Snow Days? How To Keep The Kids Busy
For many parts of the country this year, even the Deep South, winter is upon us more fiercely than in past years. Just about every state in the nation (except perhaps Hawaii) is experiencing the effects of too much snow, excessively cold temperatures or both. At this time of year, it is almost inevitable to have to endure a snow day. When schools and businesses are closed, what on earth will you do to keep the kids entertained?
Invite the Neighbors for Cocoa and Board Games
When all the fun of playing in the snow wears off, or your kids just get too cold to stay outside any longer, invite the neighborhood children inside for hot cocoa and games. If you don’t mind a few wet snowsuits and boots in your vestibule, bring the kids inside and warm them up with hot chocolate and marshmallows. Put away the iPods, iPads, and smartphones for a day of unplugged fun. Get all your “old-fashioned” board games together on the living room floor, at the dining room table, or in front of the cozy fireplace and let the games begin.
Older kids can challenge each other to a game of Monopoly while younger kids can play simple card games like Go Fish or Old Maid. Candy Land and the Memory Game are usually popular with preschoolers and younger children, as well as learning toys, such as ride-ons and musical tables – or toddler toys like http://www.kidsii.com/brightstarts/c-142-toddler-toys.aspx that promote creative thinking or the development of motor skills.
Arts and Crafts
What holiday is coming up next? Depending on when you have your next snow day, bring out all the art supplies and let the kids make cards and decorations for the next holiday. For Valentine’s Day, help them decorate old shoe boxes that they can take to school and collect class Valentine cards and goodies. For St. Patrick’s Day, let the munchkins make green leprechaun hats out of felt or even poster board that they can wear to an upcoming local parade.
Check online for arts and crafts ideas for simple projects you can make using objects and supplies you already have around the house, since chances are you won’t be able to drive anywhere on snow-covered roads.
Busy kids will be hungry for snacks very soon. What better way to make treats to go with all that hot cocoa than to bake something? Baking cookies can be a great way to practice math skills (measuring ingredients), motor skills (stirring, cutting out shapes), time keeping, and of course, the creativity of frosting and decorating the cookies once they cool from the oven.
Direct a Play
Kids love to play dress-up and make up lines to say in their very own performances. Open up the attic or the closet full of old Halloween and dance recital costumes and watch as their imaginations run wild. Encourage the kids to assign roles to everyone, no matter what their age, practice their lines and rehearse entrances onto the pretend stage. Then sit back and enjoy the show.
With the polar vortex – one of the coldest Arctic occurrences in more than 20 years – still spinning around the Northern Hemisphere, you might want to be prepared for the next snow day in your area of the country. Like hurricanes and tornadoes, these extremely cold winter storms now have names, and the next one is lurking just around the corner, ready to wreak havoc on roadways and create air travel delays. Stay inside so you are safe from frigid temperatures and icy streets and keep everyone entertained and occupied for hours on end.
Bundled snug and safe against the chilly winds whipping through North Carolina, writer LaGeris Underwood Bell is grateful for creative, inexpensive ideas to keep everyone in the house happy and content.
Photo credit #1: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ebmorse/410677795/
Photo credit #2: http://www.flickr.com/photos/8047705@N02/5463789169/
Photo credit #3: http://www.flickr.com/photos/perspicacious/4854675818/
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