How To Help Kids Stay Busy on a Snow Day
© by Jennifer McLeod writing as jenjen0703, all rights reserved.
For the older kids, consider a snowboard to keep their interest.
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I am a Michigander by blood as I was bred, born, and raised in Michigan. Anyone who knows anything about the weather in Michigan knows the meteorologist is wrong half the time and the Farmer's Almanac is definitely a thing of the past. Two mornings ago, I went online to check the 7-day forecast for the upcoming week. Thank goodness, there is no snow coming yet. I really need to change a tire on my car. I think I will do that tomorrow.
10 hours later...
SLAM!..."Mom! Where are my snow pants because I need them!" (My 10-year old enters every room like a F5 tornado). I laughed and responded with, "Keegan, you do not need your snow pants until it snows." He suddenly had a puzzled look on his face and retorted with, "Well, then I guess you better look outside." Seriously? So, I pull back the living room curtains and look out the window. My car was covered in 4 inches of snow. It had only been 2 hours since I returned home from work and settled in at my computer, and there had not been any snow yet.
Well, that is Michigan weather for you, and when we receive our first "dump" of snow, schools close the next day and have what all Michigan children eagerly call (and most parents hate) a "Snow Day." For parents, a Snow Day means you are either in a rush to find day care arrangements or you have to take the day off work to stay home with them. For the lucky few stay-at-home mothers, this means a day of extra work.
Do you live in a state that receives snow in the winter?
Well, needless to say, this is exactly what happened to me yesterday. We had our first snowfall in Michigan for this year. Snow days are not as difficult for me today because my youngest son is the only child I have living with me full-time. However, I was not bargaining on the three neighborhood children that were going to follow behind him.
Within an hour of my son's "snow advisory," we lost power. I did not have the heart to leave his friends behind with no heat at their house, so we all packed up and went out to stay at my ex-husband's farmhouse. At least if we lost power, his wood stove would keep us all warm through the night.
Luckily, we did not lose power. The kids were behaving well, and I thought I had my day under control when another bomb was dropped on me. A phone call from my stepdaughter revealed the total number of kids was about to increase from 4 to 6. What did I just get myself into?
Fun Activities for Snow Days
At this moment, I vowed I was going to stop being so nice to everyone's children so they will stop following me everywhere (yeah, right). Next, I decided to find child-friendly activities to occupy these kids so they don't drive me crazy on snow days. This was a difficult task because the television at the farmhouse was broke. Not having video games or television to keep these kids busy was a major downfall for me. So, here is a list of the things we decided to do:
1. Hide and seek. This old school, popular game is fun for anyone to play but works best in locations where there is actually room to hide. An old farmhouse with 200 acres of land has plenty of places to hide. When we play hide and seek, we are ruthless in our efforts to scare each other to death. No one is exempt from the terror of our games, even my young grandchildren get scared badly.
2. Snow slushies. Since the snow was fresh on the ground, finding clean snow was not a problem. I filled a water pitcher with clean snow and dumped the snow into a large bowl. I mixed one packet of Koolaid mix and a cup of sugar. Using a whisk, I mixed the snow, Koolaid mix, and sugar until the white color of the snow had completely vanished. Next, I just scooped the Snow Slushies into cups and served them to the children with a spoon. They loved it and begged us to make more when they were finished!
3. Build snowman or snow fort. Within an hour after eating breakfast, the kids started acting like jungle monkeys. They were dirtying dishes faster than I could keep them washed. It was time to go outside and play. I made up a sob story about how much I loved snowmen and would love it if they made me one. That bought me an hour of quiet time, and they did a terrific job on it too!
4. Make paper snowflakes. For instructions on how to make paper snowflakes, read Make Lacy Cutout Paper Snowflakes for your windows.