snow days

SNOW DAY! A phrase that rings magic in the heart of every child, and even some adults. A day when kids get to unexpectedly stay home from school. They celebrate when they hear the news, oblivious that they may have to make up the missed day at the end of the school year.

This has been a bitterly cold, snowy time for Indiana, and many other parts of the country. Just as kids were scheduled to head back to school after the holiday break, Mother Nature dumped this lovely gift of sub-zero temperatures and lots of snow causing schools to close down. Instead of returning to classes, my kids, and many others around the country, have had three extra days off and counting.

Even though Snow Days can be a welcome break from the regular routine, after a while, it can become a bit boring or even stressful for a family trapped inside by the weather. There is such a thing as too much togetherness. Here are a few ideas I came up with that I would like to share. They can apply to families or individuals.

1. Family photos

Get out the old family photos. While you are reminiscing, make sure they are properly tagged with a name and/or date. If you are feeling techy, you can scan them into your computer. Create a file that can be shared among other family members. Many times there is only one copy of older photos. If a digital copy is made, it will be easy to share or download to a printing service.

2. Fashion show

Time for some fun! Let the kids get into your closet and try on your duds! Then, sit back and watch as your living room is transformed into a fashion runway. Maybe an older sibling can emcee the event. Grab the camera and snap some pictures so the kids really feel like stars. Remember, they need to help clean up when the show is over!

Don’t have kids, or they aren’t interested in being goofy? Explore your own closet and see what you find. Try on the things that have been shoved to the back. Don’t like it? Don’t want it? Doesn’t fit? Then start a pile of clothes to donate. How about that old bridesmaid dress? Is it staying or going?

3. Write a letter

Imagine going to your mailbox and getting your mail. You sit down to sort it all out…bill, bill, junk, junk, junk…the usual. Just think how you could make someone’s day by sending them a letter. A real, hand-written, put-in-an-envelope-with-a-stamp letter. In this technological age of texting, tweeting, Facebooking, etc., letter-writing is becoming a lost art. Send a letter, send some love!

4. Play cards

Wait? What are those things? They look like they came off of the Solitaire game on the computer!
Unfortunately, for some kids, that’s all they know of playing cards. Grab a deck and teach the kiddos some classic card games, like Spoons or Crazy-8’s. Or you could always go it alone and play your own game of Solitaire the old-fashioned way. Need a re-fresher on game rules or looking for a new game to try? Go to www.pagat.com for a huge catalog of card games and rules.

5. Pinterest

I am a Pinterest addict. I spend more time than I should browsing this wonderful, cornucopia of ideas.  I love sifting through the site and pinning things to my boards that I think I might try it one day. Well, there’s no better time than the present!  Turn your Snow Day into a Pinterest Day!  Make a recipe. Organize or do a craft. Put your pins into action!

6. Pamper yourself

I admit it, on Snow Days I often find myself asking, “Did I brush my teeth today?” My hair gets no attention and I’m lucky (or should I say my family is lucky) if I put on deodorant. I spend the day in pajamas and sweat pants.

Use a day stuck in the house to pamper yourself. Do a little personal maintenance that you usually might not have time to do. I think I might give myself a manicure. Youtube offers many how-to videos for really cool nail tips.

7. Watch TV

OK, so watching TV on a Snow Day is a no-brainer, and maybe something you want to avoid. But try watching something different. Instead of letting the kids watch dumbed-down cartoons, put on something educational and watch as a family. Find a documentary, learn about nature or animals, or watch government in action. Try something different.

Or if you want to be creative, find a movie, turn the volume off, and create the soundtrack! Assign each person in the room to one or more characters and create the dialogue as you watch the movie. One person can even play the Foley artist and make the background noise. Just make it up as you go along, and try not to laugh!

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