Over half of America was slammed with a Winter Storm watch this past week, including Alabama! And more snow and sleet are expected this week.
Now, sleeping in late is great, but for the rest of us who must work from home and have little ones, it’s a laugh! However, we all definitely need over 12 awesome ideas to beat the winter blues and enjoy these surprising snow days!
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We enjoy being home with our little monsters. After all, a brother is born for adversity, and I recall how so many of my friends with one kiddo had major complaints about boredom during the 2020 shutdown.
But our kids? They gamed together, dressed up together, drew pictures and arts and crafts, danced, sang, made each other laugh (and agitated each other) on a daily basis. It was never a dull moment! Based on what we did, and what has worked for us, check our list out, and maybe get some new ideas for your family!
It amazes me how many people will stay inside and just look at it and say, “Oh, how pretty!” Ummm, if you don’t get your munchkins bundled up and go jump in it, I might think you’re an android!
Snow is rare in the south, and being from New York, snow was such a DELIGHT for me growing up! Head outside with your babies and build that snowman, no matter how small, because it won’t be on the ground long!
Now, if you’re stuck in Lake Tahoe right now in 17 feet of snow, or another part of the country where it snows all of the time, cabin fever is very real. So, here’s an incredible slideshow of snow ideas here you can check out so you don’t get weary! Especially do the “blow unpoppable bubbles” activity if you happen to be in below-freezing temperatures. Too cool!
The boxed stuff is good…when you don’t know any better. But once you’ve made a cup of your own and dashed in some cayenne and vanilla (trust me), you will never go back.
My favorite is The Saco Pantry’s Organic Cocoa brand, if you prefer a natural brand that’s not expensive. This year, we tried the Sillycow Farms line of cocoa, and they come in a variety of divine flavors, such as Sea Salt & Caramel and Chocolate Peppermint Twist. We haven’t tried them all yet, but we’re working on it!
If your little one has been asking to get into the kitchen, this is the perfect time to get them started on the basics! I used this as a little home economics lesson, and a chance to kiss chocolatey chubby cheeks!
My two girls love making peanut butter chocolate no-bake cookies together. This recipe is great for smaller kids to do without much supervision. I do recommend putting the correct amount of ingredients together for them, first, and then let them have at it!
This is a win-win when it comes to kids! Whether it’s dancing or singing, or painting, drawing, or gluing together popsicle sticks, using your imagination can take several hours when crafting. This is a great time to get your young artist focused on something they truly enjoy.
A fun activity that is a favorite of ours is making a 3D Snowflake! I give a fun, guided lesson along with songs and a read-aloud in my “jolly” Christmas show special, Stories with Shannie: Countdown to Christmas with Mrs. Clause, which rents for $9.99 for the 24-minute episode, but you may also go to this link here for your choice of a quick lesson for FREE on YouTube!
If you have a smaller space to work with, spread out a large, old sheet or blanket and have kids wear something you don’t mind getting messy. Then, let them do what they’re going to do — MAKE A MARVELOUS MESS! It might be a stress reliever for you to make one with them at least once or twice!
Another favorite of ours is settling under some cozy blankets on the couch or bed to do storytime. Now that my babies are a bit older, I have them read to me and we share our thoughts on what part was our favorite, and what we would’ve done differently if we were the main character.
Another option is to play a video read-aloud! My Christmas show special, Stories with Shannie: Countdown to Christmas with Mrs. Clause, is a great holiday option for the Winter. Another favorite, and FREE option of mine, is Storyline Online, which is a phenomenal platform where celebrity and well-known figures read aloud their favorite book. Each reading also provides a teacher’s guide you can use to help engage your little one in whichever capacity is desired.
Who doesn’t love singing off-pitch? Well, not everyone, but this can be a ton of fun with people who don’t mind it for just a little while!
No worries if you don’t have the major home theatre sound system. YouTube has a ton of karaoke-style videos you can choose from. Just type in your favorite song like this: “Up On the Housetop karaoke,” and you will have a list to choose from!
With the enhancement of technology, there are at least six Birmingham-area attractions that will give you an amazing virtual experience. Although all of them are not FREE, they are cheap and worth knowing about, so be sure to take a peek and discover something new and amazing you didn’t know before!
- Vulcan Park & Museum
- The Birmingham Zoo
- Birmingham Botanical Gardens
- McWane Science Center
- Birmingham Civil Rights Institute
- Birmingham Museum of Art
- BONUS: National Civil Rights Museum Virtual Tour
Self-care is important, even for the kids! Plus, it is a great idea to take care of those tootsies and prep them for summer sandal escapades. Do some facials, exchange simple massages and back rubs, and enjoy foot soaks! If mani-pedis are a must, this may be a great time to check out a range of safe, non-toxic, peelable nail sets for kids.
From Charades or Twister to Emoji Uno, Scrabble, or Chutes & Ladders. It can be downright bonkers when you pit family against the family for a night of competitive fun! Does anyone else have a husband who plays to win against even the baby? Be sure to set rules that work for everyone, remind all players to be a good sport, and rotate game options to keep it lively. Out of options? Here’s a cool list of 20 Family Game Night Ideas!
Got stuck on Hallmark and Lifetime watching romantic holiday movie marathons? That’s ok. Settle in for a movie night with your family by hosting a watch party on Amazon Prime. The company’s newest feature enables Amazon Prime members to watch movies and TV shows with family and friends, and chat with up to 100 people online, at the same time! It’s definitely a lot quieter than whispering across your popcorn in the movie theatre.
After all of the thrills, shrills, and hullabaloo, it’s a great idea to send everyone to their room for a PTO – personal time out. Sometimes, too much activity can just be, well… too much. Quiet time is great for everyone to spend time alone with themselves reading, working out, writing, regrouping, reflecting, or doing absolutely nothing at all. After you have scheduled everything to the hour and tried some new things, just BE. It’s amazing how wonderful, and peaceful, “just being” can really be.
Trust me, it’s a no-judgment zone here. But we’ve got to just do it, and not in one day, please! One focus a day makes this seemingly-daunting task less stressful and completely achievable. So definitely change your perspective and imagine how it will make you FEEL to have your space totally decluttered and cleaned! Now….keep that feeling AND GET STARTED!
Enlist friends for help, and a good laugh, are needed, or better yet, make this a family experience. Excite your kids to see what kind of space they will have once they are done, and get them to choose tasks to complete. Kids can be amazing help when you make it fun and offer a reward for a job well-done for the entire family. For example, go for ice cream or out to dinner to celebrate your collective achievement once the entire job is completed! Check out our amazing article here for some tips as well.
You and I both know that kids and pets are CUTE and videos with them in it easily end up on a loop! By then, you’ve designated about 10 views to someone else’s video in the span of one minute, so why not build a following and a brand yourself?
I strongly caution against doing YouTube “just because” everyone else is doing it. But if you or someone in your house has an awesome gift or a desire to share a big idea, go for it!
My eldest really wanted a YouTube channel at just nine years old, and we had no idea how to get her started. On her own, she began doing these cute anime videos, and two months later, at the age of 10 in 2020, we branded her channel from her own designs. She’s currently nearing 100 subscribers without even promoting it.
Business Owners can get YouTube for Business with this cool WIX Blog overview, or get started quickly with YouTube’s Quikstart Guide. Be sure to come back and drop your channel links in the comments so we can check them out!