Young children are always excited when they see those first snowflakes fall and are eager to get outside to build a snowman, go sledding and to make snow angels in the snow. Before letting your little ones out to play, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Pay attention to the weather reports: We know that weather predictions are not always accurate, but we think it is better to be safe than sorry. Paying attention to the weather reports will help you know what to expect. If you know winter weather is coming, try to prepare as early as possible. You don’t want to be stuck at the grocery store the night before a big snowstorm when they are sold out of all the essentials. If you see snow in the forecast for that week, stock up now. Don’t forget to buy some healthy and tasty snacks for your kids.
- Get the supplies: Buy sleds or find something around the house to use. Make sure you have appropriate winter clothes. If your children are dressed correctly, they can play outside in the cold.
- Dress your child in multiple layers, including doubling up on mittens and socks. Wear insulated waterproof boots.
- Keep clothes dry. Wet clothes put a person at risk for hypothermia. Change your child’s mittens, socks and hats when wet.
- Cover at-risk areas such as ears, fingers and toes. These areas are most susceptible to frostbite.
- Have you child wear a warm hat. Most of the body’s heat escapes through the head. Hats also help protect and cover ears from the cold.
- Set a plan ahead of time. Each winter make a family plan for if schools/daycares are closed but you still have to go to work. Do what works best for you. Does one parent take a full day off, or do you split it morning and afternoon?
- Network with your neighbors. Talk to the other working parents in your neighborhood and try to help each other out.
- Before the next storm comes, contact your human resources department about options they might have in a snow day situation.
- Have a back up plan. Do you have a family member who can help? Do you have a child old enough to stay home, or babysit younger siblings? Get creative!
The fun stuff:
- Be ready to get active with your children.
- Make a snowman – Read a story about snowman beforehand
- Go sledding
- Build a snow fort
- Make snow angels
- Paint snow pictures by filling a spray bottle with colored water and spraying it on the snow
- Go on an animal track hunt – see if you can spot what animals have walked in the snow
- Toss snowballs into various containers
- Prepare to have some indoor fun as well. When it is cold outside, you will need to take some indoor breaks. If you are prepared with a board game or family crafts, you can avoid the all day screen time that can come with a day off from school. Another idea is to bring snow inside, place snow in a shallow dish and add some toy cars & trucks or toy dishes to explore the snow.
- Don’t be afraid to put them to work! Kids love to be involved and help, shoveling can be a great way to get the chores done and make it fun!
Learn more: Preparing for a Snow Day with Kids (encouragingmomsathome.com)
Backup Childcare – Emergency Daycare – School Closing (goodhousekeeping.com)