Snow days can be just as over whelming as they are wonderful. What starts off as, “Yay! We have the whole day off!” can quickly turn into, “Mom, I am so bored,” or, “Mom, he’s looking at me!”
What every busy mom needs is a plan of action. Or, put better, a plan of FUN! So below is an easy and very loose schedule with some fun activities using things you hopefully have in the house.
Start the day with a pancake breakfast. I love to buy the big bag of Krusteez Pancake mix from Costco. A trick I have learned to make them fluffier and thicker is to swap some of the water for milk. If the batch you are making calls for 2 cups of water I will swap ½ a cup of it for milk and add in one tablespoon of vanilla extract. Get the children involved in making the batter. One can be the scooper, one can be the mixer, and if you have fresh strawberries or bananas one can slice the berries with a plastic knife. Having pancakes on a snow day is great because pancakes on what should be a school day just doesn’t happen in my house. Top with butter and syrup or fresh fruit and whipped cream.
Next, it is time for a morning movie. The children can pick the DVD of their choice (preferably a long one), and pajamas, teddy bears, and blankets are a necessity.
I love the $5 rack of DVD’s at Target. There are many great movies that have been made that children today don’t even know about. As a teacher I can honestly recommend some tried and true winners. All are available on Amazon and are a great alternative to watching Frozen for the hundredth time.
- A Little Princess
- Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (with Gene Wilder!)
- The Secret Garden
- The Sandlot
- James and the Giant Peach
- The Tale of Desperaux
- Peter Pan (2003 edition staring Jason Isaacs as Captain Hook and Mr. Darling)
- Nanny McPhee
- The Wizard of Oz
- Because of Winn Dixie (Dave Mathews is great eye candy for mom)
- The Princess Bride
- The Never Ending Story
- Baby’s Day Out
- And finally, Mary Poppins
After a quick lunch of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches or Annie’s Mac & Cheese, (It’s a snow day. Easy is the rule of the day.) it’s time to go outside. Snowballs, snow angles, and forts are ready for the making. If you have a teenager send him or her out to snow blow the driveway or help dig out the car.
Things to keep in mind:
*Everyone MUST go to the bathroom before putting on snow suits.
*A tissue needs to be shoved into coat pockets. Cold air means runny noses.
*Snow piles created by snow plows are totally big enough for little ones to slide down on a sled.
*Absolutely, under no circumstances, are children allowed to dig a cave into a giant snow mound.
To make playing in the snow more fun fill a spray bottle with water colored with food dye. Little ones can paint the snow while you are shoveling. If you have two water bottles make a red and a blue so the children can double spray and make purple!
After snow play is the mandatory cups of hot chocolate. Any brand of hot chocolate will do. I like to fill the cups ½ full with hot water to dissolve the chocolate and then add cold milk to cool the cups down so the kids don’t have to whine that it is too hot or risk burning their mouths. Of course, marshmallows, whipped cream, and a dusting of cocoa powder make the hot chocolate seem all the more magical.
Around this time the children are ready for some quiet time. This is when I send each child to their own room to read books for about an hour. It will also give me a chance to clean up the kitchen and have a cup of tea. The bribery to get the children to do this is the promise of video games after quiet time. When Casey was too young to read but too old for a nap I used to insist on quiet time. This was simply him, in his room, playing quietly with toys. He’d play with Legos or his action figures, look at his books, or more often, look at the new Lego catalogs of all the things he wanted to get. I am a huge believer in children knowing how to self entertain.
Since it is a snow day, I will let the kids play video games for about two hours. I know a lot of moms will say that is too long, but as long as they got exercise outside, did a little reading, and have eaten lunch, why not let them have fun.
Other Activities to Fill the Day:
Board Games ~ Uno, Spot It, Trouble, Chutes and Ladders, and Scrabble
Make a movie ~ Let the kids dress up and make their own movie so when Dad gets home from work he can see what they did. I suggest putting your camera on a tripod so the children aren’t picking it up and possibly dropping it. Or let them make their own music video that they can share with grandma and extended family.
Arts & Crafts ~ If you are brave enough, you can let them paint with water colors. I admit I am not a “painting” kind of mom. I prefer Play dough. Yes, it crumbles and falls on the floor, but it will dry rock hard in about an hour and then can be swept up easily. I am all about the easy.
Build a Fort in the Living Room ~ Pull out the sofa cushions for walls, grab blankets for the roof, and turn chairs around to add structural support. Draw the blinds, turn off the lights and add flashlights to make it even better. The only rule is that everyone has to help put the room back together when play is done.
Bake Cookies ~ Just like the pancakes, assign tasks to different children and make a batch of your favorite cookies.
Roast Marshmallows ~ If you are lucky enough to have a fire place then it is time to pull out the left over marshmallows, graham crackers and chocolate and toast them over the hearth. Even if the chocolate and graham crackers are long gone toasted marshmallows all by them selves are still yummy and fun to make.
This one is a no brainer! It is time to call the Pizza Deliver Guy and have him bring a hot pizza, bread sticks, and a big salad to your front door. It’s been a long day and it is time for mom to relax!
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