By Imma Dearest
So the flakes are falling and the kids’ energy levels are rising. Here is my guide.
First, if you can, prepare a Mom’s Snow Day Survival Kit. Unlike a real survival kit, no bottled water and shovels needed here. This is purely stuff you have stocked up on from the dollar section of Target. New crayons, new paper, stickers, play dough, perhaps a little plaster painting kit. For older girls, perhaps duck tape origami. For older boys, perhaps a little Lego kit.
Though it’s in a category all its own, I bought a little exercise trampoline for the house. I cannot express how wonderful this has been for fun, exercise, and burning energy. It does not cost much and does not take up much space.
Food wise, the survival kit should include hot cocoa mix, a baking kit, and marshmallows. It may be tempting to include that little bottle of Godiva liqueur from Purim for yourself but don’t – you will need to be Up, Up, Up.
Now, if you’ve wasted your time buying thinks like milk and eggs, don’t despair, you still have options.
• Have your children do some of their school routine. Daven. Read Chumash. Write a journal entry. Read an English book. Have older children read to younger children.
• Call Wonderwords (718) 305-6960. A Project of Chofetz Chaim Center, this features wholesome, Torah stories. Almost like having a rebbe at home.
• The Internet and your printer can save you. Visit your children’s favorite character brands and you might be amazed how many printables and games there are. Even educational options like mazes and word games.
• Even something boring like e-mail can be interesting for young school age children. You can have the children type out messages either to themselves or to their friends (through the parents).
• Turn yourself into wacky mom. Take out the summer stuff and pretend you’re all at the beach. Don white garbage bags, close the lights, and pretend to explore the moon. Do manicures. Have freeze dance contests. Maybe even take out Purim costumes and have a party.
• Don’t forget your games. Cards, Twister, Bananagram. Not all at the same time though. Even better yet: games with little or no cleanup like Pictionary and Charades (you can even find clues online if you don’t have the formal games)
• Drag bathtime out. Give them shaving cream and/or bubbles to play with in the bath.
• Play outside. That white stuff that wreaks havoc in grownup lives is a wonderland for children. Personally, I’m not a cold weather person so I don’t do this very much. It takes so long getting on all the winter stuff. Finding gloves and boots for everyone, for the five minutes outside, after which everyone comes traipsing in because it’s too cold. But it does break up the day…
• Call relatives. This is the perfect time to call or write to relatives you are not fully in touch with.
A few warnings:
• Pace yourself. Don’t do it all. You may need to stretch this into a few days. Also, you need your energy level to last an extended amount of time. Give your children lots of time for free play in between all this.
• Don’t turn on TV until at least noon, preferably 3 or even 6. Once it’s on, it’s very hard to get off.
Snow far, snow good – gotta keep the humor up too..