When Green Country turns white, thousands of parents suddenly find themselves at home with a house full of kids.
Oh, they'll be thrilled about playing outside... for about half an hour. Then what?
Well, we can't reinvent the wheel for you, but if you're too busy mopping up melted snow to come up with a game plan, then we've got you covered.
1. MOVIE DAY
Okay, it's kind of a cop out -- put the kids in front of the TV. But how often do you make an event out of it? Make some popcorn, mix up some club soda and orange juice, whip up a special snack, spend some time putting pillows on the floor and choosing the movie.
2. GAME DAY
Some kids may not remember that you can play games without a console or a computer. Whip out Monopoly or a checker board and you may be surprised how engaging a good old board game can be. That said... if you have a Wii or XBox Kinect you can actually get everyone up and moving and use up some of that extra energy.
3. BUILD A FORT
Okay, kids, here's a pile of pillows and old blankets, a couple of kitchen chairs, and maybe a broomstick or two. Time to build a fort! If everyone behaves themselves, and it looks like the snow may stick, you might even offer to let them "camp out" overnight. What, they got the fort up in record time? No problem. A fort needs a king. A king needs a coat of arms. Time to move to...
4. ARTS & CRAFTS
You've got the Internet, so you've got an inexhaustible supply of craft ideas. Even if you're low on glitter and acrylic paints, anyone who can come up with a box of crayons and some paper can get kids engaged with a little imagination. What, no crayons? Google origami or paper airplane websites and enter the world of LBC (Life Before Computers).
5. HEY KIDS, LET'S PUT ON A SHOW!
At first blush, this one may sound messy and complicated. But in reality, kids need very little in the way of props or atmosphere to get their imaginations working overtime. Have them write a skit, or put on a fashion show, or sing some songs. You may get what we old fogies called a "Kodak moment" out of the experience -- I guess that's a "YouTube moment" now? In fact, coming up with a little script and shooting a "movie" with your video camera could make a great project.
6. COOKING UP SOME FUN
So S'mores and cocoa, anyone? Hmm -- might be bit messy. Still, if the kids aren't super young, getting them involved in making a special snack or even a special "snow supper" can kill a lot of time, and the kids might even accidentally learn something in the kitchen. If there's enough (CLEAN!) snow, you might want to try a snack universally loved by folks up north -- snow ice cream! Here's a recipe (courtesy of the Food Network):
* 8 cups snow, or shaved ice
* 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Place snow or shaved ice into a large bowl. Pour condensed milk over and add vanilla. Mix to combine. Serve immediately in bowls.
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