How to Survive and Thrive During Snow Days
Big Kids and Little Kids
By TJ Wilt
Snow Days are one of the greatest memories as a child. What about when you become a parent and you have children of your own? They still are the best memories but responsibility gets in the way of you letting loose…completely. Snow is not planned; snow is not forgiving and able to reschedule so being prepared prior to that phone call at 4am or the email the night before is tricky. I am a little luckier than some, I have 3 boys so as one grows out of a winter jacket the next can grow into it. This of course does not apply to the pre-teen that grows 5 inches in 6 months. However, he can almost fit into my clothes and definitely his mothers. Below are some of my thoughts from experience that might come in handy.
Always key to any big day of adventure are snow balls, snow men or snow women, sledding, crying,
freezing, a little bruising, a lot of laughter, some resting and a whole lot of fun is a good hearty breakfast. EAT. A lot of people skip this meal but it is critical to compete with your kids energy. Skipping breakfast should never be an option. If there is ever a day for the full eggs, bacon, sausage, pancakes, waffles, fruit, biscuits and gravy, OJ, cereal and oatmeal this is the day. Go all out!! We all know the possibility of getting to another meal before the sun sets is not likely.
Its cold, wet and it finds itself into your kids clothes especially when they are having fun. So expect to see some tears mixed with the smiles.
Go round up your sleds. Use anything you can get your hands on. We had some old plastic saucers in the basement and still resorted to trashcan lids, trash bags and sometimes even cardboard boxes. So don’t spend a lot of time stressing because the more creative you are the more fun for the kids.
Almost as critical as breakfast. Being outdoors and being active is a choice and choosing means preparing. Snack bars are the easiest most efficient way to be prepared. Gels are an option, but honestly, there are not many kids that will take down a gel pack like runners and cyclists. Just throw some meal or snack bars in a backpack and call it a day. Water is critical too. Just as important as it would be for a trail run or ride on the bike. Water bottles are light and easy to refill. Just throw a couple in the pack.
Having fun is the point of the day. Making memories is what its all about. Today is not the day for a teaching moment. Not the day for being critical about manners. Not the day to be a parent, at least in front of your kids. Today is the day to be a kid again. Get on the sled. Go faster than you are comfortable with going. Make snow angels, then stay there and let your kids bury you in the snow. These are quick cold moments in your day, but are unforgettable moments that your kids will hopefully remember for a lifetime. The two most important tactics for staying in good graces with your kids during these memorable moments:
- Get involved
- Let loose
So basically if you can be a kid again, DO IT!!
Yes, they will sleep. Maybe not before you fall asleep, but they will fall asleep right next to you in bed if you are lucky and that will be the finale of a day that was lived to the fullest.
Enjoy the snow and know next time you get that email, phone call or twitter feed letting you know that tomorrow includes an unscheduled day off… you will be prepared and ready to take on the FUN.
My picks for the best snow day survival items:
- Patagonia Better Sweater - my go-to mid layer for any cold weather
- The North Face Summit Series - The L5 layer as your shell will keep the cold out completely
- Grab the Gold Snack Bar - Made in Tennessee, just like me
- Suunto Ambit2 - A little overkill for a snow day but I have had a Suunto for almost 10 years now as my watch and would not choose any other
- Kammok Gear Roo Hammock - of course at some point you have to relax and why not strap onto a tree right by the sledding hill
- YETI 20oz Rambler - Who could forget your beverage, hot or cold, its hard to pass the Yeti Rambler