Tips for Moms Who Have a Love-Hate Relationship with Snow Days
Snow Days. Those beautiful, peaceful days that bring some gentle stillness to the dreary winter landscape. Until the kids wake up. Then its a race to prepare excited preschoolers to go outside for what ultimately amounts to 10 minutes, then (if they're anything like their California-raised mother) they're ready to come inside to warm-up, and will then need a different outlet for that boundless energy we would kill to have, but may want to harness in our own little snow monsters.
The Virginia Baby Company has compiled a list of activities that can help you manage that energy, without getting too tuckered out yourself. And we know parenting isn't a contest, but we've included Bonus Mom Points if you'd like to go above and beyond (or to use up a little extra time).
10 Indoor Activities for Your Next Snow Day
1) Make Snowflakes
The paper ones. Then let them use clear tape to hang them on all the windows. *Then* the kid who picks up the most pieces of paper off the floor by hand wins the very exciting right to vacuum/sweep up the rest. (Seriously, try using vacuuming as a reward. You'd be surprised how often it works!)
2) Scavenger Hunt
Write down descriptions of things that need to be picked up around your house on index cards. (Kudos to you if you sit down with the kids and have them write down descriptions of things they see!) "Something that is white." "Something soft." "Something with an animal on it." Then let the kids each take a card; the first kid who finds and puts away something that matches their card gets a sticker. Or maybe it's not a race and everyone gets a sticker after they pick up five things that match their card(s).
3) New coloring book and crayons
Nothing gets kids excited like new crayons. Even if those crayons are exactly like their old ones. Don't have anything stashed away for a snowy day? Check these printables out! New pictures work almost as well.
4) Join in the coloring
Adult coloring books are all the rage. Studies show that your body is all kinds of better off when you slow down and concentrate on coloring. (I'm not sure if those studies account for having to yell at your kids not to eat the last remaining purple crayon while trying to zone out, but we can get behind the meditative state that coloring brings.)
5) Melt down old crayons and make new ones
The kids get a kick out of removing the paper and matching up similar and contrasting colors. Plus, they make great gifts for friends later, if your snowmonsters don't use them all up first.
Plan a big lunch, and enlist your kids' help. Cooking can use up a lot of time and energy, they get a great sense of accomplishment, and every kid can help make homemade pizza or soup and beer bread. Plus it's a lot less stressful than waiting until the afternoon witching hour to ask for their help with dinner.
7) Run Races
Find the longest hallway in your house, or if you have a loop (kitchen-living room- dining room-kitchen or something similar) and use the timer on your iPhone to see "How many laps/times the kids can run in 30 seconds." Repeat. Bonus Mom Points if you can use the lap-timer, and keep track of their lap times too.
8) QUIET TIME! When you have kids, snow days are a lot of together time and high energy, and often little kiddos need a break. If this is a new concept for your kids, have them pick a room they don't usually get to sleep in, take some books, game and or a quiet toy for themselves, and there's no electronics or talking allowed.
8) Fort Fun. Build a fort and allow them to have a snack in there. Move a few pieces of key furniture, sacrifice a clean sheet or two to the cause, and let them have an adventure. (Added bonus, by moving the furniture, you can vacuum out from under it, or talk one of the kids into doing it for you.)
9) Sock Fight! In my husband's family when he was growing up, when all the rest of the laundry was put away, the whole family would fold up their socks into balls, and throw them at each other like snowballs, but indoors and not as cold. An excellent use of the fort as the kids get bored of being in there.
10) Make a treat. Hot Cocoa, snow cream, or if you've really planned ahead s'mores in the fireplace, there is something especially delicious about a treat regularly reserved for the coldest days of the year.
If you'd like some help with your little snow-monsters as your family grows, The Virginia is Baby Company is here to meet your family's every need! Call us today at 540-300-1102 to arrange prenatal or postpartum support for your little ones because the Snuggle Is Real!