Have you recently heard these words from the mouths of your darling cherubs? How do they make you feel: Snarky? Bristly? Helpless? Despairing? Volatile?
It’s February, people – that magical time of year where we dig in to wait out the last six weeks of winter with people who proclaim the negativity of idleness in increasingly high-pitched voices and decreasing attention spans.
With each cold-weather winter comes the likelihood of snow days and empty weekends, when all out-of-home activities and opportunities for
running away travel
are stolen by sub-freezing temperatures and blinding snowstorms. And sometimes the weather people get the
forecast wrong and everything you’ve planned on has been cancelled though barely a dusting occurred.
If you’re anything like me, you like to take these weeks by the horns and actively deal with the many, many difficulties that surface when everyone is home at once by
hiding creating lots of fun activities to do.
Here are eight of them:
1. Make them do laundry. Some people wear excessive amounts of clothing. They all live in my house. Are you kidding about these five pairs of jeans? I just did laundry yesterday!
2. Give everyone haircuts. A day at home is the perfect time to practice your hairstyling skills! Who cares if you find that your talents aren’t what they used to be: winter time is hat-wearing time. When you’re finished, just throw the clippings out into the snow – your front yard snowman will be the only one in the neighborhood with real hair.
3. Have a cooking lesson. Show them how to make lasagna, beef stroganoff, chicken soup, ANYTHING – and Boom – dinnertime.
4. Practice the art of home tattoos. Johnny and Mariah will be the only kids in school with superhero tats, which ensures them popularity for the rest of their school years.*
5. Write thank-you notes. You know you neglect to do this regularly. Christmas presents, birthday presents, the random gift a friend sends you just for being awesome – you received, and failed to thank. You are a terrible person. Give your kids some pens and a few blank cards and voilà! Instant gratitude.
6. Paint something. I’m not a crafty person in general, but I do like art, so sometimes I encourage my kids to get out the leftover gallons of paint we have lying around and make something cool and interesting. That is, after they’ve touched up all the dings, weird scuffs and black marks that we have all over our walls.
7. Organize an eating contest. Add to your extra winter layer – you know you have one – by holding a family competitive eating challenge. You don’t have to have huge supplies of chicken wings or hot dogs on hand. Go through the kitchen and collect all the half-boxes of cereal, potato chips and crackers that that are still hanging around even though only crumbs are left, jars of pickles that no one likes, and that jalapeño jelly that you bought on a whim but will never use. Lay everything out on the table, set a timer, and the last to keep it all down is the winner. Guess what else? You just cleaned out your pantry and fridge. Internet high five!
8. Hand them some rags and instruct them to scrub something. I know: I use cleaning as my go-to solution for everything. But the hard truth is that all people are horrible slobs and, for the love of all things holy and moly, more than one person per household should be responsible for making things right again. BONUS: Everybody hates to clean, so they will do it as fast as possible and then go outside to escape any more of your weirdo snow day plans, leaving you to sip coffee while you watch Netflix all by yourself.
*I'm kidding, obvs. Do not really give your children real tattoos, for real. For Pete's sake. I can't believe I feel the need to say this.
This post inspired by:
Prompt #5: List 8 solutions for bored children.