Friday, January 21, 2011

Can I survive another snow day?

The cries of mommy defeat resound loudly throughout the social media News Feed. "What?! Another snow day?"  "This is ridiculous?" "What are we going to do now!?"

We are tea-partied out, and having my own two here for 4 out of 5 days this week is enough. I don't want Hannah, Carly, Zak and Cody here all day again also. So now what?  Here are my top seven favorite ideas to beat the boredom:

1) Get outside! Sure, this may seem like the obvious one, but try taking your little ones out with a shovel and spend a couple of minutes helping out a neighbor with their shoveling.  You can even have your littlest one help by scattering some rock salt (provided yours is not the kind who will eat it- mine is, so that is out)

2) Build a blanket fort - get out lots of lightweight blankets and/or sheets and start creating.  I find that using clothespins helps to get the thing to stay put.  We have had ours up for the last two days, and it provides a great distraction.  You can play pirate ship, space ship, or bear cave. Lots of fun!

3) Make a music video.  Pull out the camcorder, and set up a stage.  Get your little ones dancing and singing, then watch it back with them.

4) Feed the birds!  Pinecone and peanut butter bird feeders are a classic, and give you the chance to get back outside again to hang them up.  Even though there are not a lot of birds who stick around in the winter, the little guys who do will appreciate it.

5) Start cooking.  Kids love to be in the kitchen.  Choose something easy.  I like Pot Roast because once the chopping is done, it is fun for kids to throw the ingredients in.  I will share an easy pot roast recipe here.  Then work on a salad. And then brownies for dessert.

6) Do your chores - together.  I am consistently guilty of taking a snow day, myself, from doing things around the house.  Yes, it is much harder to get things done with the little ones underfoot, but try to pull them into "grown-up" tasks like laundry, cleaning the bathroom, mopping the floor.  They will be thrilled with the challenge and feel quite important.  Just be prepared to accept that the job might not be done as "perfectly" as you would do it yourself. And also, be sure that you don't let them handle harsh chemicals - vinegar and water is a safe choice.

7) Find out what is open.  Since school around here shuts down at the first sign of a flake, the road conditions are fine and we can get out of the house to have an activity.  Check out your local indoor swimming spot, bounce house place or even the library.  In fact, your local library may have free passes to some of the museums around.  When you live in an area that has access to daily deals like Groupon ( or Living Social (, you can stock up discounted admission to some of the fun local activities.  Be on the lookout! If all else fails, try the play land at your favorite fast food place or stop by the pet store to visit with a puppy.

If you manage to survive the day, get dinner on the table nice and early, and wind them down with a good, hot bubble bath.  Once the kiddos are in bed, it will probably be time to tidy up the gigantic disaster that has become your house, and then you might even have a little time to yourself.  Maybe to surf the web, and say, look for real estate in Florida??

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