Christine Koh


I'm Christine Koh, a music and brain neuroscientist turned multimedia creative. I'm the founder + editor of Boston Mamas, co-author of Minimalist Parenting, co-host of the Edit Your Life podcast, and creative director at Women Online. Drop me a line; I'd love to chat about how we can work together!

30 Things to Do When School is Cancelled

Despite enjoying an utterly delightful winter vacation, when I heard that school was cancelled Thursday and Friday, I immediately had a major (internal, waspy) freakout. It's easy for me to go into vacation mode when everyone else is on vacation too, but I struggle with unexpected emergency days. However, I like to look for the good in times of freak out. So, in honor of our second (and surely not last) snow day of this school year, I have revised and added to my 2012 hurricane season post, 20 Things to Do When School is Cancelled.

Here are 30 things to do with (or mostly with) your kids. Fun (and periodic productivity) for everyone!


I'm a big fan of engaging kids in this process...crank the tunes and go!

1. Speed clean. Give your kids a water spray bottle and rag!

2. Overhaul your closet. (I let Laurel and Violet play with my shoes while I do this.) Clean out your kids' closets too.

3. Tame the toys. Again, have the kids help you!

4. Collect all the items from #2 and #3 so you can declutter for good.

5. Create a staircase gallery. You probably can't finish the whole project during a day with the kids, but you can start the process. Oh, it will be so pretty!

6. Grab a glue gun and make a 10-minute DIY jewelry board.

7. Ponder a simple office upgrade or two.

8. Tackle the nasties in your refrigerator.


Having kids help in the kitchen is a great way to get them involved in food prep (read: less work for you!) and also engage in a project with direct rewards. The photo above is of two-year-old Violet chopping asparagus. Not even kidding.

9. Make butter. So easy. So awesome. Also, a surprisingly good arm workout.

10. Give new life to old bread. Delicious. Just made this over the holiday break.

11. Make these brownies. Easy and fun and absurdly delicious. This is our go-to brownie recipe.

12. Baking seem too hard? Make cake in a mug.

13. Make me dough. (Part of the fun is yelling "me dough!")

14. Use this rosebud technique and get started on Valentine's cards.

15. Hook your kids up with finger knitting. Perfect -- no jabby needles required!

16. Collect the wine corks floating around your kitchen and let your kids loose.

17. Make a bird feeder. It's cold out. The birds are hungry.

18. Make a duct tape belt.

19. Fire up that sexy crockpot. OMG try the Korean marinade. Served it to my in-laws Christmas Day...happiness all around.

Get active

Because cabin fever is for real.

20. Try some of these yoga poses with your kids. Laurel's first grade class loved this!

21. Try one or more of these 8 indoor exercises. Alone or with your kids running around/under you.

22. Enjoy these ideas for outdoor fun for next to nothing. (We don't have a big enough yard to build the sledding track Laurel enjoyed this week at a friend's house -- shown above -- but we'll still give it a go!)

On the computer

For when you get a few moments to yourself...during nap or when the kids are otherwise engaged.

23. Explore one of these ways to pin it forward.

24. Use naptime to triage your e-mail. I love this system.

25. Treat yourself to something pretty. Like a shower curtain, organizational tray, or mirror.

26. Treat yourself to a new book or 80. I received a few of the books off this list for Christmas. Yay for reading!

All together now

Good stuff to work on together as a family.

27. Practice taking photos of your kids now that you're armed with these great photography tips.

28. Take advantage of the fact that everyone's home and get on top of (or start working on) your family calendar.

29. Brainstorm collective hobbies.

30. Talk about volunteer opportunities with your family. Perfect timing, what with the holidays coming up.

I hope these ideas are helpful to you. If you have other great ideas, feel free to share them in the comments below!

Weekend Roundup

Let's Meet in Wellesley!