The snow flurries had been forecast a couple of days in advance. Schools, businesses and government offices had all been cancelled in anticipation of the coming storm. Now all the family could do was watch as the snow came down and began to accumulate as they became snowed in. Fortunately, they had prepared and had plenty of food to ride it out at home.
While being snowed in can be worrisome, it is also a rare opportunity for families to be together for an extended period of time. Rarely are families allowed to just be together at home without the constant pull of various obligations and responsibilities. Being snowed in is nature’s pause button in our busy lives.
When this opportunity comes, families need to make a decision on how they are going to spend this time together. Internet connectivity allows everyone to grab a device and head to separate rooms to watch shows and get on social media. While this can pass the time, it misses a chance for families to take a break from everything and be able to bond.
The best activities to consider are the ones that both parents and children will enjoy. Playing cards or a board game is a great social activity. While the game might be the focus, it is interesting what sorts of topics can come up in side conversations. These conversations lay the groundwork for better relationships between parents and their children.
A different activity that can become totally engrossing for families is putting together a puzzle. Families should keep a couple of puzzles in the house for days like these. Parents can help teach younger children strategies on how best to complete a puzzle, particularly the ones with hundreds of pieces. Puzzles can also assist children in improving their memory and problem solving.
Sitting by a fire and listening to a parent read from one of her favorite children’s book can be a cherished memory for children. The action of reading aloud while listening to the crackle of the fire and watching the snow come down can be an excellent way for the family to relax.
Another activity families can do while being snowed in is baking. There is nothing quite like the smell of fresh baked cookies wafting throughout the house. Everyone in the family can play a role in making the cookies. The teamwork required to successfully make the cookies is a good way to encourage families to work together and rely on one another. Not to mention that once the cookies come out of the oven, there is the added bonus of being able to eat them.
Parents with younger children can spend the time building a fort. There is something magical about building a fort out of cushions, pillows, tables and sheets. It allows for great opportunities to engage in pretend play.
Of course the classic activity to do on a snow day is to go play in the snow. It is hard to resist going sledding, building a snow fort, or engaging in a snowball fight. This should include the parents as well as the children as we often can forget to take a moment to enjoy being a kid again. It can do wonders for parents’ outlook on life.
The next time there is a major snow storm, take advantage of nature’s pause button and view it as an opportunity to spend time with your family. Build a fort, put together a puzzle, play a board game, have someone read a story, or do some cooking. These are all activities that children and parents will be remember far into the future.
This article was published in the Richmond Register daily Friday on January 29, 2016.