It’s coming. You know that right? If you live in the “snow belt” sometime soon a very big snow is coming to your doorstep. Will you be ready?
We recently had the pleasure of enjoying a ginormous snow – almost 26 inches! Our friends who attend public school were off for a full week straight! Planning and preparing for a snow day with kids (or six, or seven) is no small matter. Especially if you expect to be snowed in. Let’s talk about ways to get ready once you see snow on the horizon with your handy SnowCast App.
I love snow! I know not everyone agrees with me, so I am going to try to approach this post from a semi-neutral position. Just so you know which Mom I am. . . while everyone else was worried about milk and bread and eggs (so they could make plenty of french toast in a snow storm I guess) I was worried about the fact that we didn’t have any sleds and my kids needed new gloves and boots. So when you start thinking about preparing for a snow day with kids and stalking your SnowCast App (you know, back in November) – guess what the first step should be?
Preparing for a Snow Day with Kids Step One
Buy some sleds. My sister has an amazing sledding hill and has tested a huge variety of sleds since the entire neighborhood comes out to sled on their hill. The winner? A plain, plastic sled from Wal-mart. It doesn’t have to be fancy, and I can tell you for sure that heavy saucer sleds like the one I bought last year (and left at her house) do not work. So on the very first day you see sleds in your local chain store – snap them up!
Preparing for a Snow Day with Kids Step Two
Buy the gear. You’re gonna want your kids to go outside right? I mean – if your kids are in public school and you have a snow day then I guess you might think of snow days as a kind of purgatory (especially on day five). For homeschool moms, snow days are a VACATION! I mean seriously, all the neighborhood kids are outside playing in the snow – can you really make your kids do school? Well, yes I guess you can, but I prefer to throw caution to the wind and send my kids happily outside often throughout the day while I watch from inside and catch up on my stuff.
So snatch up some cheap boots, hats, gloves, snow pants, and wool socks before they become a commodity on Amazon. And by the way, I do love buying these things at Amazon. You can find some seriously cheap deals on there and get it all in two days with Prime. Two days before our big storm, I was scrambling to make sure everyone had the snow gear they needed! (Unfortunately at that point the sleds all had a two-week waiting period. Buy sleds early. I’m telling you now.)
Preparing for a Snow Day with Kids Step Three
Plan for some yummy snacks. Kids who spend all day out in the snow get hungry! On our last snow day it was 45* and we still had over a foot of snow steadily melting. My kids were literally out there for 8 hours with short breaks for food. So of course you are going to want to stock up on hot chocolate and marshmallows, and a handy electric teapot to make a big batch of hot water all at once.
But more then that, snow days are the perfect time to pop some cookies in the oven or whip up a batch of Snow Day Snack Mix while your kids are outside. (Credit: I got this recipe from my friend Tahnee who got it from another friend and they called it something different. I edited it a bit to change it up and make it mine. But if you love it a little too much, don’t blame me. It does make the perfect snow day snack.)
Preparing for a Snow Day with Kids Step Four
Get some indoor fun ready so your kids have something to do besides electronics on the coldest, blizzardly days. Not every snow day is play-in-the-snow friendly, so be prepared. Otherwise you are looking at an electronics overdose or worse: A Star Wars marathon. This cute printable has connect-the-dot pages, coloring pages, a maze, a fun math page, finger puppets and more!
Preparing for a Snow Day with Kids Step Five
Be ready to put them to work. And what I mean by that is, kids love to shovel! Before our last snow day we made sure we had shovels for every child. They had a blast shoveling off the entire cul-de-sac on the first day while it was still snowing. Then the next day they helped shovel the driveway, and then used the shovels to build enormous roofed snow forts connected by tunnels. Sadly, two of our shovels got lost in drifts and ended up run over by the snow plow, but we will for sure go get some more before the next big snow!
Preparing for a Snow Day with Kids Step Six
Get the makings for a snowman. This is where I always fall down on the job! A good snowman needs a carrot nose, and something that will realistically stay in place for eyes and buttons. And a hat. And maybe gloves. Take your extras and make a snowman kit (sans carrot). Get it ready. (Preaching to myself here.)
Preparing for a Snow Day with Kids Step Seven
Get some books about snow days. I’m serious about this. Nothing is more relaxing (and maybe even dare-I-say-it nap inducing) after running up and down a sledding hill for hours then cuddling on the couch with a few good picture books or a chapter book about snow.
Preparing for a Snow Day with Kids Step Eight
Stock the basics. Just in case – you know – just in case it takes a week for them to dig you out. And just because that’s what everybody else does. Buy water. I mean, I haven’t figured out why you are supposed to buy water yet but I’m sure there is a good reason. Don’t be like me and stare at the empty shelves wondering why people bought up all the water, eggs, milk, and bread. And chicken broth. It will all start to make sense on day four.
Preparing for a Snow Day with Kids Step Nine
Download the app. I’ve mentioned the SnowCast app a couple times in this blog post, and you might be wondering what exactly it is. Well, for one thing, if you love snow like I do it’s a lot of fun! But, when you are preparing for a snow day it is also very practical. The SnowCast app makes it easy to understand how much snow will fall in your location — how much is falling right now, how much will come in the next six hours, and how much is expected in the next 48 hours.
Besides helping you estimate the amount of snow you will get, the app also provides NOAA winter weather warnings and advisories so that you are always prepared. AND it has a handy dandy, easy and accurate radar map – which might be my most favorite page of all. You can also quickly and easily check for snow on your travel route just by changing the zip code a few times. (I just checked out Pennsylvania because I have family traveling through the state today. Yikes!) The Snowcast app is easy to install on any iOS device, and has a very simple, clean interface.