By: Jessica Aldred
As New England grunts and bears all that winter has to offer, I find that there are two types of mothers: those who legitimately enjoy the snow and extra time at home spent with their children, and those who dread those unplanned snow days and pray they don’t see their city or town’s name scrolling at the bottom of the T.V. screen. There’s no right or wrong, however in general it seems that the first group tend to enjoy that time because they spend a lot of time away from their families working, or with the children in full-time school. Absence makes the heart grow fonder if you will. The second group is more likely to spend many of their days with their families at home, so this is just another day for them, only now they’re stuck in the house with no hope of expending that childhood energy.
Until somewhat recently I’ve found myself in the second group. After spending so much time home alone with my children, another day trapped with no outlet for their energy is not ideal. However, as my children have grown and matured, entered school and learned to play together more, I’ve found the dreaded snow day to be more bearable. I still dislike them, don’t get me wrong, but I now try to embrace them. There’s no use in denying it, the roads aren’t safe and the children are better off at home baking cookies, playing with Playdough and watching endless Disney movies. I think my change of heart has to do with the fact that they are shifting into full-time school mode and I don’t get to spend as much time with them as I used to. There will certainly be time-outs issued and tears shed, but there will also be memories made and many laughs had. As I prepare for the first snow day of 2015, I found myself mentally creating a list of ideas, or things to do at home to keep the boredom and fighting at bay. This is what I’v put together so far:
- Make a Fort: Inside or out. We recently got a great fort structure kit. You just pop it together and toss blankets all over it. It’s simple to do and better/safer than dragging random furniture all over the house.
- Bake: My boys love to bake with me. It will surely end up messy, but it’s an enjoyable experience had by all.
- Make a snowman: Inside or out. Snowmen can be made inside with marshmallows and pretzel sticks, or other things around the house, much easier (and dryer) than they can be outside.
- Bring out new toys: There’s no denying that my kids are spoiled. So much so that we often stash away toys or games for rainy/snowy days. Sometimes I even manage to rotate out old toys that resurface like new on these days.
- Color the Snow: Inside or out, you can add food coloring to spray bottles and let the kids have at it.
- Read: We honestly don’t do it enough, but I try to gather all my kids (6.5, 4.5 and 8 months) in one room and read to them, or have my oldest read. Although the younger ones get distracted and wander a bit, they often return to the story and can’t help but get something out of it.
- Arts & Crafts: I have to be honest, I wish we did more arts & crafts at my house, but the truth is I have boys and despite my best efforts, Playdough is about as close as it gets.
- Movies: Tubs of popcorn and an old, or new movie, will suffice at our house.
- Shovel: No joke, my middle man thinks it’s great to help shovel! Let’s hope that continues.
- Games & Puzzles: Oldies but goodies, these are always a favorite.
I’d love for you to share below your favorite ways to spend your time on these infamous New England snow days.