Every time I hear the words “snow days” I get nostalgic for my pre-kid days when a snow day meant lounging around the house watching movies and drinking snow-beers. And I can’t help but remember the snow days from when I was a kid, when I would anxiously listen for my schools name to be mentioned on the radio in the listing of school closings. Then the excitement, being quickly squashed by my Dad reminding us that we would have to make up the day at the end of the year.
Now that I’m a parent I can totally understand my Dad’s attitude towards snow days. They are a lot of work when you are a parent. Not only do you have to shovel the snow and clean the car, you likely still have to work and on top of that entertain kids. So yeah, snow days have lost a bit of their luster. But with some preparation snow days can be less of a hassle and still a bit of fun. Here are some snow day tips that work well at my house and hopefully can help you avoid having this kind of snow day.
Before it Snows:
- Check your fridge, make sure you have your necessities and your kids favorite snacks. Quick tip: don’t shop the big grocery stores that will likely be mobbed, hit the convenience store, drug store or local small grocer.
- While at the store make sure to get cookie dough and hot chocolate, both essentials on a snow day. And make sure to pick up a treat for yourself. For me it’s fashion magazines.
- Hit the Red Box or check NetFlix for new releases. Be in the know so when the kids are “so bored” you can say, let’s watch this new movie.
- Find all of your winter gear (hats, gloves, scarves,boots) and put them by the door, that way they are ready to go and you can avoid the search for missing gloves.
- While you’re at the search and recover phase find your snow scraper and snow shovel.
- I regulate certain activities, “rainy day” activities, these include coloring books, paints, Play Doh, kinetic sand, and anything that might be a novelty. You want activities that they don’t play with every day that way they are more likely to want to do them and be distracted from the snow piling up outside the door.
- Stock your liquor cabinet. I like to have on hand the ingredients for a spiked hot chocolate or yummy snow day cocktail. And wine is a must. Plan on one bottle of wine per couple per inch of snow. For beer I go with a 6 pack for every inch forecast.
- Gather ingredients for a warm winter breakfast and make sure to pull out the Bailey’s to throw in your coffee the next day.
- Develop a snow day game plan. I like to make a list of all our possible activities and opportunities to have quiet time. I love being able to stop the words, “I’m bored” in their tracks.
- Place a chair near a window that you can see your yard from. Place a table next to it and add some magazines. This will serve as your watch post for all snow fun. Watch the kids frolic, play and freeze there bottoms off from the comfort and warmth of your home.
- Pour yourself a glass of wine and enjoy the calm before the chaos of the next morning.
- Make note of how your school will contact you to alert you to the snow day, that way there is no confusion in the morning. Better yet see if you can find out before the morning so you know to turn the alarms off.
- Decide on a drop zone for all wet clothes. Place towels and a change of clothes for each child (and adult) nearby.
- Put a note by the snow gear that says, “Did you use the bathroom?” to avoid the need to go once bundled up.
- Remind young children that snow day rules state that you have to take a nap. (Seriously this one works in our house).