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Live in a cold climate? Read what to do on snow days!

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The local weather forecast is calling for cold temperatures and lots of snow in the coming days. Gearing up to return the kids to school after the holiday break, but wondering whether school will be called for tomorrow? The St. Louis metropolitan area is forecasting 3-7 inches of snow and lows in the single digits. Those of you who have lived here know that this spells school closings. Some families LOVE unexpected days off, but if your kids are getting cabin fever, and you are twiddling your thumbs, asking yourself what to plan for the day tomorrow, read on.

1. First and foremost, if there is enough snow on the ground, obviously taking advantage of the snow is the first suggestion. Building a snowman, snow fort, or sledding, could become a seasonal highlight!

2. Watching a favorite movie together provides for quiet, family time together, but don't let that be ALL you do.

3. Ditto to the video/computer games, and other screen time.

4. However, cuddling up with a blanket, good book, and warm cup of cocoa...is one of my personal favorites!

5. Choose a game to play with the kids (or invite neighbors over). This is a great way to pass otherwise idle time, and a safe, healthy way for the kids to be social.

6. Arts and crafts are easier than many parents think...all you need is some old newspaper, scissors, glue, markers, and anything else you can find, like other recyclables. Kids will use their imaginations and blow you away with what they come up with.

7. Make music together. Again, no need for "real" musical instruments, if you don't have them. Just find some boxes from holiday gifts, rice or dry beans, and tape. You can make shakers, drums, etc. and parade around the house!

8. Embark on a family project. Some kids enjoy helping clean out and reorganizing closets, going through old clothes, etc. Sometimes this can encourage pretend play...another wonderful use of your child's creativity.

9. Write a story together. One of my favorite activities from my teaching days was writing a "popcorn" story. One person starts telling a story with a sentence or two. The next continues it, and so on. This is fun to do both in writing or verbally, if the kids are younger.

10. Make memories...really anything you do can turn into a new family favorite. Just remember to relax and enjoy the precious time you have together!

Now, all I have to do is walk my talk. It's easy to make suggestions that I know are good for all of us, but harder to practice what I preach. Snow or not, go into the new year with an open mind, peaceful heart, and optimistic outlook. We will all be the healthier for it!

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