School was canceled once again today at Dublin City Schools. I’m pretty sure they haven’t had a full week of school since before Christmas. Lucky kids. We got about 4 inches of snow in Dublin early Monday morning. And it wasn’t just snow, there was a nice layer of ice under it along with chilly temps. I kind of thought we might get lucky and not get any more snow this winter. We barley had any snow in December and I’m pretty sure up until yesterday no snow in January. But then again, winter in Dublin, Ohio, starts in October and lasts until April.
This week marks the 37th anniversary of the Blizzard of ’78, also known as the White Hurricane, was a historic winter storm that brought more than 28 inches of snow. Which as you can imagine brought the city to a standstill.
While Central Ohio lucked out with this storm, there is more sleet/snow coming on Thursday. Hopefully, it will blow though quickly. But, the North East of the county hasn’t been so lucky. Winter Storm Juno hit them hard. They have seen hurricane force winds of 70 mph and 7.8 inches of snow in central park and up to 24 inches of snow in Long Island. The mayor has stated that this could be the biggest storm New York has ever seen. The area is shut down. In a state of emergency. They do not want any one traveling (all airports have been closed), schools canceled, grocery shelves cleared. Power outages have been reported as well.
So if you are stuck at home here are some fun things to do to keep you busy!
1. Go outside
Let's start with the obvious - kids like playing in the snow. Adults usually aren't quite as excited about the prospect, but why not embrace it? You're probably going to have to go out there and shovel snow anyway. Here's some suggestions for games: my favorites include blowing bubbles and allowing them to freeze, and busting out the beach toys for sculpting sand to use in the snow instead.
And speaking of shoveling, why not suggest the kids help you out? If you have shovels small enough that they can use, enlist their help in clearing the sidewalks. The reward can be using that excess snow to make the walls of a nice snow fort. There's always the old standards for playing in the snow - making snowmen, snowball fights, and of course sledding. My advice: save the snow angels for last. Nothing makes me want to go back inside like intentionally laying down in snow.
2. Bring some snow inside
The worst thing about snow? It's so darn cold. So why not bring some inside with you where it's nice and warm?
Grab a few buckets full of snow and dump them into the bathtub. Let the kids have an indoor snow day of digging and sculpting with (hopefully) minimal mess. The sheer novelty of inside snow ought to keep them entertained for awhile, and everyone will stay lot warmer. Dolls, cars and action figures can now play in a winter setting without having to be carted outside. And once it all melts, just let it flow down the drain.
3. Play some games
Board games and puzzles were designed for days like this. Bust out the classics - especially the ones that take forever, like "Candyland" or "Monopoly." You've got the whole day to get through it, provided everyone has the patience for that.
And if you're like me, you've probably got a box of their toys hidden away somewhere - things thrown into a closet because you just didn't know where else to put them. Old toys are suddenly far more interesting if they haven't been seen for awhile. Today's the day to drag out that box.
There's also classics like building a blanket fort and Don't Touch The Floor Because It's Made of Lava. The latter is a personal favorite.
4. Get their help with chores
You're going to have a day at home. You're probably looking around at all of the things you need to get done, on top of thinking about the catching up you'll need to do when you get back to work. So why not relieve some of that stress and keep the family busy at the same time?
Of course, no one enjoys chores. But kids will often be a lot more willing to help out when they see themselves as helpers rather than laborers. Now's your chance to do the old Tom Sawyer "painting the fence" routine - letting them do something they're usually not allowed to do, like run the vacuum clean or help with the cooking, helps to convince kids they're being rewarded rather than punished.
5. Arts and crafts
You don't have to be Martha Stewart to keep kids amused. Fold up some paper and cut out snowflakes. Grab some paper plates, cut out holes for your eyes, and design your own masks. Or just find some of those coloring books and sit down with a pile of crayons.
If you're a bit more confident in your crafting skills, you can do things like make some homemade play-dough. And speaking of edible crafts: since we've already talked about bringing snow inside, you can also try making snow candy. Just don't use the snow that you've all been playing with in the bathtub.
6. Escape with electronics It's likely that the whole family has access to several screens worth of electronic entertainment these days. Even families without home video game consoles are likely to have several amusing apps on their phones.