Well, my friends, here we are at another snow day. I don't know about you, but the first couple of snow days I was all happy that I could be that mom -- the one who could just shut everything else off, hang out with Laurel in my jammies, and goof off all day. But the last few snow days I've definitely been feeling the strain -- not just of dealing with the snow, but also with the whole default snow/sick day parent thing (ironically, I will be discussing this very topic tomorrow on Life.Style), what else to possibly entertain Laurel with, and my backlog of client work, projects, and e-mails. So last night, before going to bed, I jotted down a list of snow day ideas and wanted to share them with you. Some of them are "get stuff done together" ideas and others are activities I can set Laurel up with to allow myself some time to put out work fires. If you have other great ideas, feel free to share in the comments!
1. Make a gingerbread house. For some reason Laurel asked about this project last night so today I'm going to see if we have the ingredients for it (though I did warn her we probably wouldn't be making a gingerbread castle). I'll need to do the baking, but the decorating process no doubt will engage her for a good stretch of time. [12pm note: we're making these awesome gingerbread people instead since Laurel didn't want to wait the three hours for the gingerbread house dough to firm up. It's proving a fantastically entertaining project!]
2. Make Valentine's. Gather up paper, markers, stamps, stickers, glue, dried pasta, etc. and let your kid go to town.
3. Bake something. I'm a big fan of baking with kids. If they're little they can mix and dump; if they're older, they can measure. And baking results in tangible rewards. Check out the recipe archives for tons of baking ideas.
4. Thin out toys and books. Every now and then I do this with Laurel and we make piles to donate, store, etc. It helps tidy, which always makes me feel better, and we usually rediscover some toys and books to entertain Laurel. And we could definitely stand to do some tidying and purging in advance of the baby.
5. Call grandparents. Laurel loves chatting with her grandparents on the phone. And unlike some of the other ideas here, no prep or cleanup is required!
6. Rediscover craft projects. Go through art/craft supplies -- we have four (yes, four) cabinets dedicated to Laurel's project supplies and it's always great to go through and rediscover things. Recently, we rediscovered Laurel's Klutz window art paints and they have entertained her for countless snow day hours.
7. Make use of unused spaces. I think we'll spend some time in our basement today. There's enough room for Laurel to hula hoop, jump rope, and even ride her bike a little.
8. Spot clean. I know this sounds crazy but every now and then Laurel totally gets into spot cleaning. We just hand her a spray bottle of water and some rags and she loves running around the house finding things to spot clean (of which there are usually plenty).
9. Paint nails. Laurel is old enough to paint her own nails so I'll probably suggest she have at it today. I also feel OK with it since we only use non-toxic paints.
10. Make dinner (together, or let your kid take charge). Like baking, this project offers good rewards. And even better, when you can encourage your kid to make dinner, they feel a sense of pride, plus you get some time to yourself and a meal (such as when I let go of control in the kitchen and we ended up with a fantastic dinner by Laurel's hand).
Good luck today everyone!
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