Whether it’s snow or frigid temperatures that keep your family confined to the house on a weekday, it doesn’t have to be boring. Snow days are opportunities for parents and children to create memories and start traditions. Inclement weather can change the course of a day into an adventure. Rather than catch up on housework, make it a mini-vacation for yourself, as well. When parents play with their children rather than merely supervising, new trust is built between child and guardian. For some parents these are rare moments and not a natural part of who they are.Type A personalities tend to be more organization oriented and less comfortable actually participating. While others engage on a daily basis in the experience of playing with their children. If you can’t recall the kinds of things your parents did with you on snow days, or you want some new ideas; let me give a tired and true list that is sure to inspire even Type As to join in.
Read books together
Share with your young children one of your favorite childhood books. Tell the story behind the book. Was it your father’s imitation of the characters in the book that made it especially fun? Perhaps it was the first book you read on your own. This could open discussions as to why they love a particular book.
Play board games
Board games are slow paced enough to allow for conversation and interaction that is sorely lacking in video games. Keeping score and calculating their next move build critical thinking skills. A simple deck of cards and Hoyle’s rule book offers the challenge of learning a brand new card game or recalling rules to a childhood favorite. When was the last time you played 500 rummy, canasta, war or go fish?
Do you have a game with pieces missing? Use the money from monopoly and the dice from Yahtzee and the board from sorry to create a new game. Or use a piece of posterboard to design a game from scratch. The creating of the game can be more fun that actually playing it.
Create art projects
Hopefully you have a drawer full of art supplies to create fun creatures and masterpieces. You can search online for patterns and directions for these creations. Or you might do an art project related to the book you have just read. If you have a child who loves crafts, let them lead the group and teach you something new. Sometimes just spending an hour with coloring books and crayons—admiring one another’s color choices—can spark thoughtful conversation otherwise missed in the busy-ness of an ordinary day.
Picnic in the living room
Eating a picnic lunch on a blanket in the family room or under the dining room table is just good fun.
Building a blanket tent is a tradition that every generation has experienced at least once in their childhood. check out this video.The fun is in the creating. Whether you use clothes pins or cover your table with a large sheet, kids love pretending in their own little world. Their imaginations will determine the adventure you all will undertake amidst your blankets. Often this becomes the perfect place for a nap for the whole family.
Creating with Play Doh
Whether you make your own or have all the fun play doh sets, your involvement in the creation process makes it fun. Remember your children will think your creations are fantastic just because you took the time to play with them.
Playing outdoor games inside
If there are rooms you prefer not to be used for hiding, be sure to make those off-limits before you begin. If you would rather not play hide and seek, how about Mother-may-I and Red light/Green light. Allow each child to be the “it” and please do participate with your children as a follower. This gives you a chance to demonstrate good sportsmanship.
Watching favorite movies together is a great way to quiet kids after more stimulating activities or as a segue into an art project when the movie is over.
Having competitions can be great fun as long as the activities allow each child a fair chance to win. WII sports tournaments, trivia games or air hockey can all be part of a family tournament. Those who are better with their mind have a chance to shine as much as video champs and athletes.
Baking , cooking and dressing up
Creating in the kitchen is not only fun but a learning experience. Take things a step further by setting the table with your best dishes and teaching proper table manners. Maybe have everyone dress for dinner. Why wait for a special occasion.
When your children are grown you can be sure they will remind you of the fun you all had together on snow days.