So far my winning strategy for actually working while the kids are at home is getting up and working for two hours before they wake. We then play outside, get them worn out, bring them in for a short video and snack while we dry out our snow gear. Sneak a call or two while Sid the Science Kid teaches jingles about how glasses improve vision. Do an indoor activity, then get geared up for another round of outdoor play. Lather, rinse, repeat until they crash at 7pm, exhausted from so much snow day fun. Again, another two hours.
What's also working right now are some play date swaps with neighbors. Sometimes another kid in the mix is the perfect solution for bored and fighting siblings and it gives each parent a couple of hours to regroup, clean up and work. Another great solution is to invite a 9-12 year old over to play with your younger children. These mothers helpers, both boys and girls, are probably banned from Wii and TV by now and would welcome the opportunity to earn a couple of bucks building blocks and playing play-doh with your kids while you crank out a few emails.
Here are some of the tried and true activities that keep the Folsom Boys happy:
- "Snacktivities:" Build with pretzel sticks and mini-marshmallows (eat 'em up afterwards), build Egyptian pyramids with sugar cubes and Elmer's Glue (don't eat those, obviously) and make Jello. It's probably been in your pantry for a good long while, add some grape "olives" and a fancy glass and you have quite a fun activity. Melt dark chocolate in the microwave (if you still have power) and banana halves, strawberries and Kiwi slices in. Dry on wax paper for a delicious after-dinner dessert.
- Fill spray bottles with a few drops of food coloring and water. Your gloves will never be the same but the kids will have a blast spray-painting the snow.
- If you have little ones that don't last too long outdoors, have an indoor snowball fight. Make a fort with couch cushions, ball up paper, and let the games begin. When you're all done, play "Basketball," shooting all paper balls into your recycling container.
What are your favorite snow day activities? Please share! We're all running short on ideas during the snowiest winter in Washington, DC history.