Thursday, February 16, 2017

How to Survive a Snow Day with Your Preschooler!

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Snow days!  Everyone loves them, right?

Well, if you have little ones at home and you've been stuck home with them for an extra day or two you might be running out of patience and ideas on what to do with them.

I taught preschool for nearly 20 years so I should have plenty of tricks up my sleeve when it comes to this sort of thing, right?  Yes and no.  Since I work on a pretty tight schedule in my classroom all week, the last thing I want to do on the weekends is be on a tight schedule. even though I have a 4 year old to take care of.

Usually, my daughter does an alright job of entertaining herself and doing more than watching a ton of TV, but when the whining became incessant and there were tears over everything I decided to take action and get her on the dreaded SCHEDULE.

Was she happy?


But it was time.  Was she better for it?  Oh, yeah.  The proof is in the (low carb) pudding as they say so here's what I did.

Wake - up to 9 AM

This is what we early childhood educators like to call "free time."  During this time, she can eat her breakfast, which she is usually good at helping herself to, and watching TV.  At 9 AM though, all electronics go off.  

9:30-11:00 AM 

Now is the time for some big body play or more formally called Gross/Large Motor Play.  I decided to bundle my daughter up and take her outside in the elements where she went sledding and climbed up snowbanks.  If the weather is too treacherous to get out then turn up the music for some dancing, break out your old copy of Twister (great for learning left from right and colors) or set up some fun indoor games like the ones below.

Now it's time to clean up after all that fun and eat lunch!  Yay!  I've found that if I don't feed my daughter at specific times when we are home, she will eat all day and mostly snack foods.  She does so much better when we have a specific meal time, plus I feel like she doesn't drink enough during the day.  Instead, she starts chugging before bed and that never ends well.


Busy box time!  For 40 minutes I had my daughter sit down with various educational activities of my choosing.  Now, I am not huge on worksheets but with limited supplies at home, I do use them and I do believe they have their place in learning. I used the following books and she did quite well with them.


Now is a good time to clean up the mess from the busy box.  We also decided to do an easy cooking project before Scarlett moved on to the next activity.  We kept it really simple and made brownies from a box in our pantry.  She didn't care about the lack of creativity - she just loved being able to wear her apron and help her mama!

2:00-3:00 PM

After we tossed our brownies into the oven, I told Scarlett it was time for her to play by herself in her room.  For children that are having a hard time finding something to do, I recommend setting out a few items for them to choose from such as Legos or puzzles.  Scarlett wanted to do dress-up so she just played with what was out.  This blogger momma was happy to have an hour to herself to, well, blog, and get any other work done such as paying bills.  

3:00-4:00 PM

Since our brownies were ready, we ate them.  This would also be a good time to go out again to play in the snow, maybe take a short walk or play another game from the list above.

4:00 to Dinner Time

Now is a good time for any cleaning that your child needs to do before dinner.  If you have any age appropriate board games that don't require a ton of time, now's the time to take it out.  If your significant other is home, have them read your child a book.  

Whew!  That's it!  You've survived another snow day!  How did it go?  What would you do differently next time?