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Snow Day Survival

Six tips to weather the storm


Kids aren’t the only ones who get excited when they hear it’s going to be a snow day. This means Mom might get to relax a little too and enjoy that second cup of coffee! 

Unfortunately, however, all that outdoor winter-white serenity doesn’t always translate to an indoor peaceful winter wonderland. The very same early-morning announcement that had us as giddy as our kids can also have us looking for the Tylenol by 9 am. 

Snow Day Survival Tips 

1. Plan ahead. Would you arrange for an entire Saturday where everyone simply hung around the house and enjoyed each other’s company for, oh say about 12 hours? Of course not. This puts into perspective the need to do a little organizing in advance. 

2. Acknowledge and accept. It’s inevitable... a great surge of energy will present itself once your children discover there’s going to be a snow day, and it isn’t likely to be a quiet form of self-expression. Let them jump up and down and shout and get all their excitement out. This is a great time to have that second cup of coffee. In the pantry.  

3. Have a handful of pre-planned activities. Some possibilities might be…

An age-appropriate craft. Choose a project with a winter theme, e.g., a bird-feeder made of pinecones, peanut butter, and birdseed. Kids can hang their creations outside the window when they’re done. 

Writing letters. A few sheets of wintery-looking stationary along with fancy pens might make letter-writing a new pasttime. Kids can jazz up their correspondence with stickers, glitter glue, markers, etc. Have them write to their grandparents, a cousin, or a special teacher. 

Playdoh, playdoh, playdoh. All it takes are a couple of rolling pins and a whole bunch of cookie cutters to keep little hands busy. 

Family reading time. Cozy up together with a warm blanket, and take turns reading a favorite story aloud. Older kids will enjoy sharing childhood favorites with younger siblings.    

Family game. Monopoly, anyone? See your snow day for what it really is: a gift. Take advantage of some unscheduled, unhurried time with your children. 

A family talent show. Give your kids the chance to show off a little! Help them perform a puppet show, create a dominoes display, or put on a gymnastics show.  

4. Send them outside. Fill their bellies, bundle them up, and send them out! The anticipation of having waited all morning to play in in the snow will ensure they don’t come running back in 10 minutes later.    

5. Surprise them with a hot chocolate bar. Chocolate sprinkles, whipped cream, mini marshmallows, and wintry mugs make ordinary hot cocoa more delicious. (This is a great way to bring your wee ones in when they can no longer feel their toes but insist they’re “not ready.”)

6. Allow everyone a little time to themselves. By mid-afternoon, kids will be ready for some solitude. Let them hang out in their rooms, practice their instruments, read, or watch a TV show—whatever they like. Everyone will be well-entertained on their own, it’ll be getting close to the dinner hour, and you’ll have survived. 

Freelance writer Julie Kemeklis, who has three kids, ages 12, 9, and 4, spent eight blustery winters in upstate New York.

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