Snow days. For a school-aged child, they are a dream come true. For the parents? Not so much. We have had the pleasure of experiencing two snow days in the past 3 weeks. Both were on the weekend, so no day off of school, but due to the fact that my husband works for the city running the parks department, he is always on-call during a snowy weekend.
Which leaves me at home alone. With my two kids. That makes for a long day. Here is a snapshot of our day on Saturday, followed by some legitimately helpful suggestions, should you find yourself in a similar predicament.
5:53– Both children wake up for the day. No, that’s not a typo. It was before dawn.
7:13– The kids are using sponges to clean up the kitchen table after helping me make pancake batter. Who knew cleaning up could be so much fun? Well, besides Snow White and Cinderella.
8:22– Sophie, 17 months, is eating crayons in front of the TV. When Mommy sweeps her mouth out with a finger, epic meltdown ensues.
9:33- Mommy is now letting Sophie crush veggie straws with her sippy cup- anything to keep her in her highchair and out of the way for ten minutes.
9:45- Mommy is crying in the corner. Just kidding. (Or am I?)
10:05- We have all stained our hands magenta with the food coloring we used for our homemade playdough. (Recipe to follow.)
10:32- Sophie has discovered that burping is hilarious. She is now trying to “fake burp” by making this growling sound like she is hocking up phlegm. Mommy and Izzy are hysterically laughing at her and egging her on.
12:27- An eerie quiet is observed when Mommy is cleaning up the grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup. Sophie has fallen asleep eating lunch.
1:00- Wreck-it Ralph is kind of an awesome movie. Just sayin’. Izzy and Mommy drink hot chocolate and eat popcorn while watching.
3:30- All three girls, Mommy clad in her tankini, have a bubble bath party after playing in the snow.
4:35- After Daddy returns home, we bake oatmeal-chocolate-chip cookies. I would give you the recipe on Pinterest, were it not for the fact that you can find it at your local grocer in the Betty Crocker bag.
4:45- Everyone is throwing up after the: chocolate chip pancakes, grilled cheese and tomato soup, hot chocolate, popcorn,and cookies. Just kidding. But, hey, what good is a snow day if you can’t pack it full of comfort food?
5:39- Mommy is dancing alone in the kitchen to Taylor Swift while preparing Sloppy Joe’s. (Hi, my name is Stephanie, and I’m a closet Taylor Swift fan.)
7:15- The girls are asleep. Winning!
In all seriousness, the day was great fun. What was really incredible is the fact that in our 13+ hours inside, we only watched 3 hours of TV/movies. Here are some of my:
Helpful Tips For Surviving A Snow Day With Your Kids
Let’s assume, hypothetically, that the
fun and patient other parent is not available and you are all alone.
- Have absolutely NO expectations of getting anything accomplished. If you didn’t have aspirations of returning emails, paying bills, making phone calls, or doing laundry, you won’t be disappointed when your children require every ounce of your energy and your day is entirely unproductive. Just let it go.
- Brainstorm ideas with your creative friends. That is, if you are like me, and have nary a clever idea in mind for filling the hours. When I polled my FB readers, I was given fantastic ideas like: fill water bottles with colored water and paint the snow, use food coloring on snow to make snow cones, build a fort, make sock puppets, bake together, make homemade playdough, have a dance party, etc. Make sure you have a whole lineup of fun things planned.
- Don’t feel like a slacker for vegging in front of the tube in your PJs. That’s what snow days are for!
- Involve your kids in as many tasks as possible. Make meal preparation and cleanup a fun game for the kids. That way, you kill two birds with one stone. Breakfast can be both a meal and an hour-long activity.
- Try to release your inhibitions and actually have fun. I am a mom who does not love to play. I feel awkward and irritated when trying to participate in my daughter’s imaginative games. When we made our homemade playdough, she asked me if we could build a playground. That sounded like a good idea to me, but I panicked when she asked me which parts of the park I could build. Once I gave it a try, I found that I actually could construct a slide and teeter-totter out of playdough. And you know what? I honestly had fun. Sometimes, if you go along with the playful spirit of your kids, you might just surprise yourself and have a good time.
Here is the super awesome playdough recipe we got from my childcare provider and creative genius friend:
Teresa’s Perfect Playdough Recipe
2 c flour
1 c salt
1t cream of tartar
1 t food coloring
2 c water
add all ingredients to large pot. *Nonstick pan preferable (be sure to add food coloring with oil and water.) Mix well over medium heat until dough is forming a ball and looking dry on the outside.
Remove from heat. Let cool. Knead well. Store in ziploc bags when cool to touch.
Lasts for a long time!