How to Survive Snow Days Without Losing Your Mind

....and about a million snow days.

Needless to say we've had a rough winter here in Jersey {and sadly with no end in sight as we are getting more snow and polar vortex weather this week}.  And when you're literally trapped in your house for days on end with a preschooler and very active toddler.  I have loved having so much time with the girls while they are home, but they are definitely sick of never leaving the house.  These past few months have really forced me to stretch my parenting skills to keep us all entertained, sane, and not just watching Trotro on repeat on Netflix all day {also, if you have kids and haven't watched this or Pingu yet, go check them out!}  I thought it might help some of you to construct a list of the ways I've found to pass the time with the girls!

- School time.  As Emmy has been missing so much school, I want to make sure she's not going to fall behind.  I try and work on her handwriting, sight words, and math facts a little each day.  With Charlie I am working on shape and color recognition and just beginning working on her letters.

- Clay and playdoh.  I put down a plastic tablecloth on the table and set the girls up with a bunch of small plastic cookie cutters.  Keeps them busy for at least half an hour!

- Playing in the sink.  Emmy can play in our kitchen sink with a lot of soap, a few toys, and some Tupperware for about an hour!  And the only clean-up is with a towel:)

- Puzzles.  Emmy can do actual put-together puzzles, while Charlie is still working on the Melissa and Doug put the piece in the right spot puzzles.

- Pop Up the Balloon.  I bought a bag of balloons at the dollar store, and blow up two or three every few days.  See who can keep it up in the air the longest!

- Rotate toys.  I store some of the girls toys in the basement.  Every few weeks I rotate them out with some of their playroom toys.  They've normally forgotten all about them and it's like having brand new toys!

- Dress up.  We've had lots of princess parties up here!

- Hair and make-up salon.  I bought a few eye shadows, lipstick, blush, etc from the dollar store, and let Emmy give me and herself some make-overs!  She loves using some gel, hairspray, and clippies to make my hair more "stylish".

- Dance parties.  For us, it's the Pitch Perfect soundtrack with lots of singing and dancing.  One of our favorite ways to burn off our dinner!

- Workout videos.  It's been tough for me to even get to the gym with all the snow and I've been working out at home a lot.  I prefer to workout after they go to bed, but sometimes I include the girls with me.  It's a good way for them to blow off steam and they really enjoy it.

- Baking.  We've had to do so many workouts to burn off all the cookies we've been eating.  When it's cold and snowy there are few better things than some warm cookies right out of the oven.  Emmy is really getting good at baking with me.  She can crack eggs like an expert!

- When we're lucky enough to have a little bit of a warm up or a break in the snow, I immediate take 30 minutes to bundle them up and head outside.  Even if it's only for 10 minutes, the fresh air does us all a world of good.

- Another thing that has helped keep us all sane, is staying on schedule as best we can.  Yes, we sleep in a little later and are a little lazier in the morning than when Emmy has school, but other than that we stick to it.  Same lunch time, rest time for both of them, dinner time, and definitely bedtime.  My girls thrive on a schedule and with all the uncertainty of snow days, this has helped them know what's going to happen from day to day.

Now I'm not saying that these few months haven't been some of the most trying.  In between all of these activities there has been more tv watching than normal, plenty of sibling fights, and me losing my temper more than every before.  There has been plenty of frustration and tears, but thankfully lots of laughter and memory making as well. 

I hope this list can help some of you still stuck in the never-ending winter.  Now if spring would just come now everything can get even better:)


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