***This article originally appeared in the Winter 2013/2014 issue of Traverse Bay Family Magazine. It is reprinted with permission.***
Last winter was a doozy, wasn’t it? It seemed like there were a record number of snow days and several times where there were multiple snow days in a row. While the first snow day or even the first few snow days can be fun, by the second or third day stuck home without a plan, it can get a little crazy. Here are 3 day-long plans for snow days.
For smaller children: Summer in Winter
Turn on the fireplace & bump up the furnace and pretend its July. Play in the pool (tub), eat some Popsicles, and play in the sand. Eat a picnic lunch in front of a summer cartoon like Lilo & Stitch or the Disney classic On Vacation with Mickey and Friends.
Go swimming again or play in the sprinkler (shower). Set up an obstacle course to work off some energy. Make tunnels from extra chairs or out of couch cushions — and try not to knock them over. Make a fort from blankets & pillows.
For dinner, make something summery like burgers, brats or hot dogs with potato salad & corn. Then turn out all the lights & play with glow sticks. If you have one of those machines that projects “stars” on the ceiling, lay on the floor & watch that until bed time.
For middle kids: PJ & Movie Day
Since its so easy to find movies & tv shows based off of books, dig out one of your favorite book/movies. For younger kids, it might mean reading every Curious George book you own & then having a Curious George marathon on Netflix. For older ones, try Little House on the Prairie,Chronicles of Narnia, or Harry Potter. For teens, Lord of the Rings or Pirates of the Caribbean could be fun.
Read the books (or part of them), then watch the movie. Stay in you pjs and enjoy some homemade popcorn & hot chocolate (see recipes, sidebar). Discuss the differences & similarities, too, if you want.
For the older crowd – Game Day
Select a variety of board and card games that the whole family can play. Read this post to find our family’s favorite games. To make it more fun for all, select games that fit each person’s strengths (I.e. strategy, word, go fish, etc). If you have littles, start the day with the little ones and when they get tired of it, move on to the older kids games.
If you invited neighbors or friends over, you could also have two tables of games going. Or have a tournament. Got a party pooper? Try a puzzle instead.
Bring out the snack mix or chips n salsa, and make a snacky lunch (things like cut fruit, pickles, olives, meat. Cheese, crackers, grapes, etc). Make the evening a nacho/taco or baked potato bar.
If you like these ideas, keep a box of supplies on hand. Otherwise, use what you have & get creative. The only limit is your imagination!