Kelly Ann Butterbaugh2 found this helpful
March 16, 2011
The winter weather might be nearing its end and parts of the country never saw snow days, but that doesn't mean that your family can't enjoy a Saturday snow day. The idea of a free day of lounging, playing, and bonding while trapped inside the house for the day is often sabotaged by shoveling, power outages, and trips to daycare. Instead of waiting for nature to provide the perfect storm, create your own family snow day.
After a particularly rough winter in the northeast, we adopted the Saturday Snow Day. While schools had snow days throughout the month of January most workplaces did not. My husband seldom saw a snow day, leaving us to spend the days thinking how fun it would be to spend the day together as a family. Then, the snow season came to an abrupt end, wrestling practice kicked into high gear, and we could really have used a snow day. We decided to create our own family snow day.
Family, Fun, and Free
The perfect snow day has three great things going for it. It can keep family together by canceling every other event, practice, and shopping trip. It has every opportunity to be fun and relaxing, and the best part is that it's free. Spending time together can invoke rolled eyes and boredom, or it can bring about a great day. A completely relaxed day together with no schedule or pressure to get anything done can do wonders for your family. Don't force the group to endure family game night, a formal meal, or family movie time. Instead, let it happen naturally.
Saturday snow days need to adhere to some basic rules in order to reach their maximum potential. First of all, build up to the announcement of it, and find a time when everyone appears to need a day of relaxation. Don't forgo important practices or events, or you'll meet resistance.
Rule #1: The "snow day' needs to confine you to your home or yard. A rainy day keeps you in the house, but moving outside is acceptable as long as everyone stays in the perimeter. It is difficult to pretend it's snowing outside if you're grilling on the patio, however. Like a real snow storm, driving is off limits. Stay home.
Rule #2: The snow has closed the roads. That means that the pizza delivery man can't come to the door. No ordering out and no shopping on the Internet. No expenses today. Plan ahead and stock up on some yummy and fun snacks ahead of time.
Rule #3: Take some time to enjoy the things you have in your home that make you happy. Enjoy family, games and activities that are already there. Enjoy relaxation, and enjoy a day without stress.
Rule #4: Pajamas are the dress code for the day. Kids will love pajama day. Adults will enjoy lounge pants and t-shirts.
The Entertainment and the Food
The entertainment for the day is whatever you want to do. Snow days when we were kids meant free days to do things that we wouldn't do on regular days. So, during our Saturday snow day my son built a fort out of the couch cushions and I sat inside it with him while I read my book. We made three different types of eggs for breakfast and grazed on special lunch treats that we normally don't have in the house like spinach dip.
For dinner I put a ham in the crock pot and we each ate it the way we preferred - sandwich style or sliced. It was a fun day; it was a relaxing day, and it was a day that created more family bonding than an expensive trip to an amusement park or a night out to dinner and a movie.
Kelly Ann Butterbaugh0 found this helpful
January 19, 2007
Winter weather can be fun, but it can also lead to "cabin fever." With long winter weeks ahead, create a list of activities that can keep kids entertained without costing a penny. Post the list of free activities on the fridge and create a checklist of things to be done before the first flower pokes through the frozen ground.
Create a weather forecast for the upcoming weeks.
What will it be like on Groundhog Day? What will be the coldest temperature in the month of January? Look at the Farmer's Almanac for a more educational guess, and check the weather forecasts to see how well you predicted.
Predict the snowfall.
When a snow storm is on its way have the family make guesses as to how much snow will fall. Check the next day to see who was closest. Assign small prizes such as candy bars or ice cream to the winners. If it doesn't snow in your area watch the nationwide weather and pick a "sister city" to predict.
Make marshmallow snowmen.
Use toothpicks to hold together three marshmallows. Then, use cloves for eyes and buttons, shredded carrots for the noses, and twigs for the arms. Search the pantry and be creative with your creations. Mini marshmallows make baby snowmen, and faces can always be drawn on with a permanent marker. (These snow people are not edible.)
Experiment with Food Art.
Now that you've mastered your snowman making skills, move on to other food creations. Gather lettuce, cucumbers, and olives to create faces from food. Take digital pictures of your creations. Then, have each person eat his/her creation as a salad.
Stuck inside for the day? Call someone who is also homebound for reasons other than the snow. Choose a relative, friend, or neighbor who might like the friendly talk and has trouble getting out of the house on their own.
Create snacks for your outside friends.
Gather pinecones and attach a loop of string to the tops. Then, slather peanut butter on top of the pinecones and roll them in birdseed to create attractive bird feeders. After that string Cheerios (or use any stale cereal found in the pantry) and hang them as a garland outside.
Have a winter snowflake dinner.
Invite everyone to dress in white or blue for dinner. Meanwhile, create paper snowflakes and hang them from the ceiling or decorate the walls. Serve simple winter-themed foods such as pigs in a blanket, snow peas, and coconut cake or ice cream.