The robo-call comes at sunrise: Snow's still falling, roads are slick, and school is canceled. Instead of dreading a long day of policing TV access, refereeing squabbles, and mopping up melted snow, try to channel the way you once felt at that magic moment when you heard the radio announcer say your own school was among the closed. A snow day can be as fun as you make it—even for busy moms. We've put together a blizzard's worth of activities to keep snowbound kids of all ages happily engaged.
You've probably made dozens, if not hundreds, of videos since your children were born. But after that initial screening when you e-mailed the clip to the grandparents, how often have you watched them? Have a family film festival, streaming to your TV (if you can) or watching on your computer. Seeing that first dance recital again or your toddler dancing away from waves at the beach will put a smile on everyone's face.
Tale of the Tape
You knew duct tape had 1,000 uses. Here's 1,001: a tablet case. Find lightweight scrap fabric and use your e-reader as a guide, placing it in center of fabric. Wrap around the tablet and cut to fit, leaving some overlap for closure flap and a halfinch on sides. Lay fabric flat and cover one side end-to-end with duct tape in desired pattern, folding tape ends around both edges. Wrap fabric around tablet, taped side out. With flap open, tape the length of the sides, finishing edges. Add selfstick hook-and-loop tape; embellish as desired.
Shoot to Thrill
Get snap-happy and upload with abandon. You know those people who fill their Facebook pages with totally adorable pictures of their families' snowy antics? Be one of those people! Get out while the getting's
good—when the snow is fresh, the mittens are dry, and the icicles have the most sparkle. A don'tmiss shot list: little ones in bright snowsuits making snow angels; a street white and clear of cars; the many stages of a snowman.
Upcycling, that is! Raid your jewelry box for old bangles, wrap with colored string or thread, tie off at the end, and voilà—a brand-new take on friendship bracelets.
Organize a Sled-Fest
Fact: Kids want to do far more sledding than parents want to chaperone. If you have a bunch of youngsters on your street, organize parents into a rotation and take turns supervising. Over the course of a day, six kids from three different families can add up to three hours of sled time, but only one shift each for three busy moms.
Swing for the Snowbanks
Sinker, slider, snowball? For a tear-free twist on the traditional snowball fight, adapt America’s favorite pastime. All you need is a plastic bat, a few practice swings, and you’re ready to play snow baseball.
Grilled cheese—with or without tomato soup—is practically a no-brainer, but fancy it up and make it an event. Have a grilled cheese bar: Put out bread (whatever slices you have on hand) and grated ends of cheese from the fridge (mozzarella, Parmesan, that bit of Gouda you didn’t know what to do with). Add pots of jam, caramelized onions, tomato slices, bacon, pickles, apples, raisins—we used marinara and spinach. Then elevate lunch to a dining experience: Enlist older kids to set the table and light candles; put younger kids to work making place cards. Custom place mats (cut from that pile of newspapers) turn the everyday task of setting the table into a fun project.