Well it is officially Snowmaggedon here in Georgia.
We are trapped and will be for at least the next 24 hours. Thankfully we are safely together with power and plenty of food and praying it stays that way.
So what do you do when you are stuck in the snow and have children? What do you do to keep yourself from pulling your hair out and your children from climbing the walls? Remember, I am striving to be intentional with my time and mindfully make the most of every experience I can. I can let this time be a precious memory for my kids or a dreadful memory of boredom.
Well of course you have to play in the snow!! After sledding, snowball fighting, snow angels, and snowmen have lost their appeal, try out this: Snow Painting. Snow Painting consisted of me giving each child a squirt bottle filled with water dyed with food coloring and strict instructions to only spray the snow!! They were entertained for a very long period of time and several times requested to refill their bottles.
Then there are the good old standbys like building a fort and watching a movie. We love forts at our house and I find them great entertainment for more than just movie watching. We love to play cards in the fort by battery power lanterns (keep this in your pocket if you do happen to lose power—pile the fort with blankets and snuggle in together with your favorite books and board games and flashlights or lanterns. That will keep you warm and entertained.)
And then there is getting the kids energy out. I typically have my kids do competitions with each other—how many jumping jacks/push-ups can you do. This doesn’t last long, but gets some energy out. We then move on to a crazy dance party. My daughter decks herself out in one of her dozens of princess dresses and we crank up some Disney tunes and make complete fools of ourselves. Yes, I am sure our neighbors have had plenty of laughs when they peak in our windows.
But these things wear out their appeal quickly. So the last time we were stuck in the house (because this is the second round of Snowmaggedon here in Atlanta) I came up with some new things that worked wonders.
Balloon Hockey: Blow up a balloon and find 2 baskets or buckets of some kind. Place the buckets at either end of a long hallway or in a wide open space in the basement. Use a broom and have the kids try to get the balloon in the basket.
Balloon Volleyball: To me this game was the best, because I did not need to supervise. I placed a chair in the middle of my hallway and covered it with a blanket—this was the net. I gave the kids another balloon (they certainly did pop the balloon during hockey), then they used their hands to keep volley the ball back and forth to each other.
Bowling: Place water bottles in a triangle shape at the end of the hallway and give kids a softer playground ball to roll down the hallway and try to knock the bottles over.
These are just a few ideas that made my day fun and enjoyable for everyone. The best thing to remember is to love on your child. Connect with them by playing their favorite game with them and reading them their favorite book. Help them build a fort and snuggle in and watch their favorite movie with them (and then don’t feel at all guilty when you fall asleep during the movie!)
And of course when there is snow, it is a necessity to have some delicious hot cocoa. We tend to have several cups of hot cocoa throughout the day, each cup as we come in from the cold. I am NOT opposed to that one bit, especially when I am using a homemade version of hot cocoa. I truly prefer not to put most packaged hot cocoas in our bodies. They are full of preservatives and hydrogenated oils. Plus my version is less expensive and can be modified in any way you see fit.
My Favorite Version of Hot Cocoa: (not so healthy, but everything in moderation and much better for you then a packet!!)
- 1/4 cup cocoa
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tsp instant espresso powder (I use decaf for kids)
- dash of salt
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
- 4 cups of milk of your choice
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
Combine the cocoa, sugar, espresso powder, salt, and water together in saucepan. Whisk well while bringing mixture to a boil. Reduce to simmer and stir in chocolate chips and milk. Whisk until smooth and gradually simmer until warmed through. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract. Enjoy!!!
*Be creative: add ¼ tsp peppermint extract for peppermint cocoa or whisk in some caramel with the dark chocolate—yummy!!