Thrive on (Unanticipated) Snow Days

how to survive snow days

Virginia (me) and Texas (Brityn), along with the entire Southeast, have been hit hard with unanticipated cold and snowy weather this winter. A snow day in warmer climate locations like ours is–in my opinion–a fantastic, unanticipated little treat in the form of a brief break from reality. An entire week of snow days however, is enough to make a person go mad. Because…

School is canceled and the kids think they’re on vacation. They think it’s dessert for every meal and late bedtimes forever. Said children are in and out of the house dragging in snow and dirt. They’re complaining about not wanting to go outside because they can’t ride their bikes. They are playing their eleventh hour of X-box or watching their eighth hour of television. Perhaps, they’re doing them simultaneously. They’re asking for the 10,937th cup of hot cocoa. They’re no longer eating vegetables, because you haven’t been able to get to the grocery store to replenish them. Your dog is refusing to go pee outside and may have had an accident indoors. You haven’t been to the gym or to work regularly because who will watch your kids? Surely, one of these sounds familiar.

To remedy my own issues in this department, I asked my wonderful Facebook community for their tips for Thriving on Snow Days. As always, your feedback was on point.

how to survive snow days

1. Wear the right gear on snow days.

Maybe two decades ago Atlanta, Georgia didn’t get blizzards…wait, nope. That’s not true–they totally did (source). But yes, it is indeed rare for that city to have snowy days each year. It is also true that when they do have snowy weather, the residents are so glad for the right apparel (My sister lives outside of Atlanta, and will attest to this.). Saying you don’t need snow gear because you only get snow once a year, or every other year, is somewhat silly.

Waterproof boots (even Wellington style rubber boots with thick socks work), dressing in layers, wrapping a scarf around your neck or wearing a hat, along with digital touch gloves will make scraping snow off your car so much better. The right gear will also make watching your kids bearable as they burn off energy making snowmen in the yard. Investing in gender neutral snow bibs that your kids can pass to each other, waterproof mittens and boots will help your kids enjoy the snow, too…which means less complaining about being sent into the snow after their gazillionth hour of screen time. The right gear is everything.

2. Have fun on snow days.

Snow can really funk up your plans. Some of you love this! Others will want to strangle Mother Nature for her idea of a good time. Since we can’t control the weather, we can only control our reactions to any frustrations we’re feeling. Take a deep breath and resolve to do at least one fun thing on each snow day. Have a cup of hot cocoa, watch a quick comedy show, listen to an entertaining podcast or read a book for even 15 minutes–anything to lift your spirits.

3. Make a tradition for snow days.

As the regular schedule goes out the window when school is canceled due to snow, create a “snow flow” to replace it. Maybe it starts with your kids being allowed to make themselves breakfast (while whichever parent who doesn’t have to go to work sleeps in), followed by a movie while said parent gets ready, and then mandatory snow play with picnic lunch outside. If it’s snowing steadily, a picnic lunch indoors on old towels or easily laundered fleece blankets while they watch a movie sounds like a winning idea. Then, perhaps in the afternoon everyone take a dedicated “quiet hour” so YOU can decompress. If the kids stay in their rooms for that hour, then reward them with a pre-dinner board games or dance party. Whatever it is, make your own flow so your children know what to expect when the snow is keeping everybody at home.

4. Prepare for snow days.

Do you have backup childcare in place if you have to go to work? Do you have enough food to last until the roads are reopened? Do you have ingredients to make any special foods that are part of your snow day traditions? Do you need to be up early in case they change a delay or cancel school? Do you have some idea of what a snow day will entail for your family? Being prepared in even one way for the snow will make handling the unanticipated changes so much less stressful. 

how to survive snow days

Other ideas for snow days.

  • Buy yourself flowers (while you’re stocking up on bread and milk).
  • Make your older kids (and yourself) organize one small space per day: a bookcase, a bedroom, a bathroom cabinet.
  • Have your little ones clean windows with water and a microfiber cloth.
  • Finish a dreaded task.
  • Place towels by the doors to the outside–on the floor for feet and on a hook for wiping any wet hair/face, etc. Dryer should be cleared out and ready for action!
  • Give your kids an old phone or camera for them to take pictures and video of themselves and one another. One friend said she hooks up a video camera to the TV so the kids can see themselves on the big screen!
  • Shovel off your neighbor’s driveway.
  • Allow your kids to shovel your own driveway.
  • Tea party lunch.
  • Workout at home using Youtube.
  • Watch How to Draw videos on Youtube.
  • Have a fort-building contest.
  • Storytime for all by listening to audiobooks while lounging.

Thanks for reading!


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