School closings have skyrocketed this winter throughout Michigan due to frigid temperatures, blustery winds, and heavy snow. Why not use this time to take on a family project which typically takes a backseat to homework or grocery shopping? Here are three projects you could do with your kids during the next snow day to make it a productive day.
1. Make freeze ahead lunches for work or school. As a family activity, brainstorm ideas, create a shopping list, buy the items, and set up an assembly line. Each person contributes to the meals, and the work gets done much faster than doing it yourself (depending on the age of the kids.) Whether it take a long time, however, becomes irrelevant when at the end of the day the freezer is stocked with delicious, time-saving meals.
2. Sort mementos into keep or toss piles. While sifting through old kid drawings, photographs, and birthday cards, discuss items with them about memories an item triggers. Ask the children to also contribute to the family project by sharing their favorites. Set up a "keep" folder for each member of the family, and add to it periodically. When a child gets married or moves out, give them their keepsake folder as a tie to their past while also passing on the responsibility for him or her to keep the memories alive.
3. Improve the pets' lives. Give the dog a good brushing. Clean out the fish tank. Empty and wash the cat box with soap. Spruce up the hamster cage. Vacuum fur and dander out of couches and bedding. Whatever pets you own, get the kids involved in making their lives healthier and happier. A snow day is a perfect day for this family project, and the pets will greatly appreciate their new environment.
Celebrate the family's effort with a treat such as hot chocolate with marshmallows, warm brownies, or Rice Krispies Treats. Involving the kids in a family project on a snow day should help reduce potential bickering. At first they may resist because their comfy bed or video games sound better, but in the long run, contributing to the family will create positive memories, traditions, and a sense of belonging.