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.
Easy Tissue Transfer Art
Easy art doesn't always equal beautiful art, but this project is definitely an exception. Using just water, canvas, and colored tissue paper, Autumn's 5-year-old daughter made this art piece all by herself. Your kids can do the same too; see how it's done over at her blog.
Peg Doll Templates
The creatives behind Mr. Printables have some great FREE templates you can download for your kids. A great (and inexpensive) snow day craft, this cute snowscape comes with templates for people, trees, and critters; you can make it all out of cardboard! After crafting, your children can play with these fun creations or set them in a special place to display.
String Art for Kids
String art has been steadily growing in popularity, but kids with nails and hammers isn't always the best idea! Blogger mom Sarah came up with an awesome, kid-friendly way to create string art designs. Canvas and thumbtacks work just as well as wood and nails. Help your child align his or her desired shape then let them do the rest!
Ultimate DIY Fort
Alida, the creator of The Realistic Mama, gathered a list of her 15 favorite forts from around the Internet. They all have varying scales of difficulty, so leave the decision up to the ambitions of your children.
The perfect treat on a snow day? A cinnamon-sugar snowflake! Happy Hooligans blogger Jackie shows us how to make her favorite wintry treat. Your kids will have a blast folding and cutting tortilla shells into beautiful snowflake creations. See the tutorial here!
Snow Day Movie Marathon
After a sweet treat, settle in for a movie marathon. Reel Mama, Lauren, gathered up a list of her favorite movies to watch with her children when the snow blows outside. She gives a brief description of each movie as well as where you can stream or order it online. Perhaps the kids can watch these from inside their fort!
Build a City
This is a great activity for those who have building toys. Simply line the floor with painters tape — you can do it like blogger Amanda did, so that all your streets and blocks are square, or you can create a city with curves and diagonals. Once you've lined up your city, let your kids go to work building the entire town. Check out how it's done here!
DIY Sparkle Slime
Amy Mascott pulled out all the stops on finding things for her children to do on a snowy day. She showed her kids how to make homemade sparkle slime — and they loved it! She has a video, some great pictures, and a tutorial for creating your own snow day slime.