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Get tips on how to shovel snow with your kids

From taking breaks to clearing the fire hydrant on your block, get tips on how your children can help you shovel snow.
From taking breaks to clearing the fire hydrant on your block, get tips on how your children can help you shovel snow.
Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

Got snow? The Chicago area is getting hit with snow, so you might be wondering how you can get your kids to help clear your home’s driveway and sidewalks. Keep the following tips in mind before your next shoveling excursion.

Be prepared: From using the bathroom before bundling up to stretching, make sure your family is ready to shovel before you head out the door.

Keep an eye on your children: When you’re shoveling, be aware of where your children are in case of an accident. If you’re in the front of your home, make sure your children are within eyesight and you can easily get to them.

Use what you have: While getting a kid-sized shovel, like these shovels available at Ace Hardware, is a great way to help your child get involved with shoveling snow, you can also use what you have at home. For example, small children can use their beachtime shovel and pail to clear little patches on the sidewalk or driveway. If you’re short on shovels, your child can use a broom to sweep away light snow on your porch or walkway. Just remember to hang it up in your basement so it can dry without freezing.

Clear the car: Is your car parked outside? With your supervision, your child can clear the windows and sides. Use a windshield wiper to keep it clear.

Take breaks: According to the Mayo Clinic, you should take breaks when you feel tired while shoveling. Listen to your children, watch their shoveling pace to see if they’re tired, and ask them if they’d like a break. When in doubt, consider taking a break every 15 to 20 minutes.

Clear the fire hydrant: When you’re finished clearing your walkways, you and your child can work together to clear the fire hydrant on your block from snow. Make sure it’s cleared from all sides so that firefighters can access it. While clearing the fire hydrant, maintain close supervision of your child, especially if a snowplow is headed down your street.

Don’t forget the neighbors: A heavy snowfall is a great opportunity for you to teach your child to think of others in your community. Take a break after clearing your own walkway, then head over to a neighbor’s driveway or sidewalk.

Finally, don’t overdo it. While it might be tempting to clear your walkways of every snowflake, you and your child don’t want to be exhausted, either.

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