled glitter and chiseling dried finger paint off the kitchen walls?
Baking with children is so soothing. There's nothing like the tinkling, ear-piercing shrieks of hearing them argue about who gets to crack the egg in the batter or the fun of fishing eggshells out of said batter. And, as with crafts, you'll obviously have all ingredients on hand in your well-stocked chef's pantry.
And let's not forget about making sure they have a steady stream of sugar throughout the cooped-up day during which you cannot escape them. Extra chocolate chips anyone?
Make Maple Syrup Snow Candy
I first read about maple snow candy in Little House in the Big Woods. (Another culinary delight found in that book? Roasted pig's tail: that one is harder to come by, though.) So I thought "Kids today simply adore entertainment from the 1800s Midwest! They loved that ball made out of a pig's bladder*" and began to research how to make maple candy with snow.
Step 1: Place a packed layer of snow onto a baking sheet.
Step 2: Bring maple syrup to a boil on the stove to 240° (Awesome: what could possibly go wrong when you have giddy, sugared up children and an open container of boiling liquid in close proximity to one another?)
Step 3: Pour syrup over the snow (Yep: nothing at all could go awry in this scenario. Absolutely no one could possibly be scalded.)
Step 4: Use a Popsicle stick to roll the candy into a maple lollipop
It's delicious, the kids will love it and, of course, it plays well with my personal belief that snowbound children should be as well-sugared as possible.
*also inspired by the work of Laura Ingalls Wilder
Construct Pillow Forts
I don't know about you, but the only thing I love more than unfolding and dirtying every linen and pillow in my house is constantly rebuilding the fort I've constructed when my children inevitably knock it down. In a way, it's a lot like Tibetan sand painting: you know it's ridiculously ephemeral, but you do it anyway for reasons both personal and spiritual.
You guys, snow days are the best ever.
Microwave Mug Cakes
Make Indoor Snow Castles
Yeah, this is an actual thing I read about on a couple lists of what to do with your children on a snow day. Some individual is actually advocating you bring a whole lot of snow inside your home and place it either in a kiddie pool or your bathtub and let your kids play as though they were playing in a sandbox! Wow! So whimsical and fun!
Transporting the snow into your home shouldn't be difficult. You just need to make several trips into the home with shovels full of snow, walk through the house or apartment without spilling any as your children excitedly run around you feet (because you're bringing snow into the house!) and then put it in the receptacle of your choice. This will not create a wet, soggy mess in a mater of minutes. This is not the most ridiculous goddamn thing I've ever heard in my life.
Turn On The TV In The Morning & Do Not Turn It Off All Damn Day Long
Because, girl, let's be honest: life ain't Instagram. There are no filters to make things cute or fun. Snow days are about survival, so you do what you have to do to get these little monsters (and yourself) through the day.
Literally Hide From Your Children
They're. Not. Supposed. To. Be. Here.
If you work outside of the home, you're not supposed to be here. If you're a stay-at-home mom this is crucial time where you get everything done. If you're a work-from-home mom may God have mercy on your soul. No matter who you are, this snow day has royally screwed you over.
Why has the school done this to you? You've done nothing to them! You even bought that stupid overpriced wrapping paper at the last fundraiser and volunteered at the Book Fair.
Hide, woman. Under a desk, in a closet, or behind the washing machine in the basement. This isn't on you and you shouldn't have to deal with it. Let them fend for themselves. They'll probably be fine.
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