School aged children anticipate snow days almost as much as Christmas and Hanukkah. While an unexpected day off is more than welcome for children, for their parents, it can pose a problem. Having to rush around for last minute child care or planning a day of activities to keep the kids engaged can be stressful. On days like these, consider these tips to avoid potential problems and reduce stress:
1. Have your back-up child care plan ready. Before you ever think you’ll need it, arrange your backup care. Whether you have a network of family and friends you can call on for child care in a pinch or you enroll with a credible babysitting agency, have your options lined up, prioritized and ready to go for when you need them.
2. Keep a special stash of goodies stored away. Hit the local dollar store and stock up on candy, small toys, coloring books, activity books and games. Put together your own treasure chest that is reserved for snow days only.
3. Do something different. Bake cookies, drink hot cocoa, play games or build a fort in the living room. Do something you normally can’t do, don’t do or don’t have time to do together.
4. Have a party. Pull out those leftover paper products and decorations from parties past and throw a snow party. Bake a cake, play games and have a blast.
5. Connect with neighbors. If your child has schoolmates or friends in the neighborhood, chances are, they’re in the same boat as you. Consider inviting the neighbors over for a tea party, game day or play date. Your kids will appreciate having friends to play with and you’ll get a break from hearing that your child is bored.
While any last minute change of schedule can cause a domino effect for the entire family, being prepared can lessen the negative impact the change has on all.