We’re keeping monthly checklists during this school year to make sure our kids are on the right track for school success. You know, updating goals, maintaining helpful routines, knowing due-dates for important assignments, that kind of thing. It’s February. And one thing’s for sure in lots of school districts: if you haven’t had a snow day yet, you probably will this month. What’s the best way to plan for them? And once they arrive, how will you pass the time?
Use the school website or the teacher’s web page to make sure you’re up to date. Take a few minutes to go over any assignments that are due and check them for accuracy.
Play in the snow, of course! Create some new snow games. Draw funny geometric shapes and make snow angels. Build forts. Laugh. (Don’t mention that those geometric shapes and forts are math and engineering concepts! Our secret.)
Let your kids teach you.
Ask your child to “explain” a homework assignment and how they chose to answer it. Explaining aloud, slowly and confidently, helps “cement” the concept into our brains. It also lets you see if they truly understand the material.
Make yummy winter snacks.
Hot chocolate is perfect. Chat amiably. You do most of the listening.
Do art projects.
Draw, color, or paint snow scenes of your house. Send them to Grandma. She’ll love it, and they’ll be proud.
Read about snow.
Fiction or non-fiction. Read about icebergs, penguins, polar bears, winter weather patterns in your neighborhood over the years, etc. Let the kids come up with winter topics.
Talk about the snow days when you were a kid. What did you do? What were your favorite snow activities? Share pictures. You can also extend this back a generation. Have the kids come up with interesting questions to ask their grandparents and other older relatives or friends about snow days in the “olden days.” The older folks will love reminiscing and being included. (“Snow days? We had to walk five miles…”)
Let your kids plan.
Ahead of time, ask your children to come up with fun, rewarding snow day activities. You get approval and veto powers, naturally.
Make the most of the day.
Don’t spend all day in front of screens, isolated from each other. Don’t waste the day. Remember that a snow day is a gift, a lucky break from routine, and it shouldn’t be an excuse to veg out.