Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Surviving a Snow Day

All the news shows are talking about the blizzard quickly making its way to Chicago. Stores are overrun with people stocking up on snow shovels, food, and rum (that last one is for the parents anticipating a snow day). But people, this is Chicago. We get snow. It happens every year. And even if the news folks give it a catchy name like “Snowpocalypse ‘11”, it’s still just snow. Relax.

The only people who should be freaking out and running around in circles, screaming hysterically, limbs flailing, are the parents facing the inevitable snow day. But never fear, here are some helpful ideas for surviving a snow day with your kids.

1. Throw them outside. Fresh air and exercise are good for kids. They can build a snow gargoyle at the end of your drive to scare away the plows that would otherwise pile the snow in your driveway. And while they’re out there, have them shovel the sidewalks. It’s not child labor if you pay them in hot chocolate.

2. Make hot chocolate so the kids can complain it’s too hot, eat the marshmallows, then leave their still-full cups in a sticky mess on the table.

3. Go to the beach. Spread some beach towels out on your floor, then arrange all your lamps around the room. Play an ocean waves soundtrack, don shorts and shades, and kick back and pretend you’re in Aruba. If you’re really brave, you can put down a sheet and let the kids build castles with Moon Sand. If you go with the Moon Sand option, you might want to hire someone to bring you drinks with little paper umbrellas.

4. Practice math flash cards with your kids to help you remember why you never want to homeschool.

5. Write a strongly worded letter to Bill Nye the Science Guy questioning his ideas about Global Warming.

6. Pitch a tent in the living room and let the kids camp out (or um, in). Make microwave s’mores and tell spooky stories around a flashlight “fire”. Or, if you don’t have a tent, set up a card table and drape blankets over it to make a cool fort.

7. Play CandyLand until you want to do bodily harm to Plumpy of the Gingerbread Plum Trees.

8. Go on Facebook and have a “poke war” with your teens. Or, better yet, write mushy, I love you notes all over your teen’s wall. Make sure you use lots of words like Sweetie Pie, Honey Bunch, and Sweetums Snuggly Bear.

9. Watch old home movies. Have fun remembering all those good times you caught on tape. If the kids complain, tell them you’ll put the videos of them toddling around in a diaper on YouTube for the world (i.e. their friends) to see.

10. Make a fancy dinner and have everyone dress up in their Sunday best. Use your good dishes and dine by candlelight. Turn off the TV and insist that no one burps showtunes at the table, just this once.

11. Turn off the lights and hang blankets over the windows to turn your family room into a movie theater. Let the kids drag out their blankets and pillows (or let them arrange the blankets and pillows that seem to permanently cover your floor). Make some popcorn, put on a movie, snuggle in, and enjoy!

12. Hide a $5 bill in your child’s room and challenge them to clean their room enough to find it. Make sure to supply your child with a garbage bag, hazmat suit and a tetanus shot.

13. Let your kids play dress up with your clothes. Have them put on a fashion show for you. According to my four-year-old, music is essential for this activity and the parent must clap uproariously after each costume change.

14. Bake some cookies. Go online to find a delicious gingerbread recipe and let the kids decorate the gingerbread men with royal icing and candy. Don’t worry about it when your kids give the gingerbread men icing tattoos, scars, or um, “body parts”. All normal kids do this (or so I’m telling myself).

15. Cancel all appointments and plans for the rest of the week because it will take you that long to clean up all the messes the kids will make while home for their snow day. Snap a ton of pictures and/or take video of the day so you can all look back and remember the fun you had.

25 comments:

Christine said...

Love your ideas! Too bad I'm in California...no snow days here...which might not be a bad thing...but with all your fun ideas I almost wish we had them...almost.

Mama-in-Ausbildung said...

Sounds really good! To bad we don't have any snow left.. had so much this year and last year, but it wasn't a blizzard...

Hope the snow will be gone soon!

Frosted Fingers said...

Too funny! I was debating camping in the living room tonight because I told them they could do it sometime soon. No school, so if they stay up late giggling it will still be ok.

Rebecca Bany said...

Great ideas. My kids love camping in the living room!
www.rebeccabany.com

Jen@Scrapingirl said...

Very good list. My poor, homeschooling, kids will be doing school tomorrow, but only in the morning. Then we have season two of the Cosby show and 5 movies, from the library, we get to watch. I just hope and pray, we don't lose power. I don't mind getting snowed in with these people, but we need power. :)

HeyItsBeej said...

Is that picture back from the blizzard when we were in 3rd grade?

That was so awesome. LOL

Anon said...

My kids had a snow day today. Well, more of an extreme weather day. We didn't get a whole lot of snow, but the temp with wind chill is -40 in some places! Only about -20 where I live, though. It's 3 pm and it finally got up to 0 degrees! Just four days ago, it was sunny and 65! Gotta love the variety.

C said...

I know you're only halfway serious about the tetanus shot. Still, I think it wouldn't surprise you to hear it has happened. I threw a pencil into a grocery sack (which I was using to collect trash) that was older than my ten years at the time. It had yellow lead and was so ancient that it was crumbly. Well, while laughing I collapsed against the closet door, where my trash sack was hanging, and jabbed said pencil through the bag and into my thigh. My mom took me to the minor emergency center. They said it wasn't deep and it appeared that the lead that broke off was NOT in my thigh, but they would give me a tetanus shot for good measure since that pencil was so old and probably infested with who knew what.

Jennifer Foster said...

FUNNY!

V1nce said...

16. Send the smallest child up the chimney flue to make sure snow doesn't block it up. Rope is optional in case he gets stuck.
17. Let the kids pile snow in the mud room so they can play and not catch pneumonia. INDOOR SNOWBALL FIGHT!
18. Call a pizza and Chinese restaurant for delivery and bet who makes it first (or just laugh while you all stay warm and toasty and have hot food delivered to your snow-obscured door).
19. Have the kids make sick and twisted snowmen (like Calvin & Hobbes) and wait to see how many people call CPS.
20. Call the non-emergency police number and ask if it's OK to call 911 because you're trapped at home with six kids!

deb said...

I, too, live in the Chicago area, and have heard all of the terms..."Snowmageddon", "Snowpocolypse", "Snowtorius Big", and my personal favorite....
"SNOW.M.G.".
Personally, I'm enjoying a cozy night at home, looking forward to not leaving home til at least Thursday!!!

Kris Roach said...

Hope you and the kids have a nice Snowpocolypse 11!!! Sounds like you have loads of fun ideas!

Denise Scotti said...

Ugh, it's snowing in NH. We are supposed to get like 24 inches or some nonsense like that. NO THANKS!! I have a 3 and 4 year old, and they are insane, and I'm not sure how we are going to get through the next day or so. I am going to try camping. :) Maybe that will help them sleep in??? I can only dream...

Denise
bestparent.wordpress.com

About Me said...

Loving #12- It takes me days to get my kids just to pick up the crayons! Forget the rest of the bedroom! Thanks for the ideas. Some of those sound like a lot of fun.

Darla said...

The funny thing is, Dawn, that you sound like you COULD be a homeschooling mom with all your ideas! I am a homeschooling mom and I don't have that many!

Janet said...

Love your idea!
Wish we could get a snow day or too cold day here! I love a day off of school!!
question? do the boys watch the fashion show? I have 5 boys and 1 girl and I don't think I could get my boys to watch unless I duct taped them to the couch.

Rose said...

I love option 5. And option 2 happens at my house nearly every timne it snows.

Missi said...

This is our 2nd snow day & they've already called off school for tomorrow. We got about 4 inches of snow but the freezing rain, sleet before the snow & below freezing temps aren't letting any melt off roads. I'm just ready for summer!

Melissa said...

What great ideas!
I still hate snow days though!

Lesley said...

Love the bit about the tattooes, scars and 'body parts'. Its ineviditable isnt it!
All kids (including adult ones) seem to relish in turning something wholesome into something....well....less wholesome!

Am I the only adult in the world who still draws beards,tashes, glasses, etc. on Celebritity photos in the newspapers?

I also once 'redesigned' a photo of some of the Royal family attending a civil function adding little captions etc. OK I was bored but my son thought it hilarious!

Kimberly said...

Love your list. My favorite is #8. I'm sure Thing One would just adore me if I actually followed through!

Robin said...

All awesome ideas! Hope you're enjoying your snow days. :)

Stacey said...

I'm in OKC and we got it too! We have 5-6 foot snow drifts all around our house...my baby is only 3 months old...but the husband has been off work, so I have to entertain him. Maybe I can make him a tent in the living room...haha.
http://madeofsnails.blogspot.com/

Colleen said...

Tom Bodett lives in Vermont. He has convinced his kids that it is a state law that they play outside in the snow on a snow day. Why else would it be called a snow day?

Miss Brenda said...

I hate Plumpy.

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