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Forecasters are calling for a snowstorm. Chances are good that your kids won’t have school and the whole family will be home for an entire day. I’m somewhat of a homebody, so I secretly look forward to these days. Snow days are a chance to slow down, relax and to have some fun with your family. But in order to get the most out of the day, you need to prepare a bit. So, how do you prep for a great snow day with kids? Here are some suggestions.
Make a Special Breakfast
Snow days are the perfect time to make a special breakfast. In my house, breakfast normally consists of quickly made scrambled eggs, oatmeal, or cereal. So, making pancakes, waffles, or baked oatmeal is special to us. Don’t overthink it. Your pancakes don’t have to be shaped like snowmen (although that would be pretty easy!). Your kids will think it’s exciting if you do anything out of the norm.
What you’ll need: Breakfast ingredients!
Family Movie Time
Who doesn’t love watching a good movie with the fam? I find it so cozy. Add in the fireplace, warm PJs, and some hot chocolate (or coffee for Mom and Dad) and this easily becomes one of my favorite things ever. Getting the family to all agree on one movie? That part’s a bit harder.
What you’ll need: Netflix makes this easy, but if you’re still a DVD person, pick up a new one before the snow hits.
Family Game Time
Game time is great for bonding and it’s easy to incorporate into a snow day. Plus, it’s fun and promotes learning! In our house, we love good ol’ “Go Fish.” Other favorites are Candy Land, Trouble, and Pie Face Sky High (you’ll also need some whipped cream if you plan to play this one). The games you choose will depend on your kids’ ages and likes. If you have young kids, you might be surprised at how early they can learn to play these games. Give it a try!
What you’ll need: A deck of cards, a puzzle, or any board game. Or you can play something that doesn’t require anything like Hide and Seek, I Spy, or a “Get-To-Know-You” Game. Here are links to get our favorites: Candy Land, Trouble, Pie Face
Playing in the Snow
“Do you wanna build a snowman?” At the sight of the first snowflake, my kids are immediately asking about playing outside and especially about building a snowman! And often, we spend more time getting them ready for this adventure than they actually spend outside. Still, playing in the snow is a special part of any snow day.
I’ll admit though— I kinda sorta HATE playing in the snow. Fortunately for me, I only have one child with any bit of tolerance for the cold. Sometimes I stay inside, so that I can quickly whip up some hot cocoa and pull the wet clothes off my girls as they inevitably come in crying from the cold. Sometimes I suck it up and go out, because—despite my hatred for the cold—there are memories to be made. We don’t know how many of these days we’ll have, but we know that it won’t be forever. So, if you’re the anti-Elsa like I am, be encouraged. Even if it’s just for 15 minutes, your kids will be glad you joined them, and you’ll be creating some cherished moments.
What you’ll need: You probably have most of what you need already, but make sure everyone has their own coats, hats, gloves, scarves, and boots. If it’s the first snow day of the year, it’s a good idea to make sure everything still fits from last year. Also, a kit or food to decorate the snowman (we’ve used a carrot and blueberries). Check out this cute and affordable snowman kit.
Hot chocolate is a classic part of any great snow day. You can always buy packets that are ready to go and quick or you can opt to make your own. There are plenty of recipes that are just a Google away, including some that can be made in a slow cooker. I love the slower cooker ones, because you can prepare them before playing in the snow, and it’ll be all ready when you come in! Voilà!
What you’ll need: Hot chocolate packets or ingredients to make your own.
“Arts and Crafts” Time
A snow day can easily become a screen day. While I have nothing against a little extra TV on a day inside, it isn’t great for anyone in the family to spend an entire day in front of screens. That includes you, parents! So, take turn off the TV, put down your phones, and spend some time drawing or crafting together.
What you’ll need: I love to get the kids new coloring books or notebooks before a day inside. You can get these for $1 at stores like AC Moore. Here’s a link or a big box of crayons and a fun unicorn coloring book. Here’s a nice coloring book for you too, Momma!
A Slow Cooker Dinner
I don’t know about you, but something about having dinner in the slow cooker just makes me happy. I love smelling it throughout the day and knowing that the work is done, and the reward is coming. Snow day favorites: Chili or another hearty soup.
What you’ll need: Find the recipe you want to make ahead of time and have the ingredients ready.
What could be better than freshly baked cookies on a snowy day inside? I am not someone who always enjoys baking, so sometimes I’ll buy mix ahead of time. Other times, we enjoy making something from scratch. If you’re someone who loves to cook or bake, a snow day is an opportunity to make a more time-consuming recipe. Whatever makes the most sense for you.
Side note: Between the special morning breakfast, hot chocolate, and baking after dinner, you could be stuffing your kids with an excessive amount of sugar. Just be aware. If I served pancakes in the morning, I probably won’t be making cookies at night—at least if I ever want my kids to sleep.
What you’ll need: Ingredients for the special treat you decide to make.
Another good way to avoid excessive screen time on a snow day is to have some reading time. If your kids can read themselves, make sure they have something available. My kids aren’t quite there yet, so I pick a chapter book and we read that together. I like to have my own book handy too.
What you’ll need: A book to read together or a few to read separately. Maybe a pre-snow library trip is in order? Our snowday favs: Sneezy the Snowman, The Mitten, or There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Snow.
Mom + Dad Time
Any time my family is cooped up inside for a whole day, I send the kids to their playroom at some point, so I can have some time with my husband for a bit. It’s best for everyone’s sanity. Even if the kids protest at first, they always end up having fun. It’s important for kids to use their imaginations and to be able to play without assistance, so don’t let “mom guilt” (which you should ditch anyway–>see here) keep you from having a little time to yourselves. You need it, and the kids do too.
What you’ll need: Absolutely nothing. Enjoy. 😊
How do you prep for a great snow day with your kids? Feel free to share in the comments below.
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