Tuesday, November 23, 2010


There is a gigantic blizzard sweeping across the western part of the United States.  Many school are cancelled (unless your kids' school bus looks like this) and many business are closed.  We are home in greater numbers than any normal day.  I know it's just the beginning of winter and most kids aren't bored of being inside, but I thought I would re-post this to give you ideas--just in case.

A lot of my fellow Americans are buried in snow. The results of my carefully controlled, scientific poll on Facebook (where I scanned my friends' status updates and counted a lot of references), many are struggling with cooped-up children. Don't worry! Home schooling mother of five is here. Not as cool as Mighty Mouse, but maybe I'll save the day anyhow. I've tried to include ideas that do not require you to go to the store for materials.
  • If you've had over twelve inches of snow within twenty-four hours, make Snow Cream. My great-grandmother used to make this and it is a special winter treat--made even more so because you can only have it after the HUGE snowstorms.  (Waiting until a lot of snow has fallen insures that the air has been cleaned by the initial snow fall.)
About 1 Cup Milk
1/2 Cup Sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla
Pour Over Large Bowl of Fresh snow
Stir until resembles the consistency of soft serve ice cream.
You may have to mess with the recipe according to how wet your snow is.
  • Have a home spa. Make a messy mask with oatmeal, egg white and orange juice (pulverize in blender). Paint each others toes, exfoliate foot calluses, moisturize with olive oil.
  • Move, move, move. Pull out old aerobics videos, create a dance channel on Pandora, play indoor tag, play Simon Says and include lots of jump on one foot, hop like a bunny, run around the table.
  • Craft together. Make potato stamps, make paper mache dinosaurs, create your own stationary, learn how to make paper dolls.
  • Write letters. Write to grandparents, cousins at college, soldiers, missionaries. Use your homemade stationary or cards.
  • Learn about a warm place. Look at pictures of Hawaii, find the major deserts on a map, google desert spider, learn about the equator. Or, put extra wood on the fire, pull out beach towels, make kool-aid and pretend your living room is a beach.
  • Make a volcano. Put an old 20 oz soda bottle on a large piece of cardboard. Crumple newspaper into balls and pile up next to the bottle. Paper mache over it all, making sure you leave the top of the bottle exposed. Let dry. Paint with poster paints. To make it explode, Put two to three tablespoons of baking soda into the bottle. Pour in vinegar--make sure your head is out of the way. Repeat until you're all sick of it. It makes a big mess.
  • Pull out the board games. Teach them how to play some simple card games like Crazy Eights or Slap Jack. If the kids are older, try rummy or even pinochle.
  • Play Bug.
    You have to get the body first, head second, the the rest (in no particular order, to complete your bug. The first with all the parts, wins. Take turns rolling the die.
    6- Body; 5- Head; 4-Antenna (need two); 3- Eyes (need two); 2- legs (need six); 1- Mouth
  • Make play-dough or slime. If the kids love it, which I've never met a kid who doesn't, keep going with the kitchen chemistry.
  • Cushion and blanket fort. Enough said.
  • Family read-aloud.
  • Make cookies or cupcakes that need frosting and sprinkles. This will fill hours!
  • Watch Leave It To Beaver on Netflix.
  • Skype with friends who are also snowed in.
  • Get a head start on Spring Cleaning. Pick one cabinet or drawer each day and clean it out as a family. Maybe hidden in the back you'll find something else to entertain the troops.
  • Make puppets out of paper plates, paper bags or old socks and put on a puppet show.
  • Pull out the birthday party standards like Pin the Tail on the Donkey, Duck, Duck, Goose, Red Light, Green Light, a treasure hunt, or an obstacle course.
  • Work on your Balance and Strength. Indian Wrestling, Standing Long Jump, Vertical Jump, arm wrestle, pick up a pencil with your toes, sit on the wall. Compete against your five year old. They will win most of the time.
  • Teach the kids to braid or sew. Start with the straight lines of a regtangular shoulder bag.
  • Play Dress-up. Have a tea party or fight the bad guys, accordingly. Speak with an accent.
I'm sure none of these ideas are new, but maybe having them all in one place will get your mind out of it's February blahs. Have fun with your people.

If I've saved the sanity of even one mother, it will have been worth it!

1 comment:

  1. I love that you know what snow icecream is! Jason thinks I am crazy for having my kids make this when the first big snowfall comes. My mom did it with us and her mom did it with her. It is always a huge treat!